Here's Senior Editor Eric Snider's review of Saturday's Flaming Lips show:
Flaming Lips deliver music, spectacle, message â and lots of confetti
By Eric Snider
Photo by Phil Bardi; click on the picture to see others.
When a team of archaeological diggers in the year 3521 unearths Jannus Landing, you can be assured theyâll find confetti. It will be there courtesy of a rock concert held on April 14, 2007, when a band from Oklahoma City called The Flaming Lips let loose dozens of cannon-blasts of the stuff.
The Lips extravaganza â the groupâs first Bay area appearance in 13 years, and the first that could qualify as a true event â goes down as one special night in the history of a venue thatâs been largely known for no-frills productions. Frontman Wayne Coyne and his pranksters rolled out a smoking megaphone, roadies in superhero costumes, a half-dozen side-stage Santa Clauses (countered on the other side by dancing space girls), an ozone layer of dry-ice smoke, lasers and a large video screen flashing hallucinatory images (and real-time close-ups of Coyneâs face caught by a minicam).
All of this wouldâve been of little consequence, however, if The Flaming Lips failed to deliver the musical goods. Iâm glad to report that the trio (aided by a hired-gun drummer) ably re-created the densely layered sonic dreamscapes of their albums and goosed it with heightened energy and an improvisatory looseness that never once made the show seem scripted.