Review: The Flaming Lips at Ogden Theatre, 1-4-14

by Lee Strubinger

Photo: Flaming Lips 'Little Help from My Fwends' album cover

If you haven’t seen a Flaming Lips show, do yourself a favor and spend the extra cash and show up early to get a good spot.

As soon as the band walked on stage last Sunday night, mass amounts of confetti poured throughout the Ogden Theatre. Every color imaginable flashed on stage while rainbows, suns, a captain catfish (strangely enough) and even Santa Claus danced on stage with the band.

Wayne Coyne, frontman and spiritual leader for the evening, dressed in odd metallic looking pants with a cluster of fuzzy colored balls (there’s no better way to put it) collected near his crotch that glowed from the black lit stage. He beckoned from the stage: “C’mon, c’mon! This is the last big party for the New Year.”

Coyne and company have created a concert experience so visual and surreal that the only true way to understand the essence of it is to see it for yourself. Their flashy and colorful show is an attempt at some wholesome trip meant to amalgamate their entire existence as a live act on stage. It can send you to near paranoiac levels before you realize Coyne and Steven Drozd, composer and songwriter for the band, have your best interest in mind.

In 2014, the Flaming Lips released a tribute album to the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Members from the opening act Fever The Ghost[i] joined the Lips on stage to play three tracks from the album: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “With A Little Help From My Friends,” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.” Seeing the Flaming Lips perform the album live was a treat since the Beatles never played the album in front of a live audience.

From the 1999 album “The Soft Bulletin,” the band roared with “Race For The Prize,” “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate,” and “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton.”

The night wrapped up with the track “Do You Realize?” while Coyne ripped down the stage balloons and tossed them into the crowd. Coyne sang:

“Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face?... we’re floating in space… that happiness makes you cry… that everyone you know someday will die.”

Though I didn’t realize it at first, that song is the reason why I got off the couch and made my way to the Ogden. Not because I had the money to spare, but because I’ll sleep when I’m dead. There’s post-season football in the afterlife, right?

[i] An excellent opening act. Total psychedelic music. I hope to hear more from them in the future. They're a four-piece whose members look younger than the required age to drink in this country. They must be having the time of their life touring with a group who’s an obvious influence to them.