What was the difference between last week’s Flaming Lips show and the one they played not even one year ago at the same venue? They QUADRUPLED their giant inflatable robot budget! Although, this seems to have affected the confetti budget somewhat. Even though it was still flying aplenty, it wasn’t as overwhelming as the last show. But still!
This time around Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips were celebrating 20th anniversary of their seminal album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, probably the absolute zenith of the band’s popularity (and perhaps their creative peak as well). I am on the fence about album anniversary shows, but I’m happy to report that Yoshimi lends itself very well to this format, with its consistent vibe and tempo. Side 1 has “Fight Test” and the title track, but for me the second-half triple whammy of “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell,” “Are You a Hypnotist??,” and “It’s Summertime” is undefeated. By the time “Do You Realize” hits, you’re peaking (on joy and happiness, obvs).
Watch the official music video for “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1” by The Flaming Lips on YouTube:
In fact, this was *so close* to being the perfect show at The Anthem on May 25. After the Yoshimi set, the band took a 25-minute intermission before returning to play an entirely different set of mostly post-Yoshimi material along with the obligatory “She Don’t Use Jelly” and a very fun cover of Madonna’s “Borderline.” The only, and mean only, misstep the band made on the night is they cut “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” from the set, for what I assume is time constraints. (That’s my favorite Lips song if you can’t tell.)
I’m in awe of Wayne Coyne. He’s 62 by the way. He’s such a master at controlling the crowd, particularly in keeping the crowd’s energy up and attention focused in between songs while various things are blown up or deflated on stage. He’s constantly telling the audience how much he loves them and how thankful he is that they came to the show and none of it seems contrived. Like I said last time, long may he continue.
One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 2
In the Morning of the Magicians
Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell
Are You a Hypnotist??
Do You Realize??
All We Have Is Now
Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)
She Don’t Use Jelly
Silver Trembling Hands
Always There, In Our Hearts
Flowers of Neptune 6
Assassins of Youth
Will You Return / When You Come Down
Borderline (Madonna cover)
Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung
My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion
A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
Race for the Prize
Here are some photos of The Flaming Lips performing at The Anthem on May 25, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Kyle Gustafson.