The Flaming Lips brought their unique brand of insanity to Dallas’ Gexa Energy Pavilion last night as part of the KXT 91.7 Happy Funtime Fest, joined by St. Vincent and festival-circuit regulars Fitz and The Tantrums.
The radio festival got off to a slow start with sleepy performances by Telegraph Canyon and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, but Fitz and The Tantrums brought the show up to speed with an all too brief set built around 2010’s Pickin’ Up the Pieces. They did play one new track from their upcoming second record and their stellar cover of the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), but this was almost the exact same festival set they’ve been playing for two years now, the inclusion of some more new stuff would have been great. Regardless, they were the first band in the day to get the crowd moving so they get credit for that, and truthfully Moneygrabber still hasn’t gotten old.
St. Vincent’s hour-long set was up next, filled with tracks from last year’s Strange Mercy including Cheerleader, Year of the Tiger and a show-stopping performance of the haunting Surgeon. Annie Clark hovered around the stage popping off insane guitar riffs right and left, taking those in the crowd who weren’t familiar with her by surprise. The songs are completely different in a live setting than on record, with Clark’s guitar tone becoming almost jagged, creating a jarring contrast with her airy vocals and the smooth synth lines floating around. After performing an intense theremin (!) solo and diving into the crowd towards the end of her set, it became clear that Clark might just be poised to become the queen of baroque pop. Don’t miss out on her live show if you have the opportunity.
Once again proving that the Flaming Lips are one of the best live acts out there, the band played through a quick festival set featuring most of their biggest tracks, including She Don’t Use Jelly, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1 and of course, the show-ending Do You Realize??. The band entered the stage in typical Lips style, coming out of a giant glowing vagina while Wayne Coyne aired up his space bubble and rolled out over the crowd. Wayne was all smiles during his trip across the sea of arms, pretty much confirming that the Lips enjoy playing as much as the crowd enjoys watching.
There’s nothing quite like a Lips’ show, and while they haven’t changed their staging (or their setlist, really) in a number of years, fans don’t seem to care. The band is really able to connect with a crowd, and you’d have a hard time finding a larger number of smiles in the audience at any other show. The band is pure, unfiltered fun, something that every concert fan needs to see at least once in your life.
Flaming Lips setlist:
Sweet Leaf (Black Sabbath), Worm Mountain, She Don’t Use Jelly, The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (With All Your Power), Is David Bowie Dying??, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1, See the Leaves, Laser Hands, Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung, What Is the Light, The Observer, Brain Damage/Eclipse (Pink Floyd), Do You Realize??