THE FLAMING LIPS – Roma Venue – Antwerp, Belgium – 3 February 2017
The last time I saw THE FLAMING LIPS, the eccentric Oklahoma psychedelia adventurers perform, was in 2006 in my hometown Ghent (Belgium), after the release of their eleventh album ‘At War With the Mystics’. Back then their shows were already fascinating, carnival-like events but what I witnessed last Friday in Antwerp was beyond imagination. Like a
once in a lifetime eye-catching, highly dazzling and unworldly sonic fairy tale. The whole theatrical extravaganza started with a monumental rendition of ‘Race for the Prize’ while the audience exploded in joy when the venue got filled with big multi-colored balloons, a massive confetti rain and a mind-boggling light spectacle on stage. From then on glamour & glitter magician Wayne Coyne conducted the extraordinary happening, backed by his fabulous orchestra, from one highlight to another and he transferred us all instantly into his fantastical galaxy for two thrilling hours. What I, and the deliriously euphoric crowd, experienced along the magical journey, musically and visually, is actually hard to describe.
This fan’s footage from the same show in London will give you an idea / confetti cannons at 3.25
Fact is that the overwhelming mix of phantasy injected symphonies selected from their outstanding and extensive – three and half decades – repertoire (with the moody and reflective Oczly Mlody as their newest achievement) was the ongoing, ecstatic heartbeat of the concert, that gave significance and purpose to the grotesque, bombastic and epic spectacle where demons and dragons try to infiltrate but just have no chance to survive. The Lips‘ phenomenally psychedelic and sixties romanticism injected music is the perfect soundtrack for the swirling succession of visual extravaganza: enormous light-up gongs, gigantic dancing eyeballs, giant aliens and goblins puppets, an inflatable rainbow, surreal knight Coyne riding a unicorn with a neon mane into the hall and rolling over the crowd in his giant plastic ball singing David Bowie’s Space Oddity with a delirious choir of 2500…
… on the other hand, the very last song of the greatest rock and fairytale show on earth was ‘Do You Realize (that everyone you know someday will die)??’ and brought all spectators back to the hard laws of reality and life. And the future looks really dark if you think about this new era of reborn egoism and human intolerance that is created recently by sickly narcissistic political leaders such as idiot Trump & his dangerous buddy Putin. Thank you Flaming Lips for letting me dream now and then and still believe there’s always hope…
(all concert pics by Turn Up The Volume!)