THE FLAMING LIPS // USHER HALL, EDINBURGH
The Flaming Lips put on a surreal night of euphoria and left wide-eyed fans raptured and revitalised.
It's the 20th anniversary of the astonishing album The Soft Bulletin, a key depository from The Flaming Lips, where these psychedelic pop renegades found their niche. They treated fans in Edinburgh to a show of the complete album and, of course, shed-loads of absurdity.
Beginning as guitar based post-punk rebels; the group had a distinctive colour threading their rocky depths. They have always joyed in the unique and their sound evolved into the soaring whimsical productions. If you listen to The Soft Bulletin you will be transported into a fanatical land where maverick front-man, Wayne Coyne, leads the eccentric tour.
The venue for night was the picturesque Usher Halls in the quirky Leith area of the Scottish capital. A merry audience attended and large number came to catch the brilliant support Penelope Isles. This alternative rock group from Brighton played a stunning set. The group have just released début work 'Until The Tide Creeps In'. Their sound is dreamy but mighty and the talent radiates. Get them on and get them turned up!
Wayne Coyne mirrored Micheal Keaton's 'Beetlejuice' for the night in his attire and kicked in off the set with a taste of the composer Richard Strauss's tone poem 'Also sprach Zarathustra'. The group are known for performances filled with the spectacular and the evening did not fall short. Led lights cascaded head to tail of the stage and threw the listener to another galaxy during this operatic piece.
Coyne knows his fans and he spoke to the crowd with care and charm. He was not afraid to applaud the group's history and the crowd are on his side entirely. Coyne has had a big year. In the summer, the man celebrated the birth of his son and earlier in the year exchanged his wedding vow from the inside of a giant bubble.
'Race For the Prize' starts up and confetti canons were set off fittingly with the unmistakable exhilaration of the track. As the it concludes, Coyne brings forth large balloon letters that spell out 'F*** Yeah Edinburgh'.
The Soft Bulletin, in all its vibrancy, is filled with pain. The performance, however, had the most beautifully uplifting power with all it's glorious. The album addresses dark times for the band members. The mighty 'Waitin' For Superman' was stripped back to its emotional core and the crowd wholeheartedly sung along.
The stand-out, quintessential Flaming Lips moment of the night came the during the first encore as Coyne rode through the crowed straddling a glowing, rainbow unicorn during the track 'There Should Be Unicorns'. This is then followed by the tender 'Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1' and a large inflatable robots blooms into life on the stage; swaying, almost, in time. The conclusion was the lulling track 'Do You Realise??' and emotions were high. Some of the crowd were in tears, rejuvenated by emotion. It's was overtly clear that The Flaming Lips are banquet for the inmost sentiments in life.
SETLIST: | THE FLAMING LIPS : USHER HALL, EDINBURGH - 05.09.2019
Also sprach Zarathustra - (Richard Strauss cover)
The Soft Bulletin
Race for the Prize
A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
The Spark That Bled
The Spiderbite Song
What Is The Light?
Waitin’ for a Superman
Suddenly Everything Has Changed
Feeling Yourself Disintergrate
Sleeping on the Roof
There Should Be Unicorns
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1
Do You Realize??