Psychedelic experimental space-noise rock extraterrestrials the Flaming Lips deploy their intergalactic tractor beam of kaleidoscopic aural supernovae and legendary theatrics at The Space at Westbury on Saturday, March 11 in a mesmerizing show bound for the books of must-attend Long Island concerts.
For more than three decades these sonic hellraisers hailing from Oklahoma have been re-writing the rules of rock and roll, melding the realms of music, science fiction and experimentation into the most beautifully bizarre and involuntarily contagious expressions of love and chaos created by earthlings, and continue to be one of the most exciting, electrifying, and magnetic bands in existence.
Led by founding members and martian rock masterminds Wayne Coyne on vocals and guitar, bassist Michael Ivins and multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd, the Flaming Lips are as known for their extraordinary live performances as much as their Grammy Award-winning tunes. A Lips show, as any attendee who has ever witnessed one can attest, is anything but ordinary.
Giant costumed creatures, smoke, puppets, enigmatic video projections, balloons, copious amounts of confetti, mushrooms, rainbows, gigantic hands that shoot lasers—even a monstrous, translucent man-sized bubble, which Coyne navigates atop the audience—the Flaming Lips literally and figuratively transcend any singular art form and instead transport fans into their own unique world, one beyond comparison and free of labels, stereotypes, or really, any other “concert” experience.
Coyne and Drozd’s songwriting might as well be an interdimensional black hole, in that past one layer is an infinite amount of others, all embodying various possibilities explored and shared with audience members via this multi-sensory tapestry of theatrical amplified paint.
At the center is an exploding universe of love.
Touring in support of their latest foray into the unconventional, this year’s Oczy Mlody (Polish for “Eyes (of the) Young,” the Lips’ 14th studio drop, the band have a vast sea of releases to draw from—with the melodies, time signatures, arrangements and songs as diverse as their album and song titles. Their first, 1986’s noisy, punkish Hear It Is, includes tracks “Jesus Shootin’ Heroin,” Charlie Manson Blues” and “Godzilla Flick.” 1993’s Transmissions from the Satellite Heart contains perhaps the band’s most well-known single, as well as its biggest radio hit, “She Don’t Use Jelly.” 1997’s experimental Zaireeka features eight songs across four CDs, which ideally are to be played simultaneously on separate audio systems to create its intended harmonics. 1999’s The Soft Bulletin and 2002’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots both achieved critical and commercial success and remain fan favorites.
Standout tracks from The Soft Bulletin include: “The Spiderbite Song,” “What Is the Light?” (“An Untested Hypothesis Suggesting That the Chemical [In Our Brains] by Which We Are Able to Experience the Sensation of Being in Love Is the Same Chemical That Caused the “Big Bang” That Was the Birth of the Accelerating Universe”), “Waitin’ for a Superman” (“Is It Getting’ Heavy?”) and “Suddenly Everything Has Changed” (“Death Anxiety Caused by Moments of Boredom”). Those from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots include: “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” (Pts. 1 & 2), “It’s Summertime” and “Do You Realize??” the latter also a popular charting single, and ranked #31 on Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Best Songs of the 2000s.”
All that being said, pretty much every single Flaming Lips tune is an amazing, otherworldly entity onto themselves, across various, multi-tiered levels, and in the intimate confines of The Space at Westbury, they and all the aforementioned elements of this mind-bending band combine to create a rock and roll experience guaranteed to be absolutely unforgettable and unquestionably one for the books of epic Long Island concerts.
Do not miss this gig. Repeat: Do Not Miss This Gig!!
Featured Photo: Psychedelic experimental space rock extraterrestrials the Flaming Lips invade The Space at Westbury on March 11! (Photo: FlamingLips.com)