© 2005, 2006 Static and Feedback
All rights reserved
|Bank of America Pavilion
By NICK TAVARES
STATIC and FEEDBACK Editor
My God, it was chaos in there.
I mean, absolute mayhem. Balloons were bouncing off of heads. Confetti
filled the air. The stage and first five rows were engulfed in smoke. I saw
aliens. I saw Santa – dozens of him! Superman was there! Captain America
was there! I’m pretty sure I saw Jon Stewart, too. And that girl from Saved By
the Bell who turned into kind of a skank on Beverly Hills 90210.
Hell, even Ozzy made an appearance by the end of the night, if only in spirit.
On this evening, Sept. 10, 2006, for those of you scoring at home, the
Flaming Lips turned the Bank of American Pavilion, a bubble of a tent on the
Boston waterfront, into the wildest, grandest party the city had ever seen. And
they did it with the subtlety of a cannon blast.
With the lights going prematurely black, slowly dancing aliens and Santas
made their way to their respective ends of the stage, while the Lips, minus
frontman Wayne Coyne, walked over to their instruments to begin their
racket. And, oh, what a grand racket it was. Coyne, toting giant hands, began
waving to the crowd and swatting balloons and confetti, already screaming from the stage into the audience,
back at the front rows.
The oversized gloves came off, and “Race for the Prize,” the majestic opener to 1999’s The Soft Bulletin, kicked
Now, it should be noted: At this point, the show was all of two minutes old, and I was floored. There were nothing
but smiles from end to end. In less than 120 seconds, a group of 40-year-old men had turned an entire pavilion
of bitter rock fans and preening indie kids into a mass of 6-year-olds lost in the ball pit of the Chucky Cheese in
Candyland’s Disney World. Insanity! Grown men and women, pretentious teens, jaded rockers, all of us,
smiling, hopping up and down, swatting balloons!
Then comes the realization that the band on stage – Coyne, musical wizard Steve Drozd, Michael Ivens and
drummer Kliph Scurlock – were nailing every note they touched. The delicious creativity and diversity that is the
Flaming Lips sound was in full effect. Ivens did his best John Entwistle imitation, quietly rumbling the stage from
the shadows in his skeleton suit, Drozd was bouncing from the keyboards to shredding the guitar to conducting
the rest of the band, and Coyne, well, he was just a kid in a candy store.
Coyne, as the grand master of ceremonies at this medley of madness, is just so fun-loving and sincere that the
mere sight of him with, say, a puppet singing the lyrics to “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” will bring a smile to
anyone's face. Maybe even a little tear of happiness along the way. When he addresses the crowd, he’s just so
damn earnest and goofy that anyone who wouldn’t feel warmed listening to the guy is either dead or a cold, cold
“You know, I know a lot of bands say this,” Coyne said at one point, “but, you just have to know that the Flaming
Lips fans are the best fans in the world. I mean, every band says it, but they won’t all mean it. Like, Aerosmith will
probably say it tomorrow night, but it just won’t be true.
“Because, there’s a least a couple of people out there right now who are going through some real tragedies in
their lives right now. And they come into this and let us throw balloons at them and cover them with confetti, and
they’re going to walk out of here with a smile and feeling great because of you crazy motherfuckers!”
The crowd ate it up, and rightfully so. Every note that came out of the band, whether it was the serene “My Cosmic
Autumn Rebellion,” the punchy loud-speaker anthem “The W.A.N.D” or the wonderful, on-screen-teletubbies-
backed “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton,” was punctuated with an embrace of life. So many bands (and definitely a few
I like) take themselves too seriously. Too often, the business of music is clouded by money, greed, schedules,
expectations and who knows how many other intrusive adult nuisances.
Coyne regularly enlisted the crowd to participate. Apart from the balloons that were present all night, the
audience was encouraged to scream “YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH” along with “The Yeah
Yeah Yeah Song,” while the codas to “Yoshimi” and “She Don’t Use Jelly” were extended just to give the
audience the chance to sing along.
And that’s where the Lips’ magic really shines. For all the ridiculousness onstage, the band recognized from the
start that the real star in this is the crowd. And again, they mean it. They will actively remind you that they are there
simply to make sure every single member of the crowd has fun and leaves feeling like a sunbeam on a warm
spring day. Whatever it takes to accomplish that end shall be done, even if it means having the lead singer and
songwriter of one of the most inventive bands of the past 25 years shoot streamers into the audience every 10
The party and the effects are not here to distract from the music as they are with, say, Kiss or Bon Jovi. This is a
celebration of a shared love of music. And, man, is music fun.
On this night, and many others before it, the Flaming Lips grabbed life by the horns and shook off all the excess,
celebrating the excitement and the wonder of living. They rocked and the rolled from the get-go through a rabble-
rousing take on Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” they smiled, they laughed, and they played music set to the joy of
And the sound they made was love.
|THE FLAMING LIPS
Bank of America Pavilion
Sept. 10, 2006
Race for the Prize
Yoshimi Battles The Pink
Robots, Pt. 1
Yoshimi Battles The Pink
Robots, Pt. 2
Vein Of Stars
The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion
She Don’t Use Jelly
Do You Realize??
"Happy Birthday, Emily"
A Spoonful Weighs A Ton