As far as spectacles go, The Flaming Lips still go that extra mile. Their headline set on the Woods Stage at End Of The Road tonight (Saturday) is the most colourful and psychedelic I’ve ever seen at the festival, perhaps ever seen full-stop.
We’re talking a veritable vomiting of colour, in the harshest and most pixellated manner. Super-bright screens filled with exploding neon colours. People dressed in giant inflatable alien suits, with one as a giant star. Confetti cannons. Wayne Coyne on a huge platform surrounded on three sides by screens, or Wayne Coyne in his famous ball, scampering out over the audience.
With such a lot of visual elements, it’s not surprising that some of the songs pass by without leaving much impression. Of course, “She Don’t Use Jelly”, “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton”, “Race For The Prize” and “The WAND” are fantastic, strange anthems that would still work if played in a basement lit by a single bulb, but others don’t fare so well.
“Look… The Sun Is Rising” and their cover of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” wouldn’t have been missed, while stone-cold classics “Yoshimi…” and “Do You Realize??” are played in slightly different arrangements – the band probably think they’re more anthemic and emotional, but the quieter intros and greater dynamics leave them a little flat.
Still, despite their shortcomings, Coyne and co really do know how to put on a senses-stunning celebration.
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