Where to begin? I guess, walking into Manchester’s Academy and being greeted by two giant inflatable mushrooms creating a gateway to the stage.
It’s The Flaming Lips and they begin with an impressive intro; Richard Strauss’ ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ which really gets the crowd pumped and ready for what was to come…
‘Race For The Prize’ is the opening track on the Oklahoma band’s classic album ‘The Soft Bulletin’ celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Front man Coyne informs us that they will play the LP in full.
As the first track kicks off there is an explosion of giant coloured balloons into the crowd, along with confetti cannons, dry ice sprays and a giant glitter ball in the centre of the hall casting light across the sea of arms and balloons in the air.
“That was F#cking Insane!”
The band are dressed up in bright coloured wigs, glitter, flashing glasses, shoulder pads, its Manchester Pride Festival all over again, and suddenly your thinking how little most bands do with the opportunity to play in front of a crowd.
It doesn’t stop there, Coyne climbs into a giant blow up hamster-ball and rolls round the crowds heads as the band play through the album, the props are not the only main attraction for tonight’s show, the power of the songs live is contagious and mind blowing.
“Do anything you want to do, use anything you want; laser beams, phones, laugh and be as loud as you want to be”
The show flies by and they are on their Encore already! As the band return, Coyne appears riding through the crowd on the back of a neon unicorn with a pair of inflatable wings on his back, throwing confetti into the crowd as he passes through, the band play ‘There Should be Unicorns’
“If you want to scream and be crazy, now is your time”
There are more inflatables…a giant Pink robot is inflated at the front centre stage for crowd pleaser ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots’ the whole crowd is singing along in perfect harmony. As the Robot deflates a large rainbow inflates and frames the band for ‘Do You Realize’ the closing act of the show, Coyne waits until the rainbow is fully inflated before he begins his vocals.
As the show comes to an end, the hall lights go up and the inflatables go down, Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” plays as the fans leave the hall amazed. They certainly pulled out all stops, musically and entertaining. If you ever get the opportunity to see this band live (whether you are a fan or not), we would highly recommend it, it’s a bonkers show that you will never experience with anyone else!
Also Sprach Zarathustra (Cover)
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 Disintegrate
Sleeping On The Roof
There Should Be Unicorns
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Do You Realize