Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Flaming Lips + Earth Day = Good Times

The Flaming Lips put on an hour-long, greatest-hits show on the National Mall late this afternoon (check out my awesome videotape job of a portion of "She Don't Use Jelly" below). New EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson introduced the band for the Earth Day-related concert as leader Wayne Coyne waved his huge-huge-huge fake hands behind her. Rains threatened and it got progressively colder as the show went on, but it never failed to deter the enthused crowd.

Coyne surfed the crowd in his bubble, banged a gong, shot confetti and smoke into the air (even though he said he had promised festival organizers that he wouldn't be so callous to the environment), played all manner of crazy-colored and multi-necked guitars, and enjoyed a crack backing band that included some sort of huge caterpillar-like creature that just stood there and looked, well, big.

The sound and the show were great. The quality was probably equal to the time I saw them at Madison Square Garden with Wilco for New Year's Eve and almost as good as when I saw them play with Sebadoh years ago in St. Louis. The band played "Yoshimi," "Do You Realize?" "She Don't Use Jelly," a great cover of Madonna's "Borderline," and several other prime selections.

The real reason I know the show was excellent is that my 17-month-old son Jackson was all smiles the whole way home, danced around several times through the rest of the evening, and kept waving his hands in the air like he really cares (for the rock, that is).

****1/2 out of ***** stars

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