The Set List

By Brian Washburn
Everybody listens to music. This is pretty much a foregone conclusion, because if you don’t listen to music, then this is something seriously wrong and you should address that immediately.
But while everybody does in fact have a connection with an artist, song or just a general music genre, it is the music connoisseurs who truly appreciate the art of a well-balanced, well-performed live show. From outstanding classic concerts like the Rolling Stones and AC/DC to astonishing modern shows such as The White Stripes, My Chemical Romance and Underoath, live shows take fans on wide, breathtaking and sometimes unusual adventures.
However, there is one band who stands above them all. And if you were as lucky as I was to travel just a few hours down the road to usher in the new year with psychedelic rockers The Flaming Lips this New Year’s Eve, it was definitely a concert for the ages.
The long-time music showmen began the concert their traditional way, or what most would consider traditional by their standards.
UFO, human hamster ball and a ton of confetti jump started the new year for more than 11,000 screaming Lips fans in Oklahoma City, the band’s hometown. While the Lips set did open with “Race for the Prize,” the group then quickly launched into a cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
Though covers can definitely be brilliant like All Time Low’s “Umbrella” and unbearably horrible like Sheryl Crow’s “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” The Flaming Lips are not just performers, they are talented musicians and brought the crowd “rain” maybe even better than Prince could.
The night did not consist of all covers. Even though hits such as “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” and “Waiting for Superman” were not performed, the band did offer such hits as “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots” and “She Don’t Use Jelly.”
Lead singer Wayne Coyne’s wild stage antics mixed with his ever-evolving vocal ranges (some provided through a megaphone) make him maybe one of the most underrated front men of all time, not to mention how underrated the band is as a whole.
The sheer brilliant songwriting mixed with the psychedelic background (complete with creepy dancing Teletubbies and giant monsters) made the stage presence phenomenal and left the crowd virtually speechless, which could have also come from the relentless
begging of the band to not treat this as just a concert, but as a New Year’s party, which the crowd did.
The New Year even came early for those attending the Lips extravaganza. While the Lips came on stage around 10 p.m., after only an hour and a half, the concert countdown began. After the early countdown concluded, what seemed like hundreds of overly inflated balloons accompanied by a downpour of confetti drenched the crowd. It was a new years to remember, and if history is going to repeat itself (this is the second year in a row for the Lips to return home to welcome in the new year), all Lips, music and party fans in the
tri-state area need to celebrate 2010 in style with the greatest live concert on earth.

Categories: LIVE! In NWA