US - Oklahoma - Full Moon 71 - 07/24/02
The Flaming Lips / Bob Mould / Goldrush
Sheffield Leadmill, England, 06.07.2002
In advance of the release of their new psychedelic opus Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots,
The Flaming Lips are doing a short promotional tour of English cities, reassuring their loyal
fanbase that the genius displayed on their masterpiece The Soft Bulletin is still in
Along for the ride are newcomers Goldrush, fresh-faced and with a nifty way with a
chipper tune. Nothing spectacular, but pleasant and with a little Lips to their sound.
Bob Mould, he of classic rockers Hüsker Dü and Sugar, is now touring solo,
guitar distorted wildly. Plenty of the familiar Mould melody, but a pretty run of the mill live
I was anxious that the new Lips live show would pale in comparison to the superb spectacle
they devised to introduce the world to The Soft Bulletin. Fear not! The new Lips live
show is as good, if not better, and proof that they are one of the world's finest living bands.
Why? Well, first and foremost, the songs are drop-dead gorgeous. Only four new songs were on
preview, but all were great. Show opener and forthcoming single "Do You Realize?" is absolutely
awesome. Seemingly able to levitate the listener, this transcendent pop masterpiece could only
come from the band who made "Race For The Prize". And, after a short technical glitch, that's up
next, still sounding like a worldbeater even without Wayne's gong.
Instead of the gong there are three enormous revolving glitterballs, Michael and Stephen
dressed as rabbits, and two friends dressed as a bear and a frog, lots of confetti, a monkey
puppet that Wayne was given by a fan, flashing lights, smoke machines, fake blood - this is The
Flaming Lips at their madcap, enthusiastic best.
Even the older songs are rejuvenated in this context: "Lightning Strikes The Postman" sounds
like an enormous banana flying through space (it's that bendy bassline!), "She Don't Use Jelly"
is still the silliest fun song ever that somehow manages to not grate. Every song is good!
It's this combination of heartstopping, yearning tunes and on-stage pyrotechnics that makes
the live prospect so completely thrilling. And when Wayne has the crowd creating as much cheering
and screaming as they can during "How Will They Know?" there's the feeling that the band can do
anything. Everyone is smiling. Everyone is together, happy, and love is in the air.
The Flaming Lips = best live band in the world. Will they make
the album of 2002?
Copyright © 2002 Tim Clarke