Judy Berman

Jun 15 2012
That spectacle has become the major selling point for Flaming Lips concerts. Come see Wayne walk in the plastic bubble! Stay for the exploding confetti and projections of naked girls! Be dazzled by all the spinning shapes and vibrant colors! I don’t hate fun; I can appreciate seeing stuff blowed up real good as much as the next person. But the memory of that first Flaming Lips show haunts me. Twelve years ago, the band had half as much notoriety and an even smaller fraction of the production budget. All it had in greater abundance back then, it seems, are great songs and heart. Unfortunately for the Lips, if you add up all the gimmicks, schemes, and stunts the band has pulled recently, they don’t come close to compensating for what’s been lost since then.
— Unlike Steven Hyden, I bought into Embyronic in a big way, but what he’s noting about The Flaming Lips’ trajectory really needed to be said. Their live shows are “fun,” if a couple thousand people ogling psychedelic naked chicks doesn’t give you pause, but they’re not about music anymore.

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