The Flaming Lips - Portsmouth Guildhall - 13 November 2009

Concert review by Aline Giordano - November 2009

The Flaming Lips live in PortsmouthI knew Wayne Coyne and his henchmen had a reputation for putting on big colourful shows with extras dressed up in fluffy animal suits. I knew I loved the Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots album. I also knew that was all I knew about the Flaming Lips (shame on me!). So I did not know what to expect.

The unexpected came from outside of the band’s control: The fire alarm that got the whole crowd evacuated just before the show, the poor sound quality and the stroboscopes induced epileptic seizure of a couple of people at the end of show that delayed the encore.

As for what had been planned: The clichéd entrance of the band members between some computer-enhanced woman’s legs on a giant plasma screen; Wayne Coyne’s ‘bain de foule’ in his transparent space plastic bubble; the orange protective clothing of the technical staff onstage; the orange stage; the orange lighting; the protest music (The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song was energetic, raw and to the point: “If you could blow up the world with the flick of a switch, would you do it?”); the psychedelic-pop music; more protest music supported by some video footage of animal testing; the uplifting party atmosphere aided by the big floating balloons and the confetti launched via two large cannons placed each side of the stage; and of course the anthemic Do You Realize?? closing the show.

The Flaming Lips may have been touring for over 25 years but they know how to create exciting new shows full of colour and texture with a distinctive characteristic with the underlying motto that life is worth celebrating because “Everyone you know some day will die”.

To view more photos of the concert, visit… Aline Giordano's photo website

For more details, visit… The Flaming Lips' website

Photograph © Aline Giordano 2009