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The Flaming Lips - The Greek Theatre - October 29, 2013

The Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips
Timothy Norris

The Flaming Lips

Greek Theatre

10/29/13

Last night, Wayne Coyne emerged from a sea of plastic dressed as a blood soaked Carrie with the theme to Halloween blaring in the background. Coyne's bandmates sported Michael Myers masks and red and black confetti rained on the crowd.

Last night's show at the Greek was billed as the first stop on the Lips' Halloween Blood Bath tour, which includes two other California tour stops in San Francisco and Santa Barbara. There were gore-inspired posters and hoodies at the merch table, and Coyne to powered through a too short 75-minute set, all the while standing on a contraption that looked straight out of Beetlejuice.

See also: our gallery of the show.

"This thing I'm standing on is so slippery from this blood," the singer explained, "but I will get through it!"

While Coyne stuck to his promise, he did appear slightly uncomfortable over the course of the show. When he wasn't cracking jokes about Courtney Love or emphasizing his excitement about spending Halloween in Los Angeles, Coyne appeared to be fighting the cold weather in his bloody duds.

The Flaming Lips - The Greek Theatre - October 29, 2013
Timothy Norris

It took a while for the Lips to get going after the theatrical opening. The band, only three days removed from playing in Taipei as the final date on a six-night, nine-day tour of Southeast Asia, seemed jetlagged. Indeed, something about the performance seemed slightly off.

Not a big deal though, as this has been a big year for the Flaming Lips. The band is in the midst of touring behind their latest album, The Terror, which thematically and structurally meshes with the band's biggest albums including The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. On top of that, the Lips are celebrating their 30th year as a unit, which is quite an accomplishment for an alternative psych rock band from Oklahoma City.

 

The Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips
Timothy Norris

After three decades together, the Lips know their audience and what fans want. From a visual standpoint, they gave them exactly what they expected. There were pulsating lights, trippy images and slightly extended jams on songs like "Silver Trembling Hands." Coyne did his best to get the crowd into the show by gesturing for them to participate on "Race for the Prize," but hey, even the best band can't put on their best show every night.

The delicate "Do You Realize" closed the set just before the venue's 11 p.m. curfew, leaving those in attendance scratching their heads about why the show came to what felt like an abrupt halt. Maybe it's because Flaming Lips fans come to expect that each show will be as epic and theatrical as the subject matter in the band's lyrics. Others will note that Tame Impala played a bit longer than many in attendance would have liked.

The Crowd: Dressed to impress, which included people dressed in reflective gear from the Arcade Fire show, Ron Burgandy and an assortment of others in Halloween costumes.

Random Notebook Dump: The actor Craig Robinson was sitting two rows in front of me. At one point early in the set, he waved at me like we knew each other. I stood in stunned disbelief, until I realized the wave was intended for the dude sitting to my left.

See also: our gallery of the show.

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The Greek Theatre

2700 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

323-665-5857

www.greektheatrela.com

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