I welcomed 2010 with seven friends and the Flaming Lips. It was my second time to see the Flaming Lips New Year’s Eve show in Oklahoma City, and my fifth time to see them in concert. When we met up at the Colcord Hotel before going over to the venue, I could have sworn that I saw Steven Drozd go out before us, but I was too distracted by a giant eyeball wearing a top hat to be sure.
There was the usual mix of astronauts, psychedelic santas, and aliens in the crowd, along with that well-dressed eyeball. The first half of the concert was all Flaming Lips songs, starting with “Race For the Prize” and going through other songs from The Soft Bulletin, as well as Transmissions From The Satellite Heart, At War With the Mystics, and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots.
But I was most excited to hear the new music from their 2009 album, Embryonic. They played “Silver Trembling Hands,” “Convinced of the Hex,” and “See the Leaves” and I thought the noisy sound worked really well in the live concert. Oh, and click on that “Convinced of the Hex” link to see the awesome inflatable catfish wearing a pea coat who joined the costumed butterflies, moths, and caterpillars at the side of the stage. On the other side, there was an inflatable sun and of course there were balloons and confetti generously thrown throughout.
At midnight, there was a countdown to 2010 with hundreds of balloons thrown onto the crowd. Then, there was a short break when they rearranged their stage and were joined by Stardeath and the White Dwarfs to cover Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety. It started with Wayne Coyne standing on the sound area in the middle of the crowd and projecting lasers out of giant hands onto the huge disco ball that was above the crowd.
I’m not a Pink Floyd expert, but I thought they did an awesome job. You can download a whole album of their cover on iTunes, although I liked Steven Drozd’s live screaming on “The Great Gig in the Sky” more than Peaches’ on the recording. I also liked their addition of electronic voice to “Money,” during which balloons full of real money were dropped on the crowd. There was also a part where they asked everyone to set their cellphone alarms to a certain time so the whole crowd was ringing in unison just before their cover of “Time / Breathe.”
There’s an amazing gallery of images on this person’s site and tons of videos on YouTube if you want to get more of the concert experience. I hope to see them again soon because I would love to hear more of Embryonic live. I’m so glad I was able to start 2010 with favorite band and some of my favorite people. 2009 was a crazy, but wonderful, year. I hope 2010 treats me right.