Apparently there’s nowhere I’d rather be on New Year’s Eve than in Oklahoma City with the Flaming Lips, because that’s what I’ve done for the past four out of five years. (Read about 2009/10 here and 2010/11 here.) (The missing year is when I celebrated NYE on a bridge in Paris, but that’s another story.) The Flaming Lips’ NYE “Freak Outs” can always be counted on for plenty of confetti, lasers, ballons, and hordes of happy people dressed as animals.
This year was extra special, because opening was not only one of my favorite bands from NYC, Phantogram, but Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon, playing with the Plastic Ono Band. I will get to that surreal element in a moment. First, Phantogram was AMAZING. I’d actually not had a chance to see them live, and they sounded great and there were plenty of strobe lights. If you’re unfamiliar with their music, start with their 2011 song “When I’m Small” and their 2010 “Mouthful of Diamonds” (which was on my favorite songs of 2010 list). Play them at your next party and everyone will love you and probably dance.
Next was Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band, featuring Sean Lennon. Feel free to arch your eyebrow here, because yes, Yoko Ono of all people was playing at a New Year’s Eve concert in Oklahoma City. I’m not exactly a Yoko Ono fan, but it was pretty awesome to see her freak out Oklahoma City, and I mean that in the positive way, although it did involve a lot of screaming. Later in the evening, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon (yes, that’s John Lennon’s son), and the Plastic Ono Band came back to take the stage with the Flaming Lips and played “Happy Xmas (War is Over).” Can I just say how awesome Sean Lennon’s voice is? Wow:
Is your heart brimming with warmth? Awesome. Then enjoy this group sing-a-long to “Give Peace A Chance”:
Oh right, listen to Scott Booker read the mayor’s declaration that the day be Yoko-Lahoma Day first. Do we celebrate that every year now? I feel like December 31 is already a holiday of some sort…
About halfway through the Flaming Lips’ headlining set, the clock struck midnight (although it looked like 11:55 pm to me, but we were on Wayne Coyne time). There was a torrent of balloons and confetti and confetti filled balloons.
And there were then even more balloons! And we continued to celebrate with more Flaming Lips songs and more John Lennon songs, including “Strawberry Fields”:
And a cover of “She’s So Heavy” that seemed to go on for about half an hour while remaining awesome (it may have been more like 15 minutes, so much smoke and lasers and bass and I lost track of time):
Are you spacing out yet? Freaking out?
Of course, the Flaming Lips played a lot of their own music as well, music that somehow never gets old. They ended the long night with their beautiful “Do You Realize?.” And there’s no other way I’d rather start and end my year than in a shower of swirling confetti with friends singing along with Wayne Coyne to that song:
Awww, that’s what we all look like from stage. Or from the perspective of Kliph Spurlock. Happy 2012 you all!
[PS, it’s a new year and a new blog theme! I’m still experimenting with it. What do you think?]