When the Flaming Lips took to the stage during the Forecastle Music Festival, the lawn was packed to capacity. But for the charmed 100 privileged enough to catch the band’s private show at the Muhammad Ali Center the next morning, seeing the band on the big stage was just the beginning.
The hour-long session was not a typical concert, offering the crowd a glimpse into the history of the band.
“That’s what we’re here to do—to tell the story of the Flaming Lips,” frontman Wayne Coyne said.
The Oklahomans dived in with 1999’s “Race for the Prize,” which seemed appropriate for the venue. Next they played the band’s first-ever song, “Bag Full of Thoughts,” then jumped ahead to ‘87 with “Love Yer Brain” and “Unconsciously Screamin’” before going into the history of Hit Death in the Future Head’s “You Have to Be Joking [Autopsy of the Devil’s Brain].” The Lips discussed running into legal troubles, having recorded the track while watching Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and recording the theme from right out of the TV speakers. They sent the song to Brazil’s composer, Michael Kamen, who said, “Great demo you got there, can’t wait to hear the finished product.” So all was…well?
The Lips started to wind down the afternoon set with their hit “She Don’t Use Jelly,” the tune that got them mentioned on Beavis and Butthead and led to a spot on Beverly Hills 90210 (a “low and high point in Flaming Lips career,” joked Steven Drozd). After conducting a vote that wasn’t really much of a vote (note: Coyne voted for “The Terror”), they closed with uber-hit “Do You Realize??” and ended the hour-long show on a high note.
Check out photographer Julia Rickles’ images from the event in the gallery below.
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