Early Returns: The Flaming Lips at Bimbo’s

Published on February 22nd, 2012 by

The first night of Noise Pop started with a big bang – the repeated bangs of large confetti cannons, streamer guns and popping balloons. I was there front and center shooting the show for Noise Pop along with my talented friend and colleague Charlie Homo. I’m only about half done with the pix, but I wanted to share a few images and thoughts before focusing on shooting tonight’s Grimes show at The Rickshaw Stop.

This was my Third Flaming Lips show and the second time I’ve had the privilege to see The Flaming Lips perform The Soft Bulletin in its entirety. (The first Soft Bulletin performance was at Sasquatch 2011.)

My friend Jonathan Pirro has an excellent show write-up and review (featuring some of my pix) over at Spinning Platters. One of my bastardized pictures can also be found in SPIN’s review.

Here I just want to include a few of my own odd waxings.

I found it interesting that Wayne wore the same outfit at both performances of The Soft Bulletin. At this performance, we were treated with lots of intimate banter about the songs and memories associated with making the music back in 1998. The Lips really give it their all when they perform, whether it’s an intimate nightclub like Bimbo’s or a huge outdoor amphitheater like the Gorge. To me, the big difference is the audience. I was pleasantly surprised to see almost every one of my San Francisco music friends at last night’s performance. Given the scarcity of tickets, and comps, I was pretty impressed. It was an odd mixture of rabid fans that had traveled from distant cities, San Francisco die-hard music nerds, and Noise Pop staff. I’m not sure how to describe the table-seated crowd in the rear of the venue, but they were there, chatting and drinking, too something to stand.

The only time I’ve smelled more pot at a show was the Phish sets at Outside Lands 2011.

I think the lips used the same amount of confetti and streamers as they normally would at a festival, because by the time the night was over, the confetti was at least an inch thick on stage, and it completely covered the blonde wooden dance floor of the club. One intrepid concert goer braved the buried bottles and grime to make a confetti show angel in the middle of the rainbow colored debris.

The small stage, plethora of instruments, light tubes, cannons and frequent smoke machine eruptions made it hard to see all the performers, but it sounded delightful. Wayne spent a great deal of time seemingly apologizing for all the dark lyrics, song after song. I think it must be hard for him to go back and revisit and album in such an intense way. But he assured the audience on multiple occasions that seeing everyone singing these sad thoughts in unison created a great deal of happiness. I think he’s right – songs are the best way us humans have for sharing our sadness, and knowing that the melancholy us understood by another brings just enough joy and happiness to keep up going and make life worth living.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. Posted by malvenkemo on February 22nd, 2012, 22:31

    Cool review and awesome photos. By the way, “Bimbo’s” has an apostrophe in it. Otherwise, it’d likely be a nudie bar.