Flaming Lips - Sci-Fi Psychedelic Kings of Strange

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As blood poured down his drag queen crown, the red-soaked singer flashed the roaring crowd a wicked grin fit for Hamlet's madness. Never failing to please with their trademark theater of strangeness, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne emerged slowly from the stage of the Greek on Oct. 29th, dressed in a blonde wig and gown, pumping up the fans amidst a cloud of smoke as thick as the blood that rolled down his wild hair from a girl dressed up like Miley Cyrus at the 2013 VMA’s behind.

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Musicians suffer for their art and theatrics, and Coyne played most of the show admittedly uncomfortable by his robes of blood, only made more freezing by the uncharacteristically chilling LA night that Coyne referred to as “the end of the world.” The show followed up their Halloween night spectacular at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and the Santa Barbara Bowl the nights after. All three shows were opened by Tame Impala from Perth, Australia: purveyors of psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock music, famous for their hit “Elephant.” The Flaming Lips are out touring and planting seeds for their very recently released (Oct. 29th) EP The Peace Sword, a sci-fi psychedelic inspired by Orson Scott Card's legendary novel and now Gavin Hood's major motion picture released Nov. 1st, Ender's Game.

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The band played a few songs off their new album, an interstellar invasion of synth sounds, robot-precise drum riffs, and spontaneous human wails that seemed to echo lost from deep space. If  the crowd wasn't aware of the new album's literary and now silver-screen sci-fi origins, they are now.

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 After a string of festivals and shows, the band will join My Morning Jacket in January for a back-to-back lineup of shows at the Riviera Maya, Mexico.

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Text by Chris Ponzi; Photos by Paula Tripodi

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