21 October 2002

the flaming lips and beck

The Flaming Lips put on one of the best shows I've ever seen. These guys know how to perform live! The venue, the beautiful Detroit Opera House, failed to disappoint as well.

I met music enthusiast WDA'ers downtown around six for happy hour drinks and food at the Centre Street Pub. It was a nice place, but they were severely understaffed. Thankfully we got our check and made it out when we did. As I approached the Aisle door in the theatre the house lights flashed and music started to blare just as I reached my seat. I didn't look for the time, but I think they started right at 7:30. The house was filling up, but it was only half-full as they started.

The band and throng of people in animal suits scooted on stage to the intro of Bjork's "Play Dead" and the band immediately busted into "Race for the Prize." Next was "Fight Test" and then "Yoshimi." This was the first Lips concert I'd seen and the "Yoshimi" visuals completely blew me away. The lyrics are about a Japanese girl working to save the world from the Robots. The acommpaning video was a mix of one or two Japanese commercials and a completely bizarre movie. In this movie (a little research pointed me at this: Battle Royale) 5 or 6 school girls start to eat lunch, one vomits forth blood and dies, and then they all go crazy and start mowing each other down with guns. sweet jebus!

I don't remember the rest of the set well, but I know I heard "Jelly", "Do You Realize?", "Superman", and "A Spoonful Weighs a Ton." It was really disappointing to see them go, the Lips' set lasted less than an hour.

Beck was good. He played 4 or 5 songs solo before the Lips joined in mid-song. Beck's newest cd had me hesitant. Sea Change is really good, but it's sullen and slow. I feared his show would reflect the mood of the cd. Instead Beck, through his cold, put on an energy-filled and sufficiently-random show. The Flaming Lips helped to keep the mood happy with Wayne constantly egging-on the crowd using poaching lights and a bull-horn. Not having listened to Beck much in a long time, I'd forgotten how much good music he's put out since I first listened to him 8 years ago. Back to the cd racks for me.

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