Words & Photos by Rod Snyder

“Fuck Yeah Philadelphia”

Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips rode into Philly on their sparkly unicorns this past weekend, for their first appearance in the Philadelphia area since 2018. The performance also marked their return to indoor shows since the Covid Pandemic first started, in what seems like years and years ago. The band has stuck to playing outdoor music festivals this year and didn’t really perform in 2020, but starting with this sold out show at The Fillmore, The Lips are playing a short string of 8 indoor gigs. As Coyne said during the show, they don’t play a lot of dates, as compared to other bands, but every show they play, they give 110%!

This show was a bit different. While the band played an energetic set, some things were missing from their normal technicolor experience – not by their fault, but mostly due to Covid. For one, the balloons that usually get released into the crowd were visibly absent. Coyne explained to the crowd that the band was trying to be responsible during these times, and that the balloons are touched by hundreds of people, and could possibly transmit Covid. He assured the crowd that they will return in the future though. There was lots of confetti and Pink Robots though, and of course the “Fuck Yeah Philadelphia” balloon. Wayne wore a mask during the show, except for times he was in the bubble. Before the show started, Coyne addressed the crowd, saying that they wanted everyone to have the “best night of their lives tonight”, and he would check on the crowd in between each song and see how they were doing. It was clear that he genuinely cared about the people in the audience.

A majority of the songs performed on this night were from their 2020 release, “American Head”. This is understandable, as these songs haven’t received much road time. The opener “My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion” was played tonight for the first time since 2006 and featured a small, flying robotic bird, which Coyne held inside his bubble. Other highlights included an inflated rainbow onstage, and the first release of confetti into the crowd, during “Do You Realize??”, a crowd favorite. Fans also got a “first time played” with the song “Why Does It End?” from the band’s “At War with the Mystics” release.

In the end, it was a fun and enjoyable show, but I look forward to the return of the many balloons, more confetti, and unicorns roaming through the crowd!!

TheWaster.com | Philly