WORDS BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY DEAN BIRKHEIMER | Go Venue Magazine
Friday, June 16 was the day The Flaming Lips rolled into Omaha to play the Steelhouse, the recently opened music venue. Downtown Omaha was bustling between this and the College World Series, but this was really the place to be as they played for just over two-and-a-half hours, including Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots in full to coincide twenty years of that album.
The Flaming Lips, originally from Oklahoma City, went on around 8:40 PM to a full crowd of fans. They had a very interesting and intriguing stage setup with all the band members lined up in a row and a video board. In honor of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ 20th anniversary, they had these giant inflatable pink robots on the stage. It was an incredible combination of visuals and music that I have ever seen. They showed the lyrics of each song in sync with their performance. The Flaming Lips also know where to put their lasers in their production because it was blissful eye candy. Wayne Coyne is one of the greatest frontmen of all time, and this performance cemented that for me. His vibe reminds me of a liberal arts college professor who is also a time traveler. His voice traveled from the stage to the back of the venue. I also loved the dueling percussionists Matt Duckworth Kirksey and Nicholas Ley with their green wigs. They looked like they had a blast. Wayne Coyne during the set remarked that though their songs may be sad, he was just happy that the audience felt welcomed to just scream until their heart’s content. Many floating balls of confetti were also thrown around, just making this a full-out party. For the final couple of songs, Wayne Coyne brought out the famous bubble that he goes into. I kinda wished he went into the crowd with it, but I totally understand the chaos of having to be in there. The Flaming Lips, for forty years, have created such a live experience, both musically and visually, that is worthwhile to see at least once in your life. I am happy that I finally got to see this band and am looking forward to the documentary about this tour that they are on right now.