Review by Kelly Besaw
Photos by Chris Besaw
The Flaming Lips along with special guest Particle Kid made a stop at the Crouse Hinds Theater in Syracuse, NY Friday November 12. Both bands brought a blend of auditory and visual performance art to an enthusiastic bunch of fans.
Particle Kid, fronted by Micah Nelson, kicked off the evening. I have seen Micah perform many times with his brother Lukas, father Willie, his other band Insects Vs. Robots and Particle Kid. He and his family are huge supporters of Farm Aid and perform at the annual festival. It was great to see Particle Kid perform with the visuals as intended. From the opening song, “Velocirapture (the Serpent Flew)” to the last notes of “American Life” fans were engaged. The cover of Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song” was a unique spin, and everyone went nuts for the fan favorite “Everything is Bullshit.”
Micah has an amazing voice and is clearly a creative individual. Check out his artwork on Particle Kid’s website particlekid.com. You can even commission a painting. I had an opportunity to talk to Micah after the show. He seems like a genuinely nice, kindhearted guy. I cannot wait to see what he has planned for the future.
Prior to the Flaming Lips taking the stage, founder and front man, Wayne Coyne, took a few minutes to test out his latest stage prop, a remote-controlled bird that he, “found online for twelve bucks.” Before letting the bird loose over the crowd, Coyne warned everyone to pay attention because he did not want anyone to lose an eye. The bird circled around the audience a few times before successfully landing back on the stage. The rest of the band appeared and started off with “My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion.” Coyne spent most of the show singing from inside an inflatable bubble. He made a number of quick “outside the bubble” appearances including during “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1” where he sang from under a giant inflatable pink robot and shot streamers at the crowd from a cannon.
Coyne tactfully touched on the recent Astroworld tragedy by encouraging the fans to “take care of each other.” He indicated that if anyone were in trouble, the band would stop the show until they were ok. The band paused several times as the house lights came up to ask if everyone was good.. I honestly cannot remember being at a show where fans were so happy, and everyone was having a wonderful time.
Coyne’s vocals melded perfectly with longtime member Steven Drozd’s as fans sang alongside them to “She Don’t Use Jelly.” Micah Nelson joined the band onstage for “Will You Return/When You Come Down.” Coyne insisted that Micah wanted everyone to, “scream as loud as they can during Nelson’s guitar solo.” The crowd obliged, screaming their heads off through Micah’s ripping solo.
Toward the end of their set, Coyne encouraged everyone who had been holding back to let loose because they only had a few songs left. The Lips ended their set with “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” before coming back for a three-song encore. During the first two songs, fans had the pleasure of bouncing a giant inflatable ball filled with gold glitter around the venue. The night ended with the climatic “Race for the Prize,” loads of confetti and giant balloons spelling out F*ck Yeah Syracuse.
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