After seeing The Flaming Lips’ crew erecting their video screens and testing their lighting backstage since Thursday morning, we were pretty pumped to see the band — along with heirs Stardeath and White Dwarfs — take our collective state of mind to the dark side of the moon with their adaptation of Pink Floyd’s legendary LP of the same name. Since singer Wayne Coyne is ever the consummate elicitor of crowd participation, and the Lips are perhaps the greatest festival band since the Dead, we, Like any good gaggle of ’Rooers, decided on mushrooms as a pizza topping for our dinner slices before heading over to the Which Stage at midnight to catch what was easily one of the most anticipated shows of the entire festival.
Sure, we could have perched ourselves comfortably on the fringes of the massive crowd, or set up shop on the observation bleachers, but that’s no way to see a Lips show. You’ve gotta be up in the shit. You’ve gotta have a moving mosaic of balloons and confetti raining down on you like thundershowers of joy and positivity. You’ve gotta have the band’s Technicolor dream screen mesmerizing you with a blinding swirl of neon colors and vivid animation. You’ve gotta have Coyne rolling over you in his human hamster ball. Indeed we did. Having seen the band a handful of times, we weren't much surprised by their spectacle of sensory overload, but it was refreshing to see them come out of the gate with a series of songs from last year’s Embryonic before running through live staples like “She Don’t Use Jelly,” “Do You Realize?” and “Yoshimi.” This is what made up the hour-or-so long first set of originals.
Suffice it to say, we weren’t able to commit our undivided attention to the more notable second half of the Lips’ set, but instead had to settle for using it as the soundtrack to some misadventures in babysitting, all the while struggling to keep our own heads together. Whether it was by way of the band’s sonic adaptation or our own harrowing experiences, we’re fairly certain we’ll never hear The Dark Side of the Moon the same way again.