By Jessica Rionero*
I took a last minute trip to Atlantic City with no real intentions. Between trying to escape Diddy's white party and gambling my youth away I stumbled upon The House of Blues at The Showboat casino. In search of the bar I spotted the marquee exclaiming “ The Flaming Lips 7/4”. There was no ‘Sold Out’ sign preceding it. It was certainly meant to be. Now here comes the disclaimer--- I am not a die-hard fan. Not because I hate them, on contrary- I just have not paid the respect they deserve despite their entire discography that I own thanks to online torrent sites. Nevertheless, a voice from freshman year involving dorm room banter chimed in my head. I recalled a conversation with a trustworthy source that noted that The Flaming Lips in concert has changed his life. Who does not want to change their life? I am ready for some life altering experiences. So three margaritas and 30 dollars later, I attend a pack floor venue right on time at the House of Blues; people sport American Flags and the scent of marijuana, I was ready.
The show commenced with psychedelic visuals following a naked hippie girl spreading her legs for the entire venue to see. I always felt pressured sometimes in standing concerts. I judge, who is really a fan, who is drunk or who is grabbing my ass right now. In this case, the colors and explosions marveled me before my eyes and the flying confetti with the contraptions that the band members were coming out of. Giant assortments of balloon balls surfaced. The band and the audience were one, experiencing together making this show and interactive one. Not just a conventional set that can be seen anywhere. This could not be repeated. Just when there was, no more oxygen left, "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song’s" opening notes hypnotized everyone. Now it is truly rare in my opinion to see a band transcend their record, to sound better in a large hall with unperfected acoustics not to mention a crowd who sings off key blurring out any quality. On that note it was the complete opposite, I felt like I was in my first real rock concert. We just danced to the beat letting singer Wayne Coyne, guild our moves.
There was a point where I felt like I could not rock no more along with the rest of the audience when we were serenaded with Yoshimi Battles the Pink robots Part 1. It made me think of years ago of how I learned the song from someone’s myspace page. I could have melted. I think a few people did. My nostalgic sweat did not stop me then, the set ended with the ever so famous “Do you Realize?” Now some consider this a sad song. And yes, it is but so is life. I think that is the point of the song—Do you realize, that life is a crazy sad bittersweet thing that is indefinable. I mean, do you? I admit it is hard for me to do a proper music review, not my profession but boy do I know experience. The same fellow who suggested this concert to me years ago used to remark we never know what can happen: where life is going to take you. Did I wake up knowing I was going to the concert? God no! Total whim and surprisingly I have been low on spontaneity. Then to see a concert that had that whole “go with it” attitude. If you get a chance revaluate reality with an out of body experience, The Flaming Lips will point you in the right direction.
**Jessica Rionero is a contributing writer to With This I Think I'm Officially A Yuppie. She is a filmmaker and comedian, please be sure to check out Jessica and her team, Pink AxeJuly 31st 7:30 PM at Parkside Lounge (LES). For more info go to www.pinkaxe.com.