Bayou City

Robots, Plastic Horses, Bowie... Just Another Flaming Lips Show

This was one of the quieter moments of Friday's show.
This was one of the quieter moments of Friday's show. Photo by Eric Sauseda
The Flaming Lips, Mac DeMarco
Revention Music Center
September 29, 2017

The Flaming Lips put on one of the best shows you’ll ever see.

Assuming you’re into psychedelic rock, their music is quite good. But no matter your musical leanings, the Lips’ live performances are legendary. You could wear noise-canceling earmuffs to a show, and you’d still end up seeing one of the most entertaining live performances of any act in the business these days.

Friday night, at a packed Revention Music Center, Wayne Coyne and his band pulled out all the stops for their latest visit to the Bayou City, where they have become favorites at festivals and venue grand openings.


click to enlarge Nice to see you again too, Lips. - PHOTO BY ERIC SAUSEDA
Nice to see you again too, Lips.
Photo by Eric Sauseda
As the Lips emerged onstage, balloons and streamers were released above the crowd. As they performed "Race For the Prize," the opening track from their ninth LP, The Soft Bulletin – which turned 18 this year – Coyne waved a group of balloons reading “Fuck Yeah Houston” high in the air.

During “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” a gigantic, inflatable robot took center stage as Coyne sang of a young girl fighting for her survival. He even slapped the robot’s groin to cheers from the crowd. Coyne later disappeared backstage before re-emerging in the crowd, sitting atop a plastic riding horse for “There Should Be Unicorns,” a track from the band’s latest release, Oczy Mlody.

With 14 albums to their name, the Lips are never at a loss when it comes to putting together a set list. Nonetheless, the Oklahoma rockers found space in Friday’s show to pay tribute to a recently deceased legend when they performed “Space Oddity” halfway through their show.

click to enlarge Yoshimi 1, Pink Robot 0 - PHOTO BY ERIC SAUSEDA
Yoshimi 1, Pink Robot 0
Photo by Eric Sauseda
It was during David Bowie’s iconic track that Coyne rode his signature bubble out onto fans’ hands, breathing new life into the shtick and providing the song with some fitting imagery.


The Lips’ set was short, all things considered, spanning only 11 songs in roughly an hour. But it was so dense, jam-packed with lights and props, that when it was all over, no one leaving the venue thought anything of it.

click to enlarge Mac DeMarco had a rather intriguing way to hold the crowd's attention Friday. - PHOTO BY ERIC SAUSEDA
Mac DeMarco had a rather intriguing way to hold the crowd's attention Friday.
Photo by Eric Sauseda
Before the Lips’ performance, Mac DeMarco divided concertgoers with his jazzy sounds and childish antics. A small but enthusiastic group of fans pushed past Flaming Lips fans to see the up-and-coming artist who, at one point, began spitting straight up into the air until he was able to land a loogie in his own mouth.

Half the crowd cheered; the other half groaned. His personality notwithstanding, Demarco’s music was well-received overall, save for a man in the back who wouldn’t stop jeering.

click to enlarge Gotta respect a band with great taste in stagewear. - PHOTO BY ERIC SAUSEDA
Gotta respect a band with great taste in stagewear.
Photo by Eric Sauseda
FLAMING LIPS SET LIST
Race for the Prize
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1
There Should Be Unicorns
Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung
The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
How??
Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)
Are You a Hypnotist??
A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
Almost Home
Do You Realize??
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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever