I can definitively say it was the most wacked-out, feel-good party I have ever been to. In my friend’s words after the concert, “I have never been a part of anything so wonderful.”
I didn’t see the entire festival. Frankly, my friends and I were so fixated on The Flaming Lips, we could hardly stand to wait through the other bands. Objectively, however, it was a solid festival. I can’t say every group lined up with my musical tastes — 30-minutes-a-song jam bands simply aren’t for me; I’m looking at you Railroad Earth — but I can see the appeal of having a wide variety of genre to attract a diverse audience.
Matisyahu put on a good performance, waiting until after sunset in accordance with the Jewish sabbath. His set was comparatively short though — only one hour. Of course, we didn’t complain because of the shear ecstasy of our anticipation for The Flaming Lips, but I would have like to see a bit more from the soul-rapping dub master.
Call me bias — I’ve been a huge Flaming Lips fan since I first heard them — but their show was simply phenomenal. In signature style, lead singer Wayne Coyne entered an inflatable bubble and rolled out onto the crowd, suspended by the countless fans.
At one point, a fan threw a pink robot — avid fans will get the reference — onto the stage and Coyne wore it, using it for a Yoshimi singalong. “This is the first performance where the audience provided the robot costume,” Coyne joked. “We’ll get you your suit back. Thank you.”
Probably the best part of the concert was the feel-good vibe. The Flaming Lips have a unique style of almost overly optimistic, uplifting lyrics. They consciously rub against angsty rock, choosing instead to focus on having fun with tons of props and colors. The atmosphere made the crowd wonderfully happy — and some a bit stoned. Everyone just wanted to have fun and be happy.
Twenty-four hours later, I already know I won’t miss an opportunity to see them perform again.