By Joshua Mellin | July 10th, 2011
This past week The Flaming Lips presented their perennial work, The Soft Bulletin, on back-to-back nights at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.
The “Best of 1999″ album includes such classics as: “The Spider Bite Song,” chronicling the time multi instrumentalist Steven Drozd nearly had to have his hand amputated; “Waitin’ For A Superman,” which Wayne described as “too much of a motherfucker not to get emotional,” before actually appearing to tear up; and confetti exploding astronomical anthems about death like “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton.”
Playing before a raucous sold out crowd that included a Richard Nixon masked acid freak, a first time shroomer Wayne calmed throughout the night, and even a few newborn babies (seriously), the band pulled out all the stops for their trip to the Second City.
“A lot of people actually think the Flaming Lips are from Chicago,” Wayne mused, “but we are not – we are from Oklahoma.” The Aragon holds special significance to the band who have played some legendary shows in this very ballroom. Ringing in New Years with the White Stripes in 2004, four years ago I first saw Wayne descend from the Ballroom’s painted cosmic skies in a saucer disc — there’s few places I’d rather see them.
In the time since, their show has only evolved and their sound has only expanded. Writing about a Flaming Lips experience can be a pretty fruitless endeavor. Their show is one to be experienced first hand, the sights, the scene! Balloons, confetti, babies!
Closing both nights with dual encores that featured Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage” and the Official Rock Song of Oklahoma, the defining “Do You Realize?”, I had barely realized I’d seen the same show two nights in a row.
Check out photos from the shows below:
Photos by Joshua Mellin.