The Flaming Lips returned to Brooklyn last night for the first of two shows at Bushwick’s Brooklyn Steel. Only the second stop on a world tour, the band returns to the live stage following the pandemic with dates across the US, Canada and the UK into next summer. Special guest and Flaming Lips collaborator Particle Kid provided opening support, featuring a guest appearance by Sean Ono Lennon.
The tragedy of the Astroworld festival last week has not only shocked so many people, but has also changed the mindset of performers and venues alike. Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne began the show with a long speech on the topic, urging fans to look out for everyone around them, promising that they would stop the show in the event someone needed help. He addressed the desire of so many to let their emotions run loose at shows, and he reminded us all that we can still “go crazy” in a good and positive way. This motif continued through the show, with breaks between songs and bright house lights to make sure everyone was safe.
The Flaming Lips released their debut record Here It Is in 1986, and have cultivated an extensive discography ever since. Back in 2020, the band released their sixteenth studio album, American Head via Warner Records. For Record Store Day 2021, the band released The Soft Bulletin Companion on vinyl for the first time ever. The rare recordings are B-sides and early mixes that accompany the band’s early breakthrough record The Soft Bulletin.
One surprise nugget for the evening was the live debut of deep cut “Assassination of the Sun” off the band’s 2003 EP Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell. Afterwards, Wayne addressed the crowd, telling them about his ecstasy seeing a room full of fans enjoy a song they’ve never heard played live. Other essential tracks played included the epic “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Pt. 1,” “Do You Realize??,” and “She Don’t Use Jelly.”
The tour continues with another show tonight at Brooklyn Steel, plus two more New York shows. They’ll be playing on November 12th in Syracuse at Crouse-Hinds Concert Theater, and then in Albany on November 13th at The Palace Theatre. Check out the full run of dates on Song Kick and see our Brooklyn Steel night 1 photo gallery below. Wayne Coyne also has his own cannabis brand, Love Yer Brain, available now.