Taste of Chicago 2018
Petrillo Music Shell- Grant Park Chicago
Sat, 7/14/18

The Taste of Chicago and 93XRT both presented the Flaming Lips, with openers Le Butcherettes and Half Gringa (which were under a previous blog post).
Taste of Chicago, which is hosted and sponsored by Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
The Flaming Lips:
Hometown: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Although it might as well be Chicago- as much as they love playing here).
The Flaming Lips: Melodically, their sound contains lush, multi- layered, psychedelic rock arrangements, but there’s more to the story than that: simply because the Flaming Lips performing live, with Wayne Coyne front and center, have developed a stage show that adapts to any circumstance and circumstances, as was the case at the Taste of Chicago, what with a starting time at 5:30 in the late afternoon, and safety precautions in place where it was not feasible for Wayne to roll around the crowd in a giant inflatable see through ball, as is often the case at a Flaming Lips show.
Instead, Wayne, in giant inflatable ball, was rolled around the aisles of the Petrillo Music Shell on a giant rolling crate, still getting close to his fans, but more secure from whatever.
No matter- It still works as far as Flaming Lips performances go.
Everything’s on the table with Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips music wise: You get elements of space rock, sci fi rock, lots of featured costumes and giant inflatable Yoshimi pink robots, lots of stuff to throw around, giant inflatable balloons as far as the eye can see, an elaborate unicorn which Wayne rides around the pavilion on, usually large amounts of confetti, but alas, not for a Taste of Chicago at 5:30 in the afternoon show- and well – you get the idea.
The Flaming Lips are defining what a celebration of life is all about- which over time, has centered on this idea, and letting loose with whatever can convey that meaning and go forth.
Yep- their you have it on both sides, band to audience: go forth and have fun, even if some stuff is a compromise for the Taste of Chicago.
So it comes down to multiple takes on the same subject regarding the Flaming Lips- such as:
Looking for a spiritual experience? Why not go to a Flaming Lips Show!
Everyone, crowd and band, were smiling from ear to ear- both feeling the love and energy, both basking in the joy and wonderment and the spectacle of it all.
And even though we had an abbreviated setlist to contend with – it still produced the nuggets necessary to make a Flaming Lips show quite special:
Opening with “Race for the Prize”, into of course “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part I”, into “Fight Test”, into “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (With All Your Power)”.
No letup with the Flaming Lips seen here.
Then, “There Should Be Unicorns”, and away we go with Wayne Coyne riding around the pavilion on a giant rainbowed up unicorn and having a grand ol’ time.
Me- as much as I like all of the above, I still am fond of “The W.A.N.D”, and it’s magical powers, followed by the set closer “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton”, with the inflatable ball intact and ready to go forth to the masses.
The encore: “Do You Realize??’
But of course.
Makes for a splendid late afternoon / early evening with the Flaming Lips at Taste of Chicago.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bobby Talamine – Music Photographer


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