The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala Melt Faces at Festival Pier in Philly
Mind-blowing. Lasers. Lights. Psychedelic. Confetti – lots of confetti. These words describe Thursday night at Festival Pier in Philly, as co-headliners The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala put the city into one amazing trance. It makes sense that these bands would collide, producing one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time.
Opening the show was The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, led by Sean Lennon (you know, the son of some guy named JOHN LENNON!). Not too many people knew he was a Lennon, but fans were pleasantly surprised and the band was a great ease into the night ahead.
After their set, the crowd watched as a projector screen towered down over the stage; everyone knew what time it was. Tame Impala mellowed through songs from albums “Innerspeaker” and “Lonerism,” with their projected lights synced to lead singer Kevin Parker’s guitar, flowing along to every sound. The band played such hits as “Half Glass Full of Wine,” “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” (which is quite possibly the most beautiful song ever played live), and “Elephant” – which had the packed crowd dancing and singing along.
Even though Kevin Parker is usually shy, he took some time to mention the guys had a chance to wander around Philly and they loved it, and enjoyed playing in front of the Camden Riverfront. Toward the end of Tame Impala’s set, Kevin told the silver-painted fans in the front row they were “champions,” and that he couldn’t wait to see the crowd’s faces during The Flaming Lips.
Once Tame Impala cleared the stage, fans watched as the crew put together Wayne Coyne’s infamous mic stand (if that’s what you want to call it). With every minute the crowd got louder, waiting in anticipation. Wayne walked on stage a few times to say “hi” and get the crowd pepped up.
Suddenly, the lights dimmed, bursts of colors flowed, and the weirdness began. Wayne spent the first portion of the concert cradling a baby. Weird? Yes. Awesome? Yes. Bursts of confetti shot off and fans embraced every moment. Wayne took a moment to say it looked like cars were driving off the Ben Franklin Bridge and made it a point to say if any car actually did, he wanted every person to go and help them.
The Flaming Lips breezed through some songs from their latest album, “The Terror,” while throwing in some old hits like “The W.A.N.D.” As the band wrapped up their set, lights in the form of “LOVE” lit up the stage; as fans hugged, danced, kissed, and threw up heart signs with their hands, they waited anxiously knowing they’d be back out for more.
Shortly after, the band came back out to play a calm rendition of “Do You Realize??” It was utterly beautiful, with every person in the crowd engulfed and truly showing why they call Philly the City of Brotherly Love. As The Flaming Lips said their “thank you’s” and walked off-stage, Louis Armstrong’s “It’s a Wonderful World” rang through the sound system. It was a perfect ending to a truly epic night.
Article by Erika Reinsel