Saturday, April 19, 2003

Don't let those robots eat me

After bombing a telephone interview for a job at a local college Thursday morning I went to Asheville to see the Flaming Lips with Chris and Wendell. They performed at my new favorite venue, the Orange Peel. Did I mention before that the bathrooms at this place are majestic? I've been to stadiums that have bathrooms inferior to the potties at the Orange Peel.

We found a new hotel to stay at in Asheville. It's a wonderful shithole Day's Inn. It's old and the rooms smell of BO, the elevator is scary, the staff is friendly and probably drunk and stoned and the place was filled with people forced to drive 2 hours from Charlotte to see good music. The place may
have been a dump but it was only fifty bucks and with three people that is downright affordable.

I don't know what to say about the show by the Flaming Lips other than to say I doubt very much if there is another band putting on a show
with as much energy and obvious enjoyment.

The opening of the show was one of the best openings I have ever seen. They got a bunch of local young people to wear the animal outfits.
I believe they either won a contest or "knew somebody." I hope they got in free because those 16-20 people danced all night in those hot
outfits. They had a projections screen behind them all night. The band and the animal people come out, an overture starts to play, some
text is projected on the screen to announce the start of the show. Wayne Coyne, dressed in his white Steve Martin suit, raises his arms
each time a new line of text comes up. The text then morphs into dancing topless women. During this time the animal people and Wayne are throwing
large balloons into the audience. A lot of balloons. There must have been ten bouncing around as the show started. After a long instrumental opening they kicked into the first song and as the drummer hit a strong beat Wayne would throw a handful of confetti into the crowd.

By this time the crowd was screaming and dancing and everybody was smiling. It was one of the best openings I have ever seen. I don't recall a band ever giving off such a good positive vibe like that before. This was not a rock and roll show, it was a party. The only thing that could have made the opening better was Paul Stanley in a purple trench coat. It was the atmosphere the Grateful Dead wanted you to think they exhuded.

Key Moment

During the song "Yoshimi battles the Pink Robots" when the line "she's an expert in karate" came up the crowd supplied the "hoo hoo" sound effect with perfect timing. There were a lot of people there that listened to this album a lot.

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