Normally at a gig you would expect to see glitter confetti and giant inflatable aliens in some exquisite grand finale at the end of a set (you wouldn’t “NORMALLY” expect to see it at a gig at all, but you know what I mean) – but this was how The Flaming Lips opened their set at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Monday night. Not only that, but they opened with The Abandoned Hospital Ship – a song they hadn’t played live since they first played this venue some 18 years ago.
The Flaming Lips aren’t like any other ordinary band, though, and their brand of euphoric, psychedelic rock is complimented beautifully by the multi-coloured explosion of lights, the glitter showers and the dancing inflatable cartoon characters that regularly roam the stage.
With his skin-tight crimson bodysuit and tinsel overcoat Wayne Collins is like a mad scientist directing a series of chaotic experiments in the laboratory of a stage. From the anthemic Do You Realize?? and the irrepressible sing-along of Yoshmi Battles The Pink Robots Part 1 to the dystopian garage rock of Virgo Self-Esteem Broadcast – performed by Collins standing atop a fairy light strewn platform whilst cradling a baby doll – this was an exhilarating set with as many moments of musical brilliance as there were theatrical wonder.