Mark Metcalfe, Getty When the Flaming Lips played Spinner's free NXNE show in…
- Posted on Jun 12th 2011 12:27PM by Benjy Eisen
Noel Vasquez, Getty Images
And, in true Lips fashion, complete with their standard stage filled with costumed dancers plucked from the crowd, smoke machines, confetti rockets and giant balloons, the band delivered a Saturday night set that meant business from the start, opening with their two biggest hits in a one-two punch: 'Do You Realize?' and 'She Don't Use Jelly.'
And while Coyne acknowledged that it was a Saturday night for the band as well -- they planned on staying on-site all night, catching Ghostland Observatory's late-night show at the Techno-Tribal Community Dance, the night was especially celebratory for them as it was multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd's birthday. He turned 42. Appropriate for any guy his age, he went out into the audience before the set and got his face painted all crazy. "We're glad you were born," said Coyne, sincerely.
But when Drozd went to take out his iPhone, Coyne informed the crowd that his right-hand man wasn't phoning in the performance just because it was his big day. "He has his telephone out, in his hand," Coyne said. "I don't want you to think that he's getting a telephone call while he's playing. He's not texting his friends. He could actually tweet while he's playing, but he's not. He's good enough that he could do all of those things and play at the same time, but I'm here to tell you that he's not."
No, insisted Coyne, instead Drozd joined the growing rank of musicians who use their iPhones as instruments, performing on it for the dub-step influenced track, 'Is David Bowie Dying?,' from a recent limited-edition 12" collaboration with Neon Indian. And while Drozd said that he would, in fact, tweet, Coyne assured the audience that the band was riding shotgun with the crowd: "We don't want you to think that it's his birthday and he's texting with all of his friends. He's with all of you. We're here with all you motherf---ers tonight; this is our place!"
Towards the end of the set, Coyne drew attention to the fact that Grace Potter, who played on the main stage directly before the Lips, performed a cover of 'White Rabbit.' "I love that f---ing song," Coyne declared. "I love all rabbits, too. But since they did a Jefferson Airplane song, that all means one thing. Doesn't that mean that we have to do Pink Floyd?" Yes, that must have been what it meant because, indeed, the band launched into their cover of 'Brain Damage/Eclipse,' ironically bringing to mind their full 'Dark Side of the Moon' performance from Bonnaroo, exactly one year ago. In Flaming Lips speak, we call that full circle.
Oh, and, by the way: Drozd was tweeting from the stage, after all. Sorry, Wayne.