HENRY DILTZ, AFP/Getty Images When Rhode Island's Newport Jazz Festival…
- Posted on Aug 1st 2011 1:15PM by Jonathan Dekel
Shirlaine Forrest, WireImage
As the band played a Muzak version of the band's mega-hit 'Do You Realize??' Wayne explained the situation, officiating in a uniquely Flaming Lips manner. "By the power of the Flaming Lips, the universe and LSD, I now pronounce you man and wife!" he exclaimed as the band kicked in to a full-blown celebratory version of their most famous tune.
It was the end to the most balanced program of the three-day festival, which kicked off July 29. After Friday's top-heavy event (thanks to headliner Eminem) and Saturday's poorly attended finale (Elvis Costello wasn't the draw organizers hoped), it was a welcome change.
The diverse but consistent Sunday program also included Cypress Hill (at 4:20PM, no less), hotly tipped British pop princess Ellie Goulding and the fantastical folk of Beirut. Leading up to the grand finale, the mainstages and sidestages began polarizing the audience, with electro-punks Crystal Castles going up against Canadian heroes the Tragically Hip as Torontonian remix masters MSTRKFT played against the Flaming Lips.
While the Hip managed to draw a surprisingly large crowd from the Francophone set, the pulsing beats of Crystal Castles drew the masses, with their cover of Platinum Blonde's 'Not in Love' (obviously not quite as epic as the recorded version which features the Cure's Robert Smith) drawing thousands of hands in the air and bodies flailing to the beat.
Most then returned to the mainstage area to watch Death Cab for Cutie play a stellar set before the Flaming Lips -- introduced by comedian Jeffery Ross -- played their album about "realizing you're going to die."
Fittingly, 'Soft Bulletin''s long stretches of balladry left many unfamiliar with the album confused, though for fans of the group it was a relished treat. Those who managed to stick around till the end of the set were not only treated to a wedding (officiated after the show by a real minister) but an earnest and uncharacteristically dour Coyne, who took the whole experience to heart.
"Sometimes this [album] f---s me up," he warned the crowd mid-set. And, though he smiled, lasered, confettied (as usual) and officiated, his heart and mind seemed elsewhere.