Earlier this month, The Flaming Lips launched the newest post-COVID concert advancement in characteristically “Flaming Lips” fashion. The psych-pop outfit performed a concert at the Criterion in their hometown of Oklahoma City where each member of the audience was contained in their own plastic bubble. On Wednesday, The Flaming Lips shared pro-shot footage of the band’s performance of “Assassins of Youth” from the show, giving audiences a glimpse at the latest innovation in sanitary concerts.
One of the hallmarks of The Flaming Lips’ live shows is frontman Wayne Coyne entering a plastic bubble and rolling across the audience in a revamped take on crowdsurfing. This latest effort allowed the entire crowd to get in on the action, and on October 14th, the group mounted what appeared to be a successful test run.
The live cut of the American Head track features guitarist Steven Drozd on the opening vocals, though his voice is heavily filtered through effects as well as a megaphone. Meanwhile, Coyne takes flight as he launches across the heads of audience—which numbered 100 people, each in their own bubbles. As Coyne pumped up the crowd and got the balls bouncing, he made it across the audience only to retake vocals duties from the middle of the room.
While Coyne and Drozd trade vocal duties throughout the song, the stole was definitely stolen by Wayne. One touching display came when the enigmatic frontman placed his hand against that of an audience member while they were separated by plastic. This display perfectly encapsulated the larger metaphor of this Flaming Lips concert, which was to bring everyone together while still maintaining distance.
Watch The Flaming Lips perform “Assassins of Youth” in Oklahoma City before an audience of 100 plastic bubbles.
The Flaming Lips – “Assassins of Youth” [Live Video]