There I was, gearing up to attend my fifth Flaming Lips gig, wearing an outfit that included at least 2 more colours than I’d usually prefer to be seen in. Regardless, when I heard they were celebrating the 20th anniversary of their album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots with a 3-date UK tour, I couldn’t resist adding a splash of pink and so I found myself at the O2 Apollo Manchester, ready to dive into their kaleidoscopic world once more.
You might think I’d be immune to their theatrics by now, but as soon as the band launched into “Fight Test,” the first track of their classic Yoshimi album, I was instantly reminded why I keep coming back for more. The Flaming Lips’ live shows are like a psychedelic carnival, complete with confetti, balloons, and Wayne Coyne’s infectious energy. It’s impossible not to get swept up in the madness, and that night was no exception.
The first set of the show was a nostalgic trip down memory lane, as the band performed the entirety of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Each song was a vibrant reminder of the early 2000s when the album first hit the scene. It’s hard to believe it’s been two decades since we first heard the tale of Yoshimi and her pink robot adversaries. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?
The second set showcased a fantastic mix of tracks from the band’s vast discography, including a surprising cover of Madonna’s “Borderline.” I mean, who knew The Flaming Lips could pull off an ’80s pop classic? Well we all did as the crowd loved it, and so did I. The set was a testament to the band’s versatility and creativity, proving that they’re still as relevant and innovative as ever.
What really struck me throughout the show was how The Flaming Lips have an unparalleled ability to connect with their audience. The atmosphere at the O2 Apollo was like a communal celebration, with everyone singing along, dancing, and losing themselves in the music. The band’s message of love and unity was palpable, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of camaraderie with my fellow concert-goers.
The encore was a bittersweet ending to the night, featuring some of the band’s most emotional tracks like “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” and “Race for the Prize.” It was the perfect way to round off a night filled with nostalgia, laughter, and a few tears.
So, there you have it. Another Flaming Lips gig under my belt, and I’m still just as enamoured with their live performances as I was the first time. If you’re a music fan of having a good time then I can’t recommend their shows enough. They’re a surreal, uplifting experience that’ll leave you buzzing for days afterward.
The Flaming Lips’ 20th-anniversary celebration of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots was a night to remember, and I’m already looking forward to the next time they grace the UK with their presence. If you haven’t seen them live yet, do yourself a favour and grab a ticket the next time they’re in town. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 2
In the Morning of the Magicians
Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell
Are You a Hypnotist??
Do You Realize??
All We Have Is Now
Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)
She Don’t Use Jelly
Silver Trembling Hands
Why Does It End?
Will You Return / When You Come Down
Assassins of Youth
Borderline (Madonna cover)
Moth in the Incubator
Mother I’ve Taken LSD
Feeling Yourself Disintegrate
A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
Race for the Prize
Check out the below photo gallery from Alex Cropper.