For years now, as a regular part of Flaming Lips concerts, Wayne Coyne has gotten into a giant plastic bubble and sang from within it. Now, during the pandemic, that concept is about as fitting as it has ever been. That fact isn’t lost on the band, as they have given a performance where everybody was in bubbles, both band and audience. Coyne shared a clip from the performance yesterday, and it’s certainly a unique sight.
The performance apparently had two purposes: To test the idea of doing a full-on bubble concert, and as a video shoot, according to Brooklyn Vegan. Setlist.fm notes the band only performed two songs and played each twice: American Head tracks “Brother Eye” and “Assassins Of Youth.”
In an interview last week, Coyne explained how the idea came about, saying:
“I made a little cartoon commentary of a Flaming Lips concert in 2019 where I’m the only one in a bubble and then a Flaming Lips concert in 2020 where everyone is in a bubble on stage and in the crowd. That was at the start of quarantine in March when we thought it would be over in a month. But The Late Show With Stephen Colbert got a hold of me and asked if we’d want to do one of these concerts where you play from home. So we said we’d do it in the space bubbles. It took us a month or two to figure out the logistics so we didn’t even really know if this would still be going on by the time it aired but that was in June, and after that I ordered 100 space bubbles to be made in China. It’s taken a while but I finally have them here, so a half-hour ago I was in a big venue where we set up a hundred space bubbles for 300 audience members to be in while we play a show.”
He continued to speak about the logistical challenges with this sort of performance, saying, “We, The Flaming Lips, already know how to do space bubbles and we know what people do when they’re in the bubbles. The part that we’re trying to get down is what does the crowd do about going to the bathroom and getting drinks? We don’t want this to be like that Smash Mouth [concert]. We want this to be safe and a great experience. Those are the things the venue is allowing us to set up so we can start to figure out how it will work. The part about playing in the bubble, we already have down. It’s how we get the crowd in and out without cross-contamination that we need to figure out, but they’re giving us a few weeks in this venue to figure it out. We’re thinking this will probably happen after the election.”
Watch a clip from the performance above.
The Flaming Lips is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.