Photos: The Flaming Lips at the YouTube Theater

The Flaming Lips at YouTube Theater (Photo by Stevo Rood / ARood Photo)


When attending a Flaming Lips show, you can be assured of several things: 1) Wayne Coyne will be wearing a slim-fit, vintage suit, 2) He will goad the audience into cheering, and 3) You will get an over-the-top, super-fun, psychedelic pop experience.

Friday night’s show, typically extravagantly staged at the YouTube Theater, was no exception.

Part of what made the show special was the performance of 2002’s “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” the Lips’ 10th full-length and one of the back-to-back albums (along with 1999’s “The Soft Bulletin”) to propel the band into the mainstream. Two 20th-anniversary special editions of “Yoshimi” — a 100-track, six-CD boxed set and 56-track, five-LP boxed set — have already been released. Also mining the back catalog: “Greatest Hits Vol. 1” is being released on gold vinyl next month.

Performing “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” in its entirety (Friday’s was one of 14 shows on their current tour in which they did so) was a no-brainer, considering it’s arguably their best album. The album has no filler and tells a story. Coyne and company played the album with breaks to explain some of the songs. Throughout the set, the audience was regaled by four giant pink robots wiggling onstage, a giant rainbow, a disco ball, two confetti cannons, smoke machines, vibrant psychedelic graphics onscreen behind the band and dozens of giant, colorful balloons bouncing above the crowd.

After starting the night with the featured album in its entirety, the Lips took a break, then returned for a second set that included two songs from their latest album, 2020’s “American Head,” and others from their long history, including their first radio hit, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (and three others included on the aforementioned Greatest Hits collection).

As always, the Flaming Lips made it feel like a spectacle.

Setlist, Part 1: Fight Test, One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part 2, In the Morning of the Magicians, Ego Tripping at the Gates Of Hell, Are You a Hypnotist?, It’s Summertime, Do You Realize??, All We Have Is Now, Approaching Payonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia). Setlist, Part 2: She Don’t Use Jelly, The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (With All Your Power), Waitin’ For a Superman, Always There, in Our Hearts, Flowers of Neptune 6, Assassins Of Youth, Vein Of Stars, Borderline (Madonna cover), Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung. Encore: My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion. A Spoonful Weighs a Ton, Race For The Prize

Photos by Stevo Rood / ARood Photo