How The Flaming Lips Bring The Warmth Of Concerts To Crowds Despite The Pandemic : World Cafe : World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN The Flaming Lips are finding ways to bring grand, life-affirming live performances to audiences in a time when those comforts might be needed more than ever.

How The Flaming Lips Bring The Warmth Of Concerts To Crowds, Despite The Pandemic

The Flaming Lips On World Cafe

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Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips George Salisbury/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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George Salisbury/Courtesy of the artist

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips

George Salisbury/Courtesy of the artist

Set List

  • "Will You Return/When You Come Down"
  • "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Pt. 1"
  • "Dinosaurs On The Mountain"

The most memorable live show I've seen was by The Flaming Lips. It was in June 2012, the same day Radiohead's Toronto show was cancelled, after one of their drum techs died in a tragic stage collapse. The week before, there was a shooting in one of Toronto's popular malls, located in its downtown core.

The city was shaken. Despite this, thousands of people still gathered to watch The Flaming Lips play a free show, in the square right outside that same mall. What I witnessed was an explosion of color, confetti, music, love, life-affirming warmth and humanity — all of which served as a reminder that, while the world can be a scary, dark place, we still have each other. It was a healing, religious experience, a common way to describe the experience of a Flaming Lips show.

We talked to Wayne Coyne, frontman of The Flaming Lips, about its new album American Head and how it has been able to continue bringing a standard of live performances to audiences safely during the pandemic, a time when those comforts might be needed more than ever.

Episode Playlist