Narrative Essay: The Flaming Lips

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Approaching the ginormous concrete amphitheater that is the Auditorio Nacional (National Auditorium) of Mexico City, I felt like I was going to see the likes of a Soviet orchestra perform instead of the Flaming Lips—until I was greeted by booming electronic music and cigarette smoke at its outdoor entrance. It turns out that The Flaming Lips were concluding the first day of TAG CDMX, a three day interdisciplinary festival that invites innovators from the realms of music, movies, design, culinary arts, and technology to discuss their creative process through various conferences, workshops, and performances. Earlier that evening inside the same stone Auditorio Nacional, director Spike Jonze had given a conference on “breaking the mold” in independent …show more content…
Another group of inflatable creatures joined the band on stage, this time two suited frogs and a giant Santa Claus, while digitalized naked girls danced between rainbow traces. The power of the song had captivated us from the balcony and beyond; finally I felt like more than just a spectator of a Flaming Lips spectacle.

Before closing the show with an overly forced encore of “Do you realize??“ (the Mexican crowd cheering during its lyrical reflections of death) , the band performed my favorite song of the night, “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton” off their 1999 album The Soft Bulletin. Everything about this song was heightened—from the bossa nova 3:2 electronic drum pattern, to the lyrics.

“Forcing it off with their hands, the trap door came undone”— these words, while perhaps some of the only lyrics I could heard clearly throughout the night, resounded with me in that they brilliantly sum up what it is the Flaming Lips do with their music and live performance. They open a trap door of endless possibilities, and in the enormous, bustling, overcast environment of Mexico City, I couldn’t think of a more inspirational and fitting call for creativity

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