Oxford life. Thirtysomething challenges. Music leanings. Anything really.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The greatest band in the world.

Lips at Royal Albert Hall, originally uploaded by gravyanecdote.

Years ago, I went to see Mercury Rev play at Oxford Brookes. Some unknown band (to me) were supporting; a band called the Flaming Lips.

That set was simply the most incredible support set I have ever seen. The intensity, wackiness and sheer exuberance of Wayne Coyne was like nothing I had seen. When Mercury Rev came on, I left after two songs: nothing could have topped the Flaming Lips, it was pointless to stay.

Last night, I got to see them for the first time in four years at the Royal Albert Hall. What a night.

1. The venue is itself worth the price of the ticket.
2. 100 white balloons floating over the crowd? Magic!
3. Confetti blowers and party streamer guns showering us all.
4. My friend John sat in the stalls directly beneath us, next to Gryff from Super Furry Animals (and plenty of comedy texts between the two of us through the gig)
5. The whole crowd, and the band, cheering Will, stood next to me, as his glove-puppeted hand finally touches the enormous blue balloon: the first to make it to the upper tier.
6. Friends of friends, dressed as a Santa and an Alien, proposing to each other live on stage following a gushing introduction from Wayne.
7. Extravagant glasses of champagne for £7 a pop.

This gig was the biggest endorphin rush that I have felt for some time.

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