June 6th, 2012

Staff Notes and Photos: Technical Difficulties

The Flaming Lips were pretty good at this past weekend’s Free Press Summer Fest 2012. With significant tech issues, they ended up playing bits of the encore (i.e. a couple of hits) up front, to keep the crowd mollified.

Their rendition of The Dark Side of the Moon itself—interesting. When experimenting with such a well known piece, the question inevitably arises, “Where’s the line in being faithful vs. putting your own stamp on it?” Obviously there’s a challenge there. The Flaming Lip’s “failure” was largely a function of not being cynical/angry enough and that’s hardly a fault.

ArticleImage-SNaP-FreePressSummerFest-06.06.12

— Alexander

Comments

Chuy — Wednesday, June 6, 2012 2:00 pm

Really?? That’s all that was wrong with them? Not Angry enough? No discussion on what the actual technical difficulties were? Did you see the actual set list? Because I had actually heard they were going to play hits first and then do Dark Side weeks ago, so it wasn’t just to please the audience, that was the plan the whole time. How about how they played EVERY song slower than usual, even when they got into Dark Side, and how Wayne was really melancholy the whole set, and maybe the whole band was because they ended every song with a 4x chorus as if it was their last time every playing the song. They weren’t just not angry, they seemed kind of SAD. I left the show worried if Wayne was going to DIE SOON. And I did hear about the medical call to their tent at some point during the Fest, but never heard why.

The only stamp they put on the Dark Side was that they dragged out the transitions from one song to the next, and that was about it. Wayne actually had pretty dead on cover of Syd Barrett’s voice. Maybe Wayne’s still in mourning after Syd’s death and this is actualy all in memorium, which explains the whole melancholy, unorganized, stumblingness of it all. It was really hard to stand through it all, but I only did because I knew it was important to catch it, for better or worse. Worse in this case. Kind of like Weezer trying to cover Radiohead last year.

Alexander — Wednesday, June 6, 2012 7:15 pm

Tech difficulty: stage crew literally had crossed cables.
Stage manager came out trying to trace cables multiple times making apologies to Wayne.

Whether there were additional issues… Nothing I witnessed personally.

Alexander — Wednesday, June 6, 2012 7:33 pm

Given fallout w/Badu (http://consequenceofsound.net/2012/06/erykah-badu-doesnt-like-the-flaming-lips-video-for-the-first-time-i-ever-saw-your-face/) and the expectation that she would be performing with Lips, it seems likely there was some backstage discussion that affected moods.

Wayne had been on site since early afternoon, certainly before Badu arrived.

Wayne managed many smiles early on in the set (should have some additional pics up by tomorrow), but admittedly my view diminished quickly after leaving the pit after the third song. I also thought he sounded particularly irritated with the crowd for failing to pop the “Money” balloons in a timely fashion.

I’m also still fresh from seeing Roger Waters and recognizing how venomous he can manage to sound with little effort.

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