by Jamie Robash
photo by George Salisbury
The Flaming Lips began their career in 1983 as a somewhat goofy-sounding band that made somewhat goofy-sounding music. The ’93-released “She Don’t Use Jelly” brought the Lips their first brush with semi-stardom and threatened to derail them into one-hit-wonder terrain until the deeply personal lyricism and wispy-tinged rock of The Soft Bulletin made its debut in ’99. Bulletin garnered near universal critical acclaim, but 2002’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots certified both their both cult and mainstream status. Yoshimi is a dreamy electronic lullaby, an introspective record dealing with heady situations, facing challenges, and coming to terms with one’s own mortality. The band famously offsets all of this harshing of mellows with an ever-flamboyant eye-gasm of laser lights, pyrotechnics, colossal amounts of confetti, and frontman Wayne Coyne plodding over the audience in a gigantic blowup hamster ball. With a full play of Yoshimi at Riot Fest, it’s the most fun you’ll ever have while confronting your own mortality.