Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day Of The Dead with Flaming Impala

01 NOVEMBER, 2013

Could there be a more fortuitous mating than the combination of the Flaming Lips and Tame Impala in the Santa Barbara Bowl for Day Of The Dead? As Wayne Coyne himself observed from stageside: "I wish this could be every day". Our community held up their end, with a nice percentage of the crowd boasting painted faces, and a troop of dancers who entertained between sets, and invading the stage during Tame Impala. Also notable was a memorial set up in the glen to stars that have played the Bowl and since passed, including Bob Marley and Joe Strummer.
 Flaming Lips always rise to an Occasion, (remember their gig at Hollywood Forever Cemetery?), and this was no exception. Kicking off with a Miley Cyrus lookalike perched on top of a bear pouring a bucket of blood on Wayne Coyne in a recreation of Carrie pretty much covers your need to know. As with latter-day Lips shows, it's all about spectacle and the execution of concept, and it rarely gets more executed than that. Musically, it hewed largely to The Terror, devoting almost half the set to their most recent release, and, given the date, couldn't have been more timely. As always, its easy to overlook in the spectacle, but the contributions of core members Michael Ivins, Kliph Scurlock, and Steven Drozd are what keep this spaceship running. Time and again, it was their soundtrack that made this movie work. "Silver Trembling Hands" provided a high point, as well as a knockout combination of "The Terror" into "Race For The Prize". Abandoning the madness of the pit to climb up above provided a majestic view of the proceedings by the time they made it to "Spoonful Weighs A Ton", and all told, there could be no finer way to end a concert season.
old faithful
 Tame Impala, while we've heard them both inside, (Fonda Theater), and outside before, (Golden Gate Park), have never sounded quite as heavenly as inside the confines of the County Bowl. Their waves of sound bounced warmly around the walls of the venerable (WPA-era) structure, and filled all with a warm glow. Aside from cherry-picking their two full-lengths, they found time to drop the bottom out of "Elephant", segueing into Michael Jackson's "Thriller", accompanied by the aforementioned troop of local dancers, and showed off their cover of Flaming Lips "Are You A Hypnotist", joined by main man Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd on drums.

Wayne Coyne lends a hand to Tame Impala

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