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The Flaming Lips performed with the band and fans locked in plastic bubbles

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Oklahoma City’s rock musicians are literally exploding in 2020, using inflatable human-sized bubbles to defend themselves and their fans against Covid-19 while finding a way to perform live.

Performing at The Criterion in their hometown on Monday night, the Flaming Lips placed themselves – along with all of the fans in attendance – into individual plastic spheres. The concert – which was part of a live show and music video shoot – was born from a sketch scribbled by Wayne Coyne at the start of the pandemic, the frontman told CNN.

“I did a little drawing … where I drew a picture of The Flaming Lips doing a show in 2019. And I’m the only person in the space bubble, and everyone is just normal,” said Coyne told CNN over a phone. interview Friday. “Then (I did another drawing with) The Flaming Lips which was playing a show in 2020. The same script, but I’m in a bubble, and so are everyone.”

At the time, Coyne says, the idea was more or less a social commentary on the state of the virus, with the thought that Covid-19 would never linger long enough to see the bubble experience fully inflate. .

“I don’t think anybody would have thought … in mid-March that it would continue, you know, eight months later. I think we all thought it was a month, maybe two months, but we let’s figure that out, ”he said.

Coyne and the group first unveiled the concept during a visit in May to “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”.

This prompted them to continue.

“We do a few songs with about 30 people in the bubbles. And we start to think, ‘Well, you know, just by doing that, we start to have an idea that we could actually do it, you know, and it could actually happen, ”Coyne revealed.

“Space bubbles” have long been a part of Flaming Lips’ live performances, which is why Coyne and his company were familiar with a series of inflatable orbs. After defining the specs, the band ordered 100 bubbles from China, and this one-off musical event – a first drawn on Coyne’s sketchbook – was ready to explode.

“Since May, the desire to see live music has just grown, you know, more and more,” he told CNN, noting that fans interested in the test drive had to get to The Criterion between 6:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET.

“Just a little after six o’clock we had enough people already.”

With a few hundred fans floating around, The Flaming Lips performed a dance remix of “Assassins of Youth” and “Brother Eye”, a pair of tracks from their latest album, “American Head”.

Coyne captioned a Instagram post of the show with the word “Yessss !!!” – a nod to the feat they had collectively achieved.

“I like the way it looks, because you can be as excited as you want, you can scream as much as you want, you just can’t infect the person next to you no matter what you forget, how excited you are, “he said. “That barrier is still there, they are protected and you are protected… part of it is what we really felt to be success,” he said.

So, are bouncing bubbles, with fans and bands also locked in, the future of live music, at least in the midst of this global pandemic?

“I’m willing to do whatever I can, you know, to say, I think we could do it, and it would be absolutely safe,” said Coyne, who said that in the end he hoped a vaccine.

“We as The Flaming Lips love the idea that we’re doing something different… I think it could be cool. It could be fun. And we could all have a, you know, an experience. unique and crazy, ”he said.

“For the time being.”



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