The Flaming Lips are known for their over-the-top live performances that are an amalgamation of psychedelic modern rock and an equally psychedelic live show. Typically, their show is so big that only an arena or outdoor festival can contain it. With that in mind, when the band made the decision to perform at Soul Kitchen, it left many fans with an endless well of curiosity as to what was in store for the Azalea City.

The Flaming Lips thrilled a small Mobile audience at a recent performance at Soul Kitchen.

The Flaming Lips thrilled a small Mobile audience at a recent performance at Soul Kitchen.

Would they scale down their extravagant show to fit the confines of the Soul Kitchen? Would they provide a raw, intimate show such as their performance poolside at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi? On Feb. 19, a menagerie of colorful Lips fans filled the Soul Kitchen to have their curiosity satisfied.

When concert-goers entered the backroom at the Soul Kitchen, the venue was bathed in mist and black light. The combination added an ethereal, dream-like atmosphere to the environment.
Spaceface acted as the show’s opener. The Memphis-based group pummeled the audience with a huge sound. Front man/guitarist Jake Ingalls conjured spirits from the early days of ‘90s alt. rock with vocals that were riddled with elements of shoegaze. This was met by an opposing blast of modern riffs and beats that engulfed the audience with each song.

After Spaceface left the stage, the Lips’ show began to take shape. Mylar balloons played a major role. Large silver balloons were used as a backdrop, and they formed a column on both sides of the stage. The front of the stage was lined with a curtain of mylar strips that hung from the ceiling. When the Lips began their set, the stage was inundated with a rainbow of electric light that formed patterns on both the curtain and the mylar backdrop. As with many stage effects employed by the Lips, this technique is unique.

Early in their set, the band tossed the crowd a huge mylar balloon that spelled out the words “F*ck Yeah Mobile.” The crowd was entertained by obscure numbers and crowd favorites such as “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” during which front man Wayne Coyne made it evident that the Mobile crowd needed to lose themselves in their performance, and they did.