Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flaming Lips - C'ville Review, Adult Swim, Phish 3D, Emmitt-Nershi Band, Hiatt & McClinton

With all the shows last weekend, I totally forgot to review the Flaming Lips show I went to see in Charlottesville at the Charlottesville Pavilion on April 15.  It was truly a spectacular show both visually and musically.  A Flaming Lips show is like Pink Floyd + Black Sabbath + the circus.  The show opened with a video of a girl dancing but it was a brightly colored, negative image.  Her, ahem, private area began to glow yellow, glowing more intensly until she lay down and spread her legs as if about to give birth.  The video zoomed in on her area and a door opened in the video wall.  Out popped the Flaming Lips from her va-jay-jay being born into the show (their new album is called "Embryonic").  This was not a heavy, serious thing and that's one of the beauties of the Lips.  They are arty but always with a smile and a wink not to take themselves or life too seriously.

While all this was happening there were about 10 guys on one side of the stage, and 10 girls on the other, there only to dance and all were dressed as DJ Lance Rock from the kids show Yo Gabba Gabba.

Why?  Well, why not?  Just relax and go with the flow and don't ask too many questions.  Its a Flaming Lips show.  In the meantime, lead singer Wayne Coyne got into his magic hamster ball and rolled over the crowd.

We were then assaulted with lights, confetti and giant balloons.  It was a hell of a start to the show. 

The Lips played a number of songs from their new album, "Embryonic", mixed with older favorites like "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1", "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song", and "She Don't Use Jelly".  For those unfamiliar with the Lips' music, think of early Pink Floyd but if Syd Barrett was happier and then mixed at times with louder stoner rock.  They don't improvise much but they have a certain looseness that allows them to go with the flow of a show as the audience might dictate.  Wayne Coyne is always egging the audience on to scream and yell and have a good time.  And there are always arty videos and lights and, of course, giant laser hands.

By the way, if anyone is looking to get my a birthday gift, I'd really like a pair of them thar giant laser hands. They'd be fun at parties.

For an encore, the Lips brought opening band Stardeath & White Dwarfs on to do a cover of Floyd's "Brain Damage/Eclipse", which was recognizable but they managed to put their own spin on it. This version is actually from a few nights later at Cornell University but it was a better video than the one from C'Ville:

They ended the show with one of the most life-affirming songs ever, "Do You Realize?" The performance of this song actually brought tears of joy to my eyes. This version is from the 4/19 show. If you want to get right to the song, skip to about 2:50 but you'll miss an intro by Wayne Coyne explaining what the song means to him and other people.

A truly wonderful show. You leave feeling energized, optimistic, with a huge smile on your face and ready to see the Flaming Lips again as soon as possible.

Onto this weekend's events in Richmond.

Friday night at the 17th St. Farmer's Market, Cartoon Network brings Adult Swim to town. Just because its Cartoon Network does not mean you should bring the kids. For those who may not know, Adult Swim is the name of a series of adult-oriented cartoon programs (Robot Chicken, Family Guy, American Dad, Squidbillies, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, etc.) televised each week on the Cartoon Network. The Adult Swim team travels throughout the country providing games, prizes, beer, live music and entertainment. This event is geared to college-aged adults and you must be 18 years or older.  That'll run from 6 PM - 10 PM.  It should be rude, offensive, disgusting and funny.

Also, Friday, Phish 3D starts its one week run at Movieland at Boulevard Square.  Check the Movieland site for showtimes.  As the name would imply this is a 3D film of Phish in concert at last October's Festival 8.  The movie includes some songs from their Halloween night musical "costume" when they played the Rolling Stones' "Exile In Main Street" in its entireity with help from Sharon Jones (of the Dap-Kings) and a horn section.  If you are a Phish fan or just wondering what all this Phish phuss is about, check it out.  I'll be attending the Saturday 9 PM show.  Here is the performance from the movie of the Stones' "Loving Cup" from Halloween night:

Saturday night, local alt-country band Horsehead will play at The Canal Club. Tix are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Doors open at 8 and openers are The Trillions and Dave Shultz & the Skyline.

The Atkinsons (Americana) will be at Bogart's.  Showtime is 9:30.  As far as I can tell, there is no cover charge, but if there is, it should be minimal.

Emmitt-Nershi Band will be at Capital Ale House Downtown.  Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door.  The show starts at 9 with openers Wake of the Flood.  The Emmitt-Nershi Band is lead by Drew Emmitt of Leftover Salmon and Bill Nershi of String Cheese Incident so expect lots of bluegrass based jamming.  Here's the title track from their latest album, "New Country Blues" as performed on the 2009 Jamcruise:

Finally, next Wednesday, the Innsbrook After Hours season starts with a nice blues combo of John Hiatt & Delbert McClinton.  General Admission advance tix are $16.50, GA at the gate is $20 and Gold Circle (advance tix only) are $35.  I believe Delbert will come on first at 6:30 with Hiatt on at 8.  Gates open at 6 PM.  I would expect to see these guys jamming together at some point during the show which will be cool.  Here's John Hiatt performing "Homeland" a few days ago at WFUV:

A couple shows of note just announced for Innsbrook:

Sunday July 11: Counting Crows’ Traveling Circus & Medicine Show featuring
Augustana & other Special Guests. General Admission Advance: $26.50, General Admission Gate: $30, Gold Circle Advance Only: $50. On sale Friday April 30 at 10am.

Connor's Heroes Presents Music for VCU Massey Cancer Center featuring
Chris Isaak with special guests Marc Broussard and The Waybacks. (This one looks sweet.) Sunday July 25, 2010, Gate Time: 3pm, Music Begins: 4pm. General Admission Advance: $25, Gold Circle Advance only: $50.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan