Here’s part 2 of my The Flaming Lips concert post, in which I discuss the pre-show stuff. I’ll talk about Austin Music Hall in general some other time; Yelp’s reviews are pretty accurate for now.
This got too big and I just deleted two paragraphs. The pre-show experience was heightened when AMH let people over 21 in about an hour before the posted door opening time. This moved me from about 100th in line to more like 30th in line. Hooray for age perks! They had a lobby with a bar that they let us mill about in; this is most likely to combat the bars across the street who had competitive pricing on beers. Can’t let your concert customers pay someone else for beer! I got a water because I’m too lame for beer. After they let us in (only about 10 minutes late; not bad) I made a beeline for where I thought would be the best position. Then we watched the tech crews get stuff ready.
The crowd was pretty nuts. I saw Santa Claus, people in bunny suits (the white fuzzy kind, not the sexy-lady-in-fishnets kind), and one guy that I thought was a bunny was actually a unicorn. That guy was front and center in the mosh pit. Rock on, Mr. Unicorn. There were lots of silly hats, and I was disappointed that I hadn’t known this was going to be a common thing. I have a DJ Lance hat that I would have worn, and it would have turned out to be extraordinarily appropriate. Oh well.
The warmup band was Stardeath and White Dwarfs. The art on their site reminds me of TFL, they’ve collaborated with TFL, and the music was complementary to TFL’s music. The stage was crazy; lots of strobes, lots of spotlights, lots of fog, and this weird sparkly LED thing was set up behind the drummer. I’m not sure if this is something they usually have or if it’s one of the benefits of opening for TFL, but it definitely made the show more enjoyable. I liked them, and I think I wouldn’t mind seeing them as the headliner one day. I’m buying their album soon and I’ll see if that opinion changes.
I feel sorry for them because the crowd wasn’t really enthusiastic. Part of it was their fault; they didn’t really say much to the crowd. The only thing I remember is “One more song and then TFL will come out!” I think if they’d have tried a little harder to get the crowd into their show they could have got a better response. On the other hand, everyone was there to see TFL so getting the crowd interested was definitely a tough job. They weren’t booed, but they only got scattered claps and cheers after each song.
After S&WD left, I was prepared to spend the next 30 minutes or so watching groupies and techs set up the stage for TFL. That’s how it’s worked at all the other concerts I’ve been to so far. Those bands are losers. Within minutes, Wayne Coyne himself was on the stage fiddling with the mic and guitars. Techs were still doing things (one of them fell off the stage at one point, poor guy!) After a while, the rest of the band was on stage, and we still had 20 minutes or so before the show.
Soon, I saw the red dot of a laser pointer and started getting agitated by it. Then I turned around and saw a DJ Lance handing out huge handfuls of them. I went to investigate and she claimed it was an interactive part of the show and asked if I’d hand some out for her. So I scooped up a huge handful and did. The next 10 minutes or so were spent shining lasers at random things. Then the show started. But I’ve already talked about that!
Next time: I think I’m going to review Infinite Space, the DS game I’m playing.