Psychedelic experimental rockers The Flaming Lips just wrapped up a lengthy summer tour across North America along with opening act, Mexican garage punk band Le Butcherettes. We caught up with the tour as it came to play a packed State Theatre in Portland, ME.

Le Butcherettes got things going with their aggressive avant-garde punk rock stylings. Vocalist/keyboardist Teri Gender Bender was a force to be reckoned with, crooning at one moment and screeching the next, whipping her hair wildly about all the while. Despite the audience being comprised of mostly 30-somethings and older, the crowd really seemed to get into their music, cheering the band’s antics as they blasted through a 40-minute set.

Watch this video, but don’t forget to salute the “The Captain”.


At last, after some time for the production to be readied, The Flaming Lips sauntered onto the stage. The performance they would go on to put on would be one of the wildest I’ve ever witnessed. Led by frontman Wayne Coyne, the band wasted little time, launching things with “Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30” and “Race for the Prize,” punctuated by blasts of confetti, CO2 cannons, and gigantic balloons, including one which spelled out “Fuck Yeah Portland.” The fun continued when, for “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1,” a giant pink inflatable robot was brought out to flank Coyne. The entire set was the most fantastical display I’ve ever ever seen at a concert. Highlights included Coyne bringing out gigantic paper mache hands that shot laser lights and firing them at a disco ball, and his trip around the audience on a glowing unicorn.

All of this went on as giant fitness ball-sized balloons–some filled with confetti–bounced around atop the crowd and confetti cannons continued to detonate. The band went on to perform hits like “Fight Test,” “She Don’t Use Jelly,” and David Bowie cover “Space Oddity,” which turned into a giant sing-along. The Flaming Lips put on one of the most entertaining performances I’ve ever seen–while this tour is over, it’s definitely worth catching them on a later date this year–check out a few of the performances they’ve announced so far.

Flaming Lips Tour Dates:

09/08 – Governor’s Island – New York, NY
10/06 – Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum – Phoenix, AZ

The album Oczy Mlody was released on January 13, 2017.

When he's not out in the woods, clomping around in streams, or looking at shiny rocks, you can find our U.S. Managing Editor and contributing photographer Nathan Katsiaficas in the photo pit, covering everything from heavy metal to punk, alternative, indie, and hip-hop.