The Flaming Lips – Green Man Festival – 21 August 2010

Ten great gigs from 2010: #8

Even at the Best Medium Sized Festival in the UK, this year’s bands had to pull out all the stops to leave a lasting impression on a crowd left sodden by two days of heavy rain – the powers that be had spectacularly failed to respond to druids’ attempts to bless the weather.

Thankfully, headliners The Flaming Lips are better endowed with stops to pull than anyone else on the bill (or any bill) – their colourful show turned the newly departed downpours into a figment of the clearly-not-psychedelic-enough past.

After emerging from deep within the projected silhouette of a lady (perhaps best not to ask), all the trademarks of the Lips’ live show were there for all to see – a shaggy-haired Wayne Coyne crowd surfed in a giant hamster ball, confetti cannons fired out blizzards, oversized balloons cascaded over the arena and giant hands shot lazers across the night sky. The band, churning out riffs and beats in orange boiler suits, were eccentrically projected onto the semi-circular screen.

Coyne took moments between songs to shout about his sheer (and surely sincere) joy at being on stage in such a beautiful setting, beneath the Brecon Beacons’ Sugar Loaf Mountain. His enthusiasm was infectious, and when the set culminated with an explosive rendition of ‘Do You Realise??’, it produced the biggest communal high all weekend.

Having experienced an impact this powerful, you’d be hard pressed to find a more visceral and joyful show at any festival.

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