Flaming Lips in St. Paul

Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips says he loves playing in the Twin Cities, one of the “greatest musical places” around, he said to the crowd at River’s Edge Music Fest in St. Paul this weekend.

Coyne used his microphone as a vessel for smokebombs.

He referenced The Replacements, recalled his first time driving up to play First Avenue from his hometown of Oklahoma City, and even played the first verse of “Black Diamond.”

“That’s the first time we played that,” guitarist Steven Drozd smiled after Coyne cut the song short.

The impressive secondary stage at River’s Edge Music Festival in St. Paul. Coyne said he hopes St. Paul “has him back every year.”

Anyone familiar with the Flaming Lips live show knows there’s a lot of balloons, confetti and smoke machine. Even in the 85 degree heat, Coyne suited up in his trademark inflatable plastic bubble and ran over the crowd. I was shooting a video of the bubble’s inflation when he started right at me. It was chaos at its most fun.

River’s Edge goers dancing to the sound of local critical darlings Polica.

Unfortunately, the early set time (5:30) didn’t do justice to the lights, lasers and rainbow video screen backdrop the Lips’ live show offers. Yet many of the stage gimmicks worked. Coyne does this fun trick where a stage hand throws a giant balloon filled with confetti and he jabs it with the end of his guitar, spilling the fluttering contents onto the stage and into the wind.

Entrance. I rode a Nice Ride, which has a station conveniently located on Water Street by Harriet Island.

Thanks to my brother in law Erik aka Ham King for the wristband. He had a two day pass and donated the second day to me after getting bruised up in the mosh pit during Tool’s set Saturday night. The cloth wristbands aren’t supposed to be cut, but Erik did a bang-up sew job.

The main stage before Dave Matthews Band played. “Let’s defeat this amendment so gay people can marry!” shouted a promoter. Yeah, something like that…

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