Oklahoma City rock musicians literally exploded in 2020, using human-sized inflatable balloons to protect their fans against Covid-19 as they found a way to play live.
Presenting themselves at The Criterion in their hometown on Monday night, The Flaming Lips put themselves – and all the fans present – in separate plastic spheres. The concert – which was part of the live show, partly from music videos – was born from a sketch drawn by Wayne Coyne during the early days of the pandemic, the frontman told CNN.
“I did a little drawing … where I drew a picture of Burning Lips doing a show in 2019. And I’m the only person in the space balloon, and everyone else is perfectly normal,”
At the time, Coyne said, the idea was more or less a social commentary on the state of the virus, with the thought that Covid-19 would never last long enough to see the bubble experiment fully inflate.
“I don’t think anyone would have thought … in mid-March that this would continue, you know, eight months later. I think we all thought it was a month, it’s maybe two months, but we will deal with it, “he said.
This inspired them to continue.
“We’re doing a few songs with about 30 people in the bubbles. And we’re starting to think, ‘Well, you know, just from that, we’re starting to get an idea that we could actually do it, you know, and it can actually happen.’ revealed Coyne.
“Space Bubbles” have long been part of The Flaming Lips scene, so Coyne and company were introduced to a series of inflatable orbs. After setting the specifications, the band ordered 100 bubbles from China, and this unique music event – one first made on Coyne’s sketchpad – was ready to pop up.
“Since May, the desire to watch live music has just grown, you know, even stronger,” he told CNN, noting that fans interested in test driving have been asked to arrive at The Criterion between 6:30 19:00 ET.
“Exactly shortly after six, we already had enough people.”
With several hundred fans floating around, The Flaming Lips performed a dance remix of “Assassins of Youth” and “Brother Eye,” a pair of tracks from their latest album, “American Head.”
“I like what it looks like, because you can get as excited as you want, you can scream as much as you want, you just can’t infect the person next to you, no matter what you forget, how excited you are,” he said. is there, they are protected and you are protected … that part of what we really felt was a success, “he said.
So, bouncing balloons, with fans and bands alike, the future of live music, at least in the midst of this global pandemic?
“I’m ready to do everything I can, you know, I think we could do that and that would be absolutely safe,” said Coyne, who said he was ultimately hoping for a vaccine.
“We, like Burning Lips, like the idea of doing something different …. I think it can be great. It can be fun. And we could all have, you know, a crazy unique experience,” he said.
“For the moment.”