You couldn’t tell from the recent string of warm weather we’ve been having here in Philly, but Summer is over. One sure sign that Fall is in full swing is the City’s wonderful outdoor venues shutting down for the season. On Thursday, October 3rd, the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing ended its’ 2013 season with ‘Tame Impala’ and ‘The Flaming Lips’.
The picture perfect evening kicked off just after 730pm with an opening set by ‘The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger’, a brand new music project fronted by Sean Lennon (son of John Lennon). We didn’t arrive early enough to grab photos of them from the pit but got to hear a few of their songs. Their psychedelic infused (classic) rock sound seemed an obvious fit to open the bill for Tame Impala and The Lips. We enjoyed most of the songs we heard but others left a little to be desired. They seem like a band it its infancy who hasn’t fully found their sound yet.
Australia’s Tame Impala was up next, taking the stage around 830pm. Tame Impala has had a ton of buzz surrounding them since the release of their sophomore album, ‘Lonerism‘, last October. Their psychedelic melodies rock you into a dreamy trance one moment quickly to be replaced with a tight drum or guitar solo, synced perfectly with acid-trip visuals. Their jam sessions and solid pin-point grooves made it abundantly clear to us why they have garnered such a strong following over the past 12 months.
Tame Impala rocked the Festival Pier for about 80 minutes, followed by a lengthy set-break of almost 45 minutes while the stage crew changed over to the elaborate set up for The Flaming Lips. Lead singer Wayne Coyne made a few brief appearances on stage during the break to a few hoots and cheers from those in the crowd who still had their eyes transfixed on the stage.
When the lights finally dimmed, signaling the beginning of the headlining set, the Festival Pier crowd released a roar of cheers and The Flaming Lips hit the stage. With what seemed like miles of LED light rope, metal orbs, and confetti & CO2 canons, adorning the stage, Coyne took his perch in the center of all the visual splendor wearing a metallic blue suit.
The next 90 minutes was simply a fantastic onslaught of the senses. Mega confetti blasts rained down over the stage and the audience. Coyne’s hands were always full: glitter, a mic, a blue smoke filled trumpet, a three-beam flashlight, and a baby?! Even if we had lost our hearing altogether the show would have been a sight unlike any other to behold.
However, the show isn’t just about the visual aesthetics, it’s about the music, and The Flaming Lips have been producing some of the strangest, epic, beautiful psychedelic space jams known to man over the past 30 years.
Their set-list consisted of some of our favorite Lips classics, some new tunes, and some songs we’d honestly never heard before, all strung together from beginning to end by their showmanship, and the feeling that you had been beamed into another galaxy, if only for a few short hours.
We wish it could have lasted all until sunrise. But alas, all good things, like the show, and another Summer of outdoor shows at Festival Pier, eventually came to an end.
Gates of Steel(DEVO cover)
Look…The Sun Is Rising
Virgo Self-Esteem Broadcast
Silver Trembling Hands
Race for the Prize
Try to Explain
Butterfly, How Long It Takes to Die
A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
Do You Realize??
[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]
You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):