The night had its share of “Tobacco”. Through the humid haze in Pittsburgh, Tobacco, of Black Moth Super Rainbow, kicked off the night with a vocoder laced syncopated DJ set with “out of line” visuals that certainly got the attention of most all, at Pittsburgh’s Stage AE. Even The Flaming Lips were amused by the tripped out performance as they stood stage left during most of Tobacco’s set. Reactions could be best described by looks of aghast, collective laughter and appreciation of the cutting edge performance.
We all were treated to a special set from Spiritualized. Jason “Spaceman” Pierce remained seated on the left side the stage and orchestrated his five piece band through a killer hour-long set . After the third song the “sound” of Spiritualized was locked in and they soared through staples like “Let It Flow” and “She Kissed Me”. It was great to have them back in Pittsburgh. They are truly one of the best British acts of our generation. Although Pierce was backed with solid players from the States. At the conclusion of their set I actually was thinking how are the Lips going to top that performance.
This night was all about guitarist-keyboardist, Steven Drozd the sonic wizard behind the enigmatic ever-changing band The Flaming Lips. Drozd has managed to sculpt the sound of the Lips over the past two decades. He provided the uptempo energy that their last studio release “The Terror” never really achieved. Stage AE seemed to be the setting they needed because this set was way better than the performance a few months back with The Black Keys at Consol Energy Center. Wayne Coyne urged the Pittsburgh fan base to “get them through the melancholy moments”. The crowd obliged and fueled the set with appreciative cat calls and cheers. By the time they knocked “Race For The Prize” The Lips were following Steven Drozd through a digital rainbow of rhythmic synth and warm washed-out guitar. Coyne’s voice was solid on this night as he handled “At War with the Mystics”, “The W.A.N.D.” and “Do You Realize??” with relative ease.
The Flaming Lips continue to be one of the most innovative bands both musically and visually. The question is “where do they go from here?” We actually have faith in them as long as Pittsburgh continues to be one of their frequent stops.
by Rob Eldridge
All Photos ©2013 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine