The music was pretty damn good, but with all of the other shenanigans, it didn’t really need to be.
Wayne Coyne and his merry band of misfits are well known for their, um, call it eccentricities. Or, you could say they are a bunch of batshit crazy performers better suited for Burning Man than Boise on a Wednesday night. They may have reached the peak of their commercial success with 2003’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, but they still release interesting music and produce even more interesting live shows. If you are not familiar with the Yoshimi record, you actually are. It was the Grammy-winning beast that included super hits “Do You Realize?” and “Fight Test” and straddled the bizarre and mainstream perfectly. Although they have not found that perfect mixture since, this band was on my list of must-sees so I gladly took the opportunity to catch the madness.
I am pleased to say that they did not feature an opener, but rather the capacity crowd stood around listening to what was clearly Wayne’s hand crafted playlist of house music as they sat backstage and got super high, no doubt. Once they hit the stage, all hell immediately broke loose. I hadn’t noticed the several dozen beach ball sized balloons that had apparently been up in the rafters all along – they were unleashed right as Wayne shot his confetti gun at the start of the first song. Well, then – here we go!
Not satisfied with a fully amped crowd and enough confetti and balloons for a Times Square New Years Eve party, we were treated to a giant set of balloons that spelled out the overtly aggressive “Fuck Yeah Boise” – which were immediately ripped to shreds by the mad crowd.
Quick sidebar: the outfits. These guys had a very eclectic and diverse fashion sense… Wayne had a well-fitting white suit on, complete with hairy cuffs and what appeared to be a cross between a gun holster and bra on his chest outside the suit; the man on keys and backing vocals had a Harvey Milk t-shirt and rainbow colored cape; and the bass player went with a simple Cedric Wilson BSU jersey. Not bad for a bunch of white guys from Oklahoma City. In fact, it is fitting that for this show I do not have an official setlist like I typically do – just a lot of pictures and great memories.
Three songs in, and just in case we were getting bored, here comes a 15-foot giant pink robot balloon, which Wayne crooned under for the epic “Yoshimi…”
Throughout, the lights and acid-trip spectacle was relentless – here was a nice calm time where I got to take a relatively peaceful picture…
About halfway through Wayne disappeared for a bit… where could he have gone? Surely he was already high enough to finish the show. Oh, wait, I think I see him. Yep, that’s him, riding a rainbow inflatable unicorn – coming right for us!
Finally, the coup de gras of the evening – their trademark Wayne in a bubble routine. I had seen the platform and settled in right next to it, so I was among the people helping push him up to his safe place to sing a song before shedding the orbital constraints.
This was everything it was supposed to be, and more. What a show! Next time they come through, see this band! I enjoyed the hell out of it and I didn’t have so much a tab of acid, a single shroom, or a hit off the ol’ peace pipe. Good times had by all – including, no doubt, those who did. Oh, and they saved the best for a very amazing and uplifting encore: “She Don’t Use Jelly” and “Do You Realize?” Outside of Radiohead and Pearl Jam this may be the most audience-engaged and quasi-religious experience I have seen at a rock show.