TRACY: Flaming Lips and Mac Demarco are a perfect duo


Photo via Wikimedia Commons

“We are going to sing some songs about death, and life, and love and what it means to really be alive,” Wayne Coyne from the Fearless Freaks said in a documentary in 2005.

That’s the best way to describe the Flaming Lips, a psychedelic band from Oklahoma City that’s been playing since 1983. When it was announced that the Flaming Lips and Mac Demarco would team up for a tour together, it seemed like the perfect duo. Mac Demarco has already established himself with his mellow rock jams from “Salad Days” and “2,” and sounds very in tune with the discography of the Flaming Lips. I became a big fan of both acts within the last few years, so it was fun getting to see both Monday night.

Mac Demarco took the stage before the Flaming Lips came on, and for 75 minutes, he played a montage of Kelsey Grammer’s filmography on the Eagle’s Club projection screen. It was marvelously silly, and Demarco used his set to play fan favorites like “Ode to Viceroy,” “Freaking out the Neighborhood” and “Chamber of Reflection.” There was also a couple of full blown jam sessions Demarco and company did for “Moonlight on the River” and a cover song of Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years.”

After seeing Demarco live in concert for a second time now, I can honestly say he’s really growing up as a musician. The latest album Demarco put out, “This Old Dog,” is a terrific combo of melancholy and mellow-out rock. While Demarco didn’t crowd surf this time around, he played a fantastic set in the short time he was given.

The Flaming Lips didn’t come on until 10:00 p.m., but it was worth the wait. Wayne Coyne dressed up in various costumes throughout the show and used a variety of different props from the band’s 30-plus years of making music. Balloons and graffiti fell during the opening song “Race for the Prize,” Coyne rode on a unicorn during “There will be Unicorns” and he inflated a giant robot during “Yoshimi” — seeing all of it live is pretty mesmerizing. Coyne even got into an inflatable ball during their “Space Oddity” cover and rolled around, having the crowd assist him throughout the show. It was very cool, but if you’ve seen the Fearless Freaks documentary, you would know that they’ve been doing this act for years now.

I don’t want to knock the Lips here because getting to see all the special effects happen live the first time around is pretty awesome; however, I don’t know how old or frustrating the act can get if somebody is returning back to the show. The Lips made the most with their time, although I do wish we could have heard “Waitin’ for a Superman” or “Fight Test,” but closing the show off with “She Don’t Use Jelly” and “Do You Realize?”, the songs that made the Lips as big as they are today, was a nice ending.