NO!: THE FLAMING LIPS (#309, SEP 8 2007).
So Madison is now party central for these free liquor marketing shows, and this was the biggest one yet. I'll get into the details throughout this week's posts, but suffice it to say that the Southern Comfort marketing part of this event was much more low-key than the Jack Daniels-sponsored OK Go show we saw last March.
I actually started the day seeing the German Art Students at the other big free fest, while Emily took a post-market nap (and I'll have clips of that set up next week). We arrived at the Willow Island grounds probably a little after 5:30, in the middle of what we later discovered was Cowboy Mouth's set. And boy, let me tell you, they sucked something fierce. Watching (or more accurately, listening to) their set was like being at one of the Summerfest rock stages at 2:00 in the afternoon, when some band nobody cares about is putting as much energy into convincing you that you love them as they are into playing. The singer/drummer did not miss an opportunity to note how wonderful it was here in "the great state of Wisconsin," or to thank Milwaukee -- yes -- for their hospitality. Also, he told us they were from New Orleans at least half a dozen times in the half-set we saw. Most of the detail is kind of irrelevant, since bands suck all the time and it ain't gonna stop the world spinning, but the first thing you're going to see in this clip is the SoCo™ MC bringing that self-same singer/drummer out to introduce the Flaming Lips for some reason. You will then hear the guy next to us, who was pleasantly mock-happy throughout the intermission, mocking the poor SOB for his many New Orleans callouts; you may also be able to pick up on some boos.
I could go on about how bad Cowboy Mouth and this guy in particular were, but it was fleeting, and anyway, what an opening! From a plague of dancing, floodlight-bearing Santas, Wayne Coyne and his hamster ball emerged and began to float across a thousand raised hands. The first bit of this clip, with Coyne rolling over the crowd, is an instrumental piece, and I suspect it's called "The Mothership Descends," or that it's at least the track with that label on the Lips' recent live DVD release. As it ended and Coyne emerged from his bubble, they dove into the first track from The Soft Bulletin, amid a storm of confetti blasts. The enthusiasm from the audience upon recognizing it was something I haven't seen in Madison since... well, the last time was probably when I first saw Nine Inch Nails about seven and a half years ago, and that was before I even lived here. It's the ferociously blissful energy of a Big Show, and I don't know anything else like it.