Oklahoma City rock musicians literally blew up in 2020, using human-sized inflatable bubbles to protect themselves and fans from Covid-19, finding a way to play live.
Performing at The Criterion in their city on Monday night, The Flaming Lips placed themselves – and all the fans present – in separate plastic spheres. The concert, which was part of a live show, partly a music video, was born from a sketch made by Wayne Coyne in the early days of the pandemic, the CNN frontman said.
“I made a small picture … where I drew ‘Burning Lips’, which shows the show in 2019. And I’m the only person in the space bubble, and everyone else is just normal,”; Coyne said during a telephone interview with CNN. on Friday. “Then (I did another drawing with ‘Flaming Lips’, playing the show in 2020. Exactly the same script, but I’m in a bubble like everyone else.”
At the time, Coyne said, the idea was to have a more or less social comment on the state of the virus, believing that Covid-19 would never linger long enough for the bubble experiment to swell.
“I don’t think anyone would have thought … in mid-March that it would still last, you know, in eight months. I think we all thought it was a month, it might be two months, but we let’s deal with it, “he said.
This inspired them to continue.
“We’re making a couple of songs with about 30 people in bubbles. And we’re starting to think, ‘Well, you know, it’s just that we’re starting to get an idea that we could do it, you know, and it can actually happen,'” Coyne said. .
“Space Bubbles” has long been part of the show “Burning Lips”, so Coyne and company were familiar with a number of inflatable balloons. Once the specifications were set, the band ordered 100 bubbles from China, and this unique musical event – one first developed at Koin’s sketch site – was ready to go.
“Since May, the desire to see live music has only intensified, you know, more and more,” he told CNN, noting that fans interested in test driving were invited to come to the “Criterion” from 6:30 to 7 p.m. sometimes.
“Immediately after six we already had enough people.”
With several hundred fans floating, The Flaming Lips performed a dance remix of “Assassins of Youth” and “Brother Eye”, a couple of tracks from their latest album “American Head”.
“I like the way it looks because you can worry as much as you want, you can shout as much as you want, you just can’t infect the person around you, no matter what you forget, how excited you are,” he said. “This barrier still exists, they are protected, and you are protected … this part is what we really felt was a success,” he said.
So are bouncing bubbles, in which fans and bands are equally covered, the future of live music, at least in the midst of this global pandemic?
“I’m willing to do everything I can for you to say, I think we could do it, and it would be completely safe,” said Coyne, who said he eventually hoped for a vaccine.
“We, like Burning Lips, like the idea that we’re doing something else …. I think it can be cool. It can be fun. And we could all, you know, have a crazy unique experience,” he said. .