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flaming lips

Experiencing the Flaming Lips at Maverick Festival 2016

"Okay hold up," says front man Wayne Coyne, halting the third song of their set at San Antonio's Maverick Festival in it's place. "The 'chop-chops' are an indication as to how the rest of the show is gonna go. Let's go again." The Flaming Lips kicked back into their famous "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1" and when the time came the audience screamed "CHOP CHOP" with such intensity that all of La Villita shook. As the band played through several songs from 'Clouds Taste Metallic', 'At War With the Mystics', and 'The Soft Bulletin', the San Antonio crowd got the real Flaming Lips experience: seemingly out of place stage props, copious amounts of confetti, a back-lit stage that transformed the band into grooving silhouettes. But in the back of everyone's minds there was something in particular, something special that they were waiting for, and that finally arrived when Coyne said "What made Bowie great is that - well, he was great - but he was also just a man." The crowd exploded. 

Wayne Coyne within the human-sized hamster ball. Photo courtesy of San Antonio Current. 

Wayne Coyne within the human-sized hamster ball. Photo courtesy of San Antonio Current. 

"This is Ground Control to Major Tom!" belted Wayne Coyne from the inside of his famous human-sized hamster ball floating above the San Antonio crowd gathered in La Villita on April 9th. The San Antonio audience radiated with an energy that's only ever seen when the Spurs win the Championships. A few days prior to their performance as the finale of what could be the last Maverick Festival, the Flaming Lips hinted on Twitter that they were going to pay tribute to the late David Bowie and ever since the town was a buzz and tickets were disappearing. Well the weirdos of rock did not disappoint and Bowie was well revered. 

The crowd sang along with Coyne to their much anticipated "Do You Realize??" which closed out the very long and exciting night. If this was the final Maverick Festival then it will have been one for San Antonio to look back on and remember fondly. And if Bowie was listening, I think he would agree that the festival, the music, and the people really made the grade.