I must confess: I’m not exactly a huge fan. Sure, I enjoyed some of their albums (they released 14 in total since their formation in the 1980s) notably Soft Buletin, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robot and At War With The Mystic. But the Lips are known for their elaborate live shows which have included video projections and laser shows, confetti and huge balloons, costumes and The Hand. Just check out some of their videos on YouTube and you know what I mean. So, when it was announced that they would be playing at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on 11 November 2010 (with The Raveonettes opening for them – bonus!), I applied for leave, packed my bags and headed down South.
The Raveonettes. You’d think that they are some small band hailing from Denmark. They’ve come a long way baby; having released 4 albums, their debut EP Whip It On was named “Best Rock Album of the Year” at the Danish Music Awards in 2003, they were touted by The Rolling Stones and Q Magazine as among the leading purveyors of New Wave music, and they supported the Lips on their South East Asian Tour. Their set can be described as dark, cinematic, shoegazing and sometimes a little frenzied with electronic bits. Big upset for me personally during the set was when they didn’t play “Bang!” and “Boys Who Rape.” Ah well…
As the frontman of the Lips, Wayne Coyne is so laid-back. During soundcheck for example, we could see him walking around the stage to make sure everything was in place and he would occasionally wave to the crowd; unlike those primadonna-type rockstars who just stay in their rooms.
The Lips started their set with a bang. Literally. On stage, they erected a huge video projection as backdrop and one by one members of the Lips emerged from it. Except for Wayne Coyne. Of course. On stage, rising slowly, inside a plastic bubble wrap turning into a ball which rolled into the crowd. The crowd went insane. They started to push him around before they pushed him back to the stage. He came out from the bubble wrap and took the mic. At the same time, streams of confetti were released together with several huge balloons.
The rest as they say, was a blur…
Okay-la, not really. The whole set was awesome. It was as legendary as it was hyped to be. There were dancers in orange suits on both sides of the stage, there was The Bear (which carried Wayne around the stage), and there was The Hand (which absorbed the laser lights from the shining disco ball as Wayne shot it to the crowd). They played some of the classics like “She Don’t Use Jelly”, “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robot” and “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” (complete with Wayne coaxing the crowd to do the Hand-thing). As the encore, they played “Do You Realize??”, a slow, mid-tempo song that got everyone to singing along.
As the crowd trickled out after the concert, you could still hear fans singing the chorus, “Do you realize??…”
Yes. We realised, that was one of the greatest night of our lives.
Photos by Seira and Liew Shuk Khuen. Many thanks to Ben Liew for putting us on the guestlist.
More gigs in 2011 to look forward to:
Laneway Festival January 2011 at Fort Canning Park, Singapore. Tentative line-up includes Beach House, Deerhunter, Foals, Holy Fuck, Ladyhawke, Temper Trap, Yeasayer.
Deftones 14 February 2011 at venue-to-be-confirmed-in-KL. Chino and gang finally makes it to our shores.
Iron Maiden 15 February 2011 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
MGMT sometime in March 2011 at venue-to-be-confirmed-in-KL. I’m not a huge fan, but it’ll be cool to see them live.
2011 lookin awesome! Good vibes.
Seira is another LoyarBurokker from birth. Though she is part Melanau, you may not see her parading in a baju baldo with intricate tribal patterns or brandishing a warrior weapon. Her native tendencies are however apparent when screaming seemingly argumentative conversations with her mother on the telephone.