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Fork in the Road: Fearless Freaks

Comments Off on Fork in the Road: Fearless Freaks 15 July 2009

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There are some bands and artists that you seem to be destined never to see. I’ll always regret missing James Brown at the IU Auditorium while I was busy with my coursework. I never had a chance to see the King of Pop due to his lack of touring and unexpected passing. One of my favorite bands, Nirvana, was finished before I even really had a chance to begin enjoying their music.

I have a fear that for some reason or another, I will never have a chance to experience my favorite artists in concert. After spending hours dissecting their albums, singing along in the car, and being late for work just so I can finish listening one more song, it lets the wind out of your sails to find out that you will never have a chance to actually see a performance of the songs that changed your life.

One of these bands I feared I would never see is The Flaming Lips. Ever since hearing the triumphant, weird, and wonderful album, The Soft Bulletin, I have wanted nothing more than to see this band. I proudly wore my Flaming Lips t-shirt around town, watched their wonderful documentary, Fearless Freaks, destroyed my albums through repeated listenings, and shared my favorite songs and albums with anyone who would put up with my incessant blathering.

They toured with Beck and had a date in Indianapolis a few years back and I missed it. This was during the height of their Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots reverie. I don’t even remember why I missed it, but I woke up the next morning thinking, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

Not safe for work or children language is in this clip:

Wayne Coyne recounted the story of how the Long John Silver’s he worked at was held up. Before he even began his musical career he could have been shot dead on the floor of a fast food joint. Steven Drozd almost chose a more self-destructive way out. Drozd was addicted to heroin through the beginning of the Lips’ stint on Warner Brothers Records. Drozd almost had to have his arm amputated due to an abscess from his heroin use. Drozd claimed this was a Spiderbite and Wayne Coyne references this in “The Spiderbite Song.” Death or amputation could diminish the chance for the band to exist, let alone for us to see them in concert. However, everyone in the band seems to be doing very well these days, so it is a prime time to see them perform.

The band hasn’t had many tours that rolled through Indiana in recent years, but I was thrilled to see that they were headlining Sunday night at Pitchfork. As a band that has had their share of misfortune, they have pressed on and created their own unique niche as not only an inventive studio band, but a dynamic presence on stage as well.

Inflatable suns, confetti, balloons, a giant hamster ball, furry animal costumes, fake blood, and bright lights are all staples of a Flaming Lips live performance. I don’t think I’m fully prepared for this spectacle from one of my favorite bands. We’re in for a treat, I’m sure. What are some bands that you are dying to see or missed a chance to see in the past?

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