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The Flaming Lips Holds Concert with the Band and Audience Inside Plastic Bubbles




  • The protective bubbles served as health barriers between the band and the audience.
  • Frontman Wayne Coyne did sketches of the concert concept during the early days of the pandemic.
  • The band first tested the idea in 2019 during a performance at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought on drastic changes in our lives and the things that we have never thought possible became possible. Due to social distancing, gatherings in large groups – such as concerts – are a big no-no.

But people will always find ways to get around restrictions if needed. For instance, rock band The Flaming Lips recently had a concert where they performed encased in protective bubbles, serving as health barriers between them and the audience.

This is The Flaming Lips’ way to play live while still maintaining social distancing rules. At their performance in their hometown Oklahoma City, the members of the band played while inside inflatable plastic human-sized bubbles. The show was part live performance and part music video shoot held at The Critetion.

It was quite a surreal experience to see each member of the band encased in his own bubble. Frontman Wayne Coyne, while inside his bubble, “walked over” the people in the audience, each encased in their own plastic orbs as well.

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The bubble concert was Coyne’s idea – he did sketches of the concept during the early days of the pandemic.

Coyne said in the CNN interview: “I did a little drawing… where I drew a picture of The Flaming Lips doing a show in 2019. And I’m the only person in the space bubble, and everybody else is just normal.”

Yes, it wasn’t the first time that The Flaming Lips did a show like this. They already had one like it in 2019, when there was still no pandemic. They debuted the “space bubbles” concept during a performance at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

The band also tried the bubble during a 2012 performance at the Dour Festival.

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The frontman said that they did a couple of songs with around 30 people inside bubbles. From there, they got the idea that it’s something they could actually do and could happen.

At the time Coyne was doing the sketches doing the pandemic, it was just like a social commentary regarding the pandemic. He thought that the virus will not stick long enough for the concept to become necessary.

When they realized that the virus is here to stay for a while, they worked on the bubble concert plans, ordering 100 of the plastic orbs from China.

The fans who showed up for the concert in The Criterion was asked to come in between 6:30 to 7 pm. It served as some sort of test drive of the experience.

Around 200 people were placed in the bubbles. When the band started performing, the audience can be seen “floating around” the venue.

Coyne said he liked the way it turned out because the audience can scream and get excited as much as they want without the risk of getting other people infected. The bubbles served as barriers for health and safety.

Asked if the bubbles are going to be the future of live music, Coyne said that he’s willing to do everything he can.

“I think we could do this, and this would be absolutely safe.”

“We, as The Flaming Lips, we like the idea that we are doing something different…. I think it could be cool. It could be fun. And we could all have a, you know, a crazy unique experience,” he added.

Coyne expressed that this could work for the time being and that ultimately he’s holding out hope for the vaccine.

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