Flaming Lips set to kick off Ogden Twilight summer concert series

Thursday , June 07, 2018 - 5:00 AM1 comment

OGDEN — Think of it as a concert for your ears AND eyes.

On Thursday evening, the Flaming Lips bring their colorful concert antics to the Ogden Amphitheater in the 2018 opener of the Ogden Twilight summer concert series.

Jared Allen, co-founder of the Ogden series of concerts, said a Flaming Lips show is a “big, fun, visual party” experience that makes for a great beginning to the summer’s 10 Twilight concerts.

“It’s such a visual experience — as well as auditory — that we’ll get a lot of social word-of-mouth out of it,” he said. “It’ll definitely spread the word about the rest of the series.”

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Allen refers to a Flaming Lips concert as a “psychedelic circus.” He said the songs are playful, but they have an underlying current of depth.

“I’ve often referred to (frontman) Wayne Coyne as somewhat a Dr. Seuss, but in music,” he said. “It’s whimsical, playful-sounding stuff, but with bigger, deeper, meaningful themes.”

A visual treat from start to finish, Allen says hallmarks of Flaming Lips shows are props like huge LED light walls, band members riding unicorns or running across the top of the crowd in a giant hamster ball, armies of people dressed like Teletubbies, laser light shows, confetti, and much, much more. It’s all what Allen calls “borderline Pink Floyd-ish.”

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“They must own all their own equipment,” Allen said, “because if they were renting they couldn’t possibly make the show profitable.”

The Flaming Lips formed in 1983 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Their self-released debut album came out the following year. The group has won three Grammy Awards and is known for its musical oddities.

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“The weirder, jokier and more indulgent the Flaming Lips get, the more their fans seem to love them,” Rolling Stone magazine described the Lips in a bio. “With their whimsical tunes about astral phenomena and spider bites, Merry Prankster-style stage antics, and a frontman with a voice that evokes Neil Young on nitrous oxide, the Oklahoma City band managed to build a cult following that exploded into something bigger in the late Nineties and 2000s.”

Last year’s performance by The Shins may have been the biggest concert held in the Ogden Amphitheater, although Allen thinks the Flaming Lips are at least a close second.

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“For sure, this is definitely one of our biggest shows to date,” he said. “But in terms of energy and presentation, the Flaming Lips will absolutely be the biggest concert here. I just don’t know how or when we’ll top it.”

Among the other big-name concerts coming to the Ogden Twilight series this summer are Sylvan Esso and Chvrches.

Tickets for each of the Twilight concerts — available through 24tix.com/ot or at the gate — are $10 in advance, $15 day-of-show. Season passes for the two Twilight sessions this summer are also available.

Allen says this will make his ninth or 10th Flaming Lips show. And every time he’s seen them, tickets cost him at least $50 a pop.

“It’s such a great deal,” Allen said of all the Twilight shows this summer. “I can’t tell you how much I traveled to see these artists, or how much I paid, so to have them on our front door at these prices is just amazing.”

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This year, Twilight Concert organizers have dropped the number of tickets sold for each show from 7,500 to 7,000. Allen said it makes for a slightly less-crowded listening experience.

Although the Flaming Lips show isn’t sold out yet, it’s getting close. And even if it’s not sold out, Thursday’s concert will definitely play to a packed house, according to Allen.

Appearing in support of the Flaming Lips will be Bl_ank, the solo project of William Passionfruit Hicks, a longtime collaborator with the Lips. The local opener for the night will be Night Marcher, which Allen describes as a “fun, spacy, psychedelic band from Salt Lake.”

Allen said Thursday’s Flaming Lips show is not to be missed, and he hopes locals will take advantage of the opportunity.

“If you look at just about any list from any music media outlet of bands you must see before you die, the Flaming Lips are right up there,” he said. “Their live shows are really something to behold.”

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or msaal@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Friend him on Facebook at facebook.com/MarkSaal.

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