Flaming Lips host Halloween blood bath 

click to enlarge Eclectic Oklahoma City band The Flaming Lips encourage fans to dress up for their Halloween show, especially as characters from “Wizard of Oz” or “Alice in Wonderland.” - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Eclectic Oklahoma City band The Flaming Lips encourage fans to dress up for their Halloween show, especially as characters from “Wizard of Oz” or “Alice in Wonderland.”
The Flaming Lips are not ones to underemphasize any part of a live performance. A typical gig might include streamers, confetti, a state-of-the-art light show and a giant human hamster ball in which frontman Wayne Coyne crowd-surfs.

The “Halloween Blood Bath” on Thursday at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium — featuring headliners The Flaming Lips along with openers Tame Impala and White Denim — won’t be a typical show.

The Oklahoma City quintet wants to put on the most extreme, bizarre performance possible.

“We have about 5,000 giant red balloons,” says Coyne, 52. “We have five minutes’ worth of shiny red and not-shiny-red confetti. When you see the end of the Super Bowl, and they shoot confetti, that’s a two-minute blast, and it’s pretty impressive. It seems like it lasts a lot longer.

“I figure if we do a five-minute blast, it should be pretty overwhelming, Coyne says. “By the end of it, we should all be covered.”

Coyne and his bandmates —Michael Ivins, Steven Drozd, Kliph Scurlock and Derek Brown — have ruled out spraying fake blood, but the band will have other surprises in store and will definitely be in costume.

“We were toying around with the idea of being an expanded version of the ‘Wizard of Oz,’” Coyne says. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be Dorothy or if I was going to be the wizard. I believe Michael is going to be the Tin Man, and Steven was going to be the Wicked Witch of the West.”

Coyne invites fans to get in on the theme and dress as characters from ‘Wizard of Oz’ or “Alice in Wonderland.”

“I always like it when it’s as elaborate and as weird and as unexpected and festive as possible,” he says.

The Lips are also finishing up a six-song EP inspired by “Ender’s Game,” the new film based on Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi young adult novel. It’s the first new music released by the band since “The Terror,” its bleakest batch of songs to date.

Describing the EP as more “uplifting” than “The Terror,” Coyne says it’s sad, but also reflects the “epic nature” of the movie.

Tasked with writing one new song for the film specific to its themes, the band wrote a handful to give the filmmakers a choice.

In the end, Coyne and company fell in love with the material and didn’t want it to go to waste, which led to the upcoming EP, “Peace Sword.”

IF YOU GO

The Flaming Lips

Where: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St., S.F.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Tickets: $47.50

Contact: (800) 745-3000, www.ticketmaster, www.apeconcerts.com

About The Author

Roman Gokhman

Roman Gokhman

Bio:
Roman Gokhman has been writing about the music scene in the Bay Area since 2006, with a focus on indie rock, world music and the local scene. He's also seen U2 live more than 50 times and expects to add to that total in 2014, if their next album finally comes out.
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