The Scavenger





Overheard in the men’s room during the Flaming Lips set: [dude on cell phone] “Yeah, it’s alright. I mean, they put on a great show…but their music is fucking terrible.

The Fair was full of hipsters last night–it must have dropped the obesity index of theimg_6811_2.jpg entire place by several points. The smugness was palpable. Wayne Coyne repeatedly made self-satisfied this-isn’t-your-daddy’s-state-fair references. “Can you believe this is the same stage Rascall Flatts will be playing on?” he asked. “I wish bands like this played the fair when I was growing up.”



The entire crowd was toasted. I’m sure a good third were on psychedelics. I’ve never seen the Lips before, but I’ve heard about the their crazy stage show. There were Santa Clauses with flashlights on one side of the stage and aliens in cocktail dresses on the other side. There were confetti cannons and Coyne had his own personal streamer rifleimg_6855_6.jpg that he kept shooting out into the crowd and during a few songs he had a personal strobe light strapped to his chest. During another song he swung this big neon lasso. During another song he had this power-balloon-inflater thing that kept pumping this gigantic balloon full of air until it exploded. There was a trippy video presentation behind him the entire time. The show was tailor made for psilocybin–they were not fucking around up there. I get it. Songs like, “Do You Realize?” and “All We Have is Now” are about peace and love, but with a little bit of a smirk. The Flaming Lips are the post-Japanese anime Grateful Dead.



Unfortch, as it turns out, the nu-hippies are just as overrated as the old ones. My buddy Frankie got into a tug-of-war with some 25-year-old in the middle of the show. Both of them were pulling on the same glass pipe. It was a retarded situation. Neither of us had shown up with anything but cash to buy beer and pronto pups, and we both kept smelling weed wafting over the crowd; Frank was jonesing hard. It was driving him crazy. He started scanning the crowd with his eyes, and he noticed this dude and his buddies crouching down and getting high a couple of feet from us, so he wandered over looking for a handout. Frank has never been bashful about exploiting the peace, love, good vibes crowd for their pot. But this guy wasn’t having it. Right away, he called him a “scavenger” and he refused to help him. Frank came back and told me that this 25 year old floppy-haired blond in white cargo pants and a strap-on messenger bag looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Well, it’s real and you’re not getting any. I don’t know why you’re making a big deal about it.” Frank told him he was the uncoolest dude he’s ever met. I convinced Frank to walk away and come buy another beer. We watched a few more songs and then Frank said, “I’m going to throw this cup at that guy.” So he did. Hit him right in the head, smiled at him and made the “wasn’t me” gesture with upturned palms.



The blonde tweaker was with a cute little girlfriend, and after everything had settled down, I innocently asked her if my buddy could get a hit. She smiled and handed me the pipe and then I handed it to Frank. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him happier. The tweaker immediately sussed out the situation; he was going from person to person, raving, looking for his pipe, and he came over and grabbed it from his hand, but Frank wouldn’t let go.



“Dude, walk away or I’m going to smash your pipe,” Frank said.



“I don’t care–I SELL glass, man,” the tweaker shot back.



But there was something in Frank’s eyes that must have conveyed the Darwinian order of things, because the tweaker finally let go. Frank took a few hits right in front of him. “This is great,” Frank squeaked. The tweaker responded, very sarcastically, “Are you finished?” Then he went back and yelled at his cute little girlfriend for giving his weed to the dude that threw a cup at his head. It was a retarded episode. Nobody acted with any dignity, least of all Frankie, but with all the confetti and smug hipsters, I could see why he needed to take drastic measures.



Frank and I had backstage passes, but we lent them to my friends Paul and Allison. They worked their way behind some of the aliens in cocktail dresses and took some great digital photos of the show. Check ‘em.




6 Responses

  1. what happened to unlimited city?

  2. Looooove your new place…very Pottery Barn.

  3. Dude, what happened to Unlimited City? Too hot for MSP Mag? Do you still work there?

  4. You said:

    > Wayne Coyne repeatedly made self-satisfied
    > this-isn’t-your-daddy’s-state-fair references.
    > “Can you believe this is the same stage Rascall (sic)
    > Flatts will be playing on?” he asked. “I wish
    > bands like this played the fair when I was growing up.”

    That’s not what Wayne said. What Wayne actually said was something like this: “Now, I want you guys to sing during this song. And, I know that a song can never be as powerful as a weapon, because music is so beautiful, but I want you to try your best. I want the other people at the Fair to think that there has been an explosion. I want them to think, ‘Oh no! There’s been an explosion on the stage that the Rascal Flatts are playing on!'”

    The Flaming Lips are not about drugs. Wayne does not do drugs. The drummer had a problem with drugs, but that’s over with. If you’re familiar with The Lips, you know “The Spiderbite Song.” I think these lyrics from that song say it all:

    “I was glad that it didn’t destroy you
    How sad that would be
    ‘Cause if destroyed you
    It would destroy me.”

    What The Flaming Lips are about is love, mindfulness, and enlightenment. They’re about what life is about. Remember when Wayne got up on stage and said, “I know the weather made it so that the Magic Numbers couldn’t perform, but I really want you guys to hear them, so I’m going to bring them up for a couple songs. I really want you guys to enjoy this, and I promise that it doesn’t mean you’ll get any less Flaming Lips music.” That’s what The Lips are all about. And you got to witness it live, my friend! Let it soften you.

    If you read some Buddhist literature, you will see that the Lips lyrics and Buddhism match up in an almost 1:1 way. I do hope you take the time to look into this connection, because I believe you will then be able to appreciate the power of what is being said when The Lips say, and did so in a synaesthetic way last Thursday, “Do you realize? That everyone you know someday will die?”

    “And instead of saying all of your goodbyes – let them know
    You realize that life goes fast
    It’s hard to make the good things last
    You realize the sun doesn’t go down
    It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round”

    That song always makes me cry. I’m so glad The Lips are around.

  5. I saw a lonely blue balloon hovering over the Re-Use Center at Hiawatha and Lake today on my way downtown and wondered if it had wafted all the from the Lips show Thursday night. I thought the show was splendid. I had been wishing I’d been in the crowd by the stage…but maybe I was better off in the stands with the nodding geezers.

  6. Wow. when’s the house warming?

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