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October 24, 2002 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-24

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8B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, October 24, 2002

The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine -

Beck

and

Flaming

Lis

ji

forces

Contrasting performances tied tight by a single band
Daily Arts Editor
bile the Oklahoma City native Flaming Lips bounced through a psychedelic-experiment in rock,
the sold-out Detroit Opera House crowd didn't know what or who to look at. Between the enig-
matically quirky antics of frontman Wayne Coyne, a huge screen playing curiously edited video
clips and a veritable zoo of animals onstage, the ocular spectacle was overwhelming. It was obvi-
ous when one-time folk-rap wunderkind, now heartbreak-hero Beck Hansen took center stage, where the audi-
ences' eyes belonged.

Beck's now month-old Sea Change is
a collection of sad-sap songs inspired by
the loss of his longtime sunshine, and the
32 year-old, like Lou Reed before him,
has done much of his growing up in pub-
lic. The kaleidoscopic piecemeal of
obtuse stoner-folk found on 1994's
Mellow Gold grew into
the sample-ized junk cul-
ture perversion of Odelay.
Beck ran from his Odelay BECK V
commercial success with FLAMI
Mutations, a bluesy-folk-
trip tribute to the middle At the
ground of his Geffen back Opera
catalog. Beck's first sea Monday
change followed with at 7:3
Midnite Vultures, a self-
indulgent satirical shot-in- ClearC
dance-pop's eye rooted
deeper in Prince than Robert Johnson.
The lone muse strummed quietly
Monday night, pulling himself through
Mutations' "Cold Brains," and "Lazy
Flies" before standing to deliver a har-
monica-spat jig of "One Foot in the
Grave."
Previously J
pit-stopping
i n

NI'
IN,
C-

Canada, Beck commented on the
Canadian ability to wear him out, saying
"they required a little extra effort, so I'll
have to see what I can do tonight."
Midway through his fifth song, the
black scrim raised (if you blinked, you
missed it), and The Flaming Lips (Beck's
backing band) added tex-
ture and sonic girth to the
country-rock fueled "The
[TH THE Golden Age." Lips leader
4G LIPS Wayne Coyne added high
harmonies and earnestly
Detroit humble fist-pumps, often
House echoed by Beck's chuckle
Oct. 21 or grin. For the remainder
p.m. of the show, The Flaming
Lips played orchestra to
hannel Beck's maestro. With both
subtlety and fluidity, the
Flaming Lips were led and directed
through Beck's catalog - a hip gyration
or a point toward the drummer serving
conducting markers.
Often, The Flaming Lips additions
took the wonderfully rich Sea Change
songs, filling them
fuller than their album-
arranged counterparts.
A second guitar riffed a
beautiful addition dur-
ing an acceler-
ated "Lost
Cause," and
SC o y n e ' s
scratchy tenor
added delec-
table harmonies,
to the often
somber,
'sober-
F ing Sea
- Change
ballads.
T h e
Lips were by
no means con-
strained to note-
for-note recre-
ations of Beck's
songs or atmos-
pheres. Coyne spent

substantial time during the set rummag-
ing around stage, setting up lights pulsing
in time to the music. Coyne bounds into
each song - whether it is his own or not,
like a mad scientist uncle galloping into
the garage to display his latest creation.
Beck revisited Mellow Gold, dusting
off the dirty-folk tunes and polishing
both "Loser" and "Pay No Mind," retro-
fitting the songs into slick, slack-free
renditions sans throaty vocals.
At one point Beck sauntered back,
motioning toward The Flaming Lips,
who subsequently exited the stage.
Seating himself at the front stage left,
Beck moseyed through a bewildered har-
monium-only version of "Nobody's Fault
But My Own." Given the song's morose
subject material, it was fitting that the
solitary minstrel played solo.
With The Flaming Lips behind him, it
would seem Beck's retro-funk revival
Midnite Vultures would garner heavy
rotation Monday night. However, the
synth-vocal driven "Get Real Paid," was
the lone Vultures' track to make an .
appearance.
Between songs, Coyne often chid-
ed Beck, offering a smug-smirking,
"Nice one Beck," earning a
"Thanks," from the tie-wearing The Flaming Lips and their weapon of choice.
headliner.

courtesy or Warner Bros.

It was in front of a huge screen, pro-
jecting an interview between Coyne and
Pet Sounds mastermind Brian Wilson,
that The Flaming Lips took and subse-
quently stole the stage. Coyne, the light-
hearted headmaster of a twisted school,

sought constantly
to steal the show -
an amalgamation of
psychedelic
arrangements, lush-
ly backgrounds and
Coyne's sometimes
fragile crackling
croon. With herds
of bunny rabbits
and bears holding
ultra-bright flash-

The Hlam.
played or
to Beck's

lowing it with the beautiful "Fight
Test" from this year's Yoshimi
Battles the Pink Robots.
During the curiously raucous set,
Coyne routinely jumped in the air,
popping one of the over-inflated bal-
loons floating
overhead with
his guitar.
The giant
ing Lipscreen distracted
from Coyne's
Chestra frenetic song
and dance rou-
mIaeSro. tine. During
"Yoshimi Battles
the Pink
Robots," an edit-
ed scene from a Japanese movie in
which an all girls classroom erupts
in uzi-induced violence, culminat-

ing with a mass of twisted bodies
behind Coyne's song.
From the "Teletubbies" to "Time
Bandits," The Flaming Lips' set was
both exhibitionist and experimen-
tal..
After a first encore featuring
Odelay's "Devil's Haircut," Beck et
al returned to the stage for a final
song.
"We're going to end on a mellow
note," said Beck as he picked and
plunked, leading the Lips into the
Velvet Underground's "Sunday
Morning." Beck elected to begin his
final song, like he began his set,
alone.
Much like Beck's set it wasn't
until The Flaming Lips fleshed out
the 1967 classic, joining in one by
one, that everything fell into place.

lights to the audiences' eyes, The
Flaming Lips launched into The Soft
Bulletin's "Race For the Prize," fol-

Beck gives his best "come hither" look while donning his Sunday best.

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