The Flaming Lips’ ‘bubble concert’ could be a blueprint to revolutionise the live music circuit

The Flaming Lips at the world's first bubble dome concert
(Image credit: The Flaming Lips)

Since the pandemic broke out early last year, numerous restrictions were put in place by world leaders to put a stop to the spread of Covid-19, with hopes to return back to normal as soon as possible. 

Whether our old “normal” will ever be truly attainable again has become a topic of debate for scientists, families locked away in their homes, and, of course, musicians. But thanks to The Flaming Lips, there may be a solution for returning to our old ways — where live music exists — sooner than we think. 

On Friday 22 January, the psych-rockers took to the stage in Oklahoma at The Criterion to play the 'World’s First Space Bubble Concert'. Using a creative loophole (or loop bubble), audiences were able to watch the band from the safety of their Covid-secure domes. The venue was split up into 100 giant inflatable hamster balls, including the band who each had their own individual sphere.

The setlist consisted of a number of fan favourites, including She Don’t Use Jelly, Race For The Prize, Do You Realize??, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt.1 and more.

Being a band known for their psychedelic prowess, The Flaming Lips released a brigade of brightly-coloured balloons on top of the audience, featuring some in the form of the words “FUCK YOU COVID-19”. 

A bizarre creation never usually grows from conventional grounds, and the initial idea behind the bubble-dome concert came from a doodling session by bandleader Wayne Coyne on the first ever day of lockdown. In an interview with Consequence of Sound last month he reveals “I made a little cartoon. I drew myself. It was The Flaming Lips in 2019, and I’m the only one in a space bubble, and I’m on stage.

“Then I drew The Flaming Lips in 2020. I’m in a space bubble, but so is everyone else. Of course, I would think of that, because isn’t this absurd?”

The bubble-dome set up had gone through a series of trial runs before officially debuting last week, including performances with The Flaming Lips in their spheres on late-night shows such as Fallon and Colbert. They also recently played a private show for family and friends.

In a post-pandemic world, will this be the future of how we watch our live bands, or is this simply a quick fix to an ever-changing problem that will cease to exist before we know it? All we know is, we really want to go to a bubble concert.

Flaming Lips 'bubble concert' setlist:

Race for the Prize
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1
Flowers of Neptune 6 (Live Debut)
True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston Cover)
She Don’t Use Jelly
Will You Return/ When You Come Down
The Gash
All We Have is Now
Feeling Yourself Disintegrate
There Should Be Unicorns
Are You a Hypnotist?
Waitin’ for a Superman
Do You Realize??

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.