Flaming Lips

Saturday night’s show featuring Flaming Lips, Raveonettes and Merriweather Deer was a winner.  Having the photo pass and being right at the tip of the stage for the Lips’ over-the-top anarchic joyride of a show is an experience I won’t soon forget.  Does anyone have more fun onstage than Wayne Coyne?  It doesn’t seem possible.

The Lips are famous for their live show and their first appearance in Hong Kong didn’t disappoint.  Big thanks to Untitled Asia for bringing them here as headliners for a show that also included the Raveonettes and Merriweather Deer (and respect for including a local band on the bill) and keeping ticket prices at a very reasonable HK$620 (and thanks for giving me the photo pass for the show!).  About the only complaint I can make is to ask why this was at AsiaWorld – since they were using one of the smaller halls, one with very poor acoustics, they might just as well have done this at HITEC or even the HKCEC, far more convenient locations.

As you can see, some fans were definitely dressed for the occasion.

The band came out with all the house lights up to do a final sound and equipment check.  Wayne Coyne walked around taking pictures of the audience with his iPhone 4 and then made a speech that basically went, “If looking at very strong strobe lights bothers you, don’t look at them!”   The band went off stage, the lights went down, the show started and the fun began, naturally kicking off with Wayne in the space bubble or hamster ball or whatever you’d like to call it:

And then it was all confetti cannons and balloons and a very big sound.  Standing right at the edge of the stage, getting covered by confetti, bumped by balloons, in the midst of the madness, I suspect I was grinning from ear to ear.

And then time to ride the grizzly bear:

And then more confetti and smoke.

As I said, I don’t think anyone has more fun on stage than Wayne Coyne.

Unfortunately, by the time he brought out the giant puppet hands that shoot laser beams from the fingers, the first three songs were over and we were all chased from the pit.  I watched the rest of the show from the back of the hall, already out of breath and drained from those amazing first few songs.

Not having shot in a concert setting since last May, it took me a little time to get up to speed.   The lighting, of course, was far from optimal for the first two acts, and it took quite awhile for me to find a combination of settings that worked – luckily I was pretty much there by the time the Lips took the stage.  This was shot using my trusty Nikon D700 and the amazing Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.   A few shots from the back of the hall were grabbed using my Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.  Almost everything was shot at ISO 1600, shutter speeds mostly at 1/90th and 1/125th of a second, post-processing done with Lightroom, for those who may be interested.

Many more photos can be found on the Gallery page.

Originally posted on Hongkie Town.


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