Watch The Flaming Lips Play “Race For The Prize” In Quarantine-Ready Plastic Bubbles On Colbert

Watch The Flaming Lips Play “Race For The Prize” In Quarantine-Ready Plastic Bubbles On Colbert

The problem of quarantine-era live shows is a tough one to figure out, but the Flaming Lips might’ve figured out the answer years ago. For well over a decade, Wayne Coyne, frontman for the veteran Oklahoma City psych-rockers, has been running around in a giant transparent plastic bubble during live shows. It’s a cool, unique visual, and it makes for an exciting live-show moment. But on a larger scale, it also means that a band can play in front of people while maintaining social distancing.

Last night, the Flaming Lips put that theory into action. The Flaming Lips were the musical guests on their old comrade Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, and they expanded on the plastic-bubble idea. Coyne had his own giant inflatable plastic bubble, and so did everyone else in the band. With the bubbles in place, the Lips were able to play in front of an audience of indeterminate size, and everyone in the audience also had plastic bubbles.

The Flaming Lips recently teamed up with country star Kacey Musgraves on their new single “Flowers Of Neptune 6,” and they also covered a bunch of old songs, including the George Jones classic “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” for the soundtrack of the indie thriller Arkansas. But they didn’t play any of that on Colbert. Instead, they took us back in time and played “Race For The Prize,” the delirious opener from their 1999 classic The Soft Bulletin. Watch the performance below.

If the pandemic lasts long enough, maybe bands will have to tour like this. If that comes to pass, the Flaming Lips will at least be prepared.

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