The Flaming Lips | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
The Flaming Lips performing during the Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots World Tour 2023 at the ACL Live Moody Theater in Austin, Texas on November 8, 2023, with Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd, Derek Brown, Matt Kirksey, and Nicholas Ley. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

Formed in Oklahoma City, OK in 1983, The Flaming Lips have since become one of the most iconic, influential, unpredictable, and vital forces in American alternative and psychedelic rock music. The band has won three GRAMMY® Awards, a Tony nomination, and an RIAA Gold-certified Record for Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. After a combination of 23 studio recordings, 16 singles, 11 compilations, 11 EP’s and 11 self-released experimental collaborative oddities released in various forms, quantities and unique mediums, The Flaming Lips have become an American Treasure and created a genre all to themselves.

The Flaming Lips celebrate the 20th-anniversary of their classic 2002 album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, with the announcement of an expansive box set that also includes B-sides, demos, remixes, radio sessions, two concerts, and other assorted rarities from the era. The CD set includes over 50 tracks never released and dozens of rare tracks. The LP box set has 40 tracks never released on vinyl and over 30 previously unreleased tracks. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots: 20th Anniversary Edition will be available, via Warner Records, on all streaming services and as a 6 CD box set (featuring 100 tracks) on November 25 to mark the 20th anniversary year.

A 5 LP package (featuring 56 tracks) will land on April 14, 2023 – released later than the CD box set due to the long vinyl production timeline. Additionally, there will be a limited edition D2C exclusive edition of the 20th Anniversary Deluxe 5 LP Vinyl box set pressed on Baby Pink vinyl – also released on April 14. Over the course of 2023, all the material released in the 6 CD box set will also make their way to vinyl. The two live albums included in the set and the 25-minute demo “Psychedelic Hypnotist Daydream” will be available as separate vinyl releases. Additionally, the Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell and Fight Test EPs will be released on vinyl for the first time in Spring 2023.

Released in July 2002, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots remains the commercial high-water mark in The Flaming Lips’ wild four-decade journey, giving the GRAMMY® award-winners their first RIAA certified Gold Record. As the eagerly awaited follow-up to 1999’s masterwork, The Soft Bulletin, Yoshimi proved that singer/guitarist Wayne Coyne and multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd had yet another masterpiece in them.

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is a sci-fi-themed quasi-concept album that cast The Flaming Lips’ most playful and profound songs to date in a wondrous swirl of ambient electronics, digital beats, and psychedelic splendor. The record yielded the band’s top-streamed track, “Do You Realize??” (a timeless stargazing anthem that, in 2009, was named the Official Rock Song of the band’s native Oklahoma) and also landed the Lips their first-ever Grammy Award® win for the cosmic album-closing instrumental “Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia).”

The 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition provides a complete 360-degree view of the band’s creativity during this period. Several unheard demos show a rare peak at the band’s creative process. The box set also collects B-sides and outtakes, from epic fan favorites like “Assassination of the Sun” to fun, folky serenades like “Thank You Jack White (For the Fiber-Optic Jesus You Gave Me).” There is also a treasure trove of radio sessions including idiosyncratic overhauls of Pink Floyd’s “Lucifer Sam” and “Breathe,” Radiohead’s “Knives Out,” and Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” In addition, the set includes a lush instrumental version of “Do You Realize??,” that has been requested by fans to play at both weddings and funerals.

Of special note are the two concert discs, which showcase the two sides of The Flaming Lips’ ever-enlarging brain: the endearing, intimate storytellers (captured in a banter-heavy 2002 private show for a small crowd of radio-contest winners in Boston) and the masters of thundering, confetti-strewn stage spectacle (as heard in an electrifying 2003 performance at The Forum in London). As a whole Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots: 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is an essential portrait of rock’s most restlessly creative band at the peak of their powers.
Fan reviews:

Fantastic show from The Flaming Lips. Outstanding musicianship, exquisite multimedia presentation, so many positive vibes from the band and fellow concertgoers. Played the entirety of their Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots albums, took an intermission, and finished with a bunch more songs from other albums. Excellent show, top to bottom!

It was my fist time seeing The Flaming Lips and it was the most fun I've had at a concert. They were amazing!

Never miss The Flaming Lips! This is my third time seeing the Flaming Lips and I will never miss them. It is a sensory experience you won't soon forget. The music is awesome, Wayne Coyne is a therapist disguised as a singer, and the band is amazing. You really have to see them to understand. Took my daughter, granddaughter and her friend, and her friends mother. Three new rabid Flaming Lips fans!

Incredible concert! This is the third time seeing the flaming lips and they never disappoint! I’m so grateful I was there to see the entirety of Yoshimi performed live, it’s something I’ll never forget. Great show, great people, great crowd!

Amazing and filled with love. This was a concert my daughter wanted to see, and I am so glad we went. Amazing visually, sonically and even more importantly the whole theater was filled with joy and love. Incredible performance and left feeling awake and alive.
Setlist for the show at the ACL Live Moody Theater
  • Fight Test
  • One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21
  • Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1
  • Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 2
  • In the Morning of the Magicians
  • Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell
  • Are You a Hypnotist??
  • It's Summertime
  • Do You Realize??
  • All We Have Is Now
  • Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)
  • She Don't Use Jelly
  • The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (With All Your Power)
  • How??
  • Waitin' for a Superman
  • Always There, In Our Hearts
  • Flowers of Neptune 6
  • What Is the Light?
  • The Observer
  • Borderline
  • Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung
  • My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion
  • A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
  • Race for the Prize

The Flaming Lips was the main act at the ACL Live Moody Theater. They continue across the United States with the last stop at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas on November 9, 2023.

The Flaming Lips
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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