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Flaming Lips and Weezer Share the Stage in Jersey


“We hope it’s kind of confusing,” said Wayne Coyne Thursday night from the stage at the PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey. “You leave to go to the bathroom and Flaming Lips are playing and you come back and Weezer is playing.”

The head Lip was referring to the unique stage set-up the two bands used for the co-headlining gig, possibly the world’s first-ever simultaneous, side-by-side show: Both acts had their equipment plugged in and ready to go at the same time – one would play a few songs and trot off, then the other would come on and do the same. Rinse, lather, repeat, until Weezer was playing amidst the miscellaneous multi-colored detritus left over from the Flaming Lips trademark bonkers tricked-out live shows. “I can’t see my set list,” Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo complained at one point. “It’s covered in confetti!”

Along with plumes of confetti, the Flaming Lips show featured: gaggles of young ladies decked out in matching sexy-Dorothy in Wizard of Oz outfits; giant Michel Gondry-type hands worn by Coyne while a giant disco ball was dramatically lowered from the rafters; and loads of green lazers.

Weezer kept it simple, with the only stage prop a flying ‘W’ on a giant screen behind them, but won the crowd over anyway. So much so that at one point, during a band switchover, Coyne crooned out: ‘Weezer will be baaaack, don’t woooorry.”

Some of the loudest shrieks of the night came during “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You to) I Want You To,” when Cuomo bounded off the stage with a cordless mic and made it all the way to the upper tier of the PNC Bank Arts Center bowl. The crowd swarmed around him, lifting him up onto a seat, and Cuomo declared, “The Lips are gonna come back out but I’m gonna hang out here with you people.” Also: “Stop squeezing my leg!”

Throughout the show, a big messy joint-finale felt inevitable — and, thankfully, a big messy joint-finale was delivered.

For the last two tracks, both bands marched out onto the stage, with the Flaming Lips bringing all their accoutrement. Cuomo and Coyne met for a sober handshake, and then Coyne kicked off “She Don’t Use Jelly.” Cuomo was right there with him, though, strumming along and belting out lines.

Then it was Weezer’s turn. As they kicked out “Undone – The Sweater Song,” Coyne went down the aisle on the back of a dude in a bear suit, firing off confetti with his own personal-use confetti cannon.

Then to finish things off, with that rousing bit of anthemic alt-pop still ringing in everyone’s ears, both bands huddled together for an arms-on-shoulders Broadway-style group bow. Earlier, Coyne had thanked Weezer “for being so brave. It was their idea to do this.” As to why Coyne agreed to it? “I say, you gotta fucking live your life and do different shit.”