For the longest time, The Flaming Lips have made live shows that are those of legend. No matter what album they’re touring on, the live show is where music and imagery come together to create magic. On their first live album ever, The Soft Bulletin: Live at Red Rocks (feat. The Colorado Symphony & Andre de Ridder) they bring all of that energy to an album worthy of the show itself.
While this isn’t the band performing a mix of new songs and favorites like most live recordings, it is a different experience. The way that The Soft Bulletin works with the symphony as well as how it sounds at the iconic Red Rocks stage is exemplary. Moments on the album that would have been well served with an orchestra are well taken care of here. The opening of “Race For The Prize” sounds glorious with brass and strings getting it started, while “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton” finally gets the live orchestral movements it has deserved.
Where the band shines on “The Spiderbite Song” and on “What Is The Light?” in mixing the orchestral tones with electronics, the true magic comes on “The Gash.” The epic opening receives the perfect blend of orchestra and it never leaves throughout the song. Backing chorus vocals and lush tones from the symphony give the song a more weighted experience, while the new touches from the band give your ears a truly moving experience.
The album is available in multiple formats and bundles directly from Warner Records. It can also be streamed on all streaming sites or downloaded in all digital music stores. The Flaming Lips are on tour December 07 in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico at Festival Catrina until July 18 in Galway, Ireland at Galway International Arts Festival. Their tour dates can be located here.
Image Credits: Photo by Shannon Shumaker.