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Flaming Lips Play a Show That Puts Fantasyland to Shame, Wayne Coyne Tells Fans at the Ace: ‘Be Happy’

Light Show, Inflatables and Miley Cyrus


What’s pink and green with lights and inflatables all over?

It’s a Flaming Lips concert of course. Expect massive amounts of confetti blasting out of huge cannons on each side of the stage, dancing blow-up reptiles and brightly-colored, costumed unicorn and animal lovers everywhere at The Theatre at the Ace.

Wayne Coyne wants love and peace – Photo by Donna Balancia

There’s a party then there’s a PARTY. The Flaming Lips come complete with nonstop bouncing balloon balls, a wild light show, and colors that are unbelievable.

But few things in life are as colorful Wayne Coyne himself. He rides a horse of many colors, sports multicolor wings, and throws confetti at the audience. The fans love him.

Wayne Coyne covers ‘Space Oddity’ and rolls over crowd in a clear orb – Photo by Donna Balancia

Not only is he a compelling if not interesting musician with a faithful following, he is also a master showman and the display at the Theatre at the Ace was nothing short of remarkable.

The Flaming Lips ran through their famous tunes, new tunes off Oczy Mlody and generally had a blast.  All the time Wayne prompted the audience to continue screaming and having fun.

Flowers, love, peace and a massive light show; it’s The Flaming Lips – Photo by Donna Balancia

Parts of the upstairs at The Ace Hotel were shut off from the public as his friend Miley Cyrus was on the premises,  although she did not show up on stage.

Coyne doesn’t make political statements, but instead talks about happiness and uses vibrant colors to give the audience some momentary glee. Because, as he said, the world out there is not as happy as everyone is when they’re at a Flaming Lips show.

Flaming Lips fans – Photo by Donna Balancia

There was a lot of discussion about his inflatable rainbow, with metaphorical as well as physical references. He said the rainbow represents the happiness we all seek and there was a time when he didn’t want to use the inflatable rainbow. But he gave props to the inflatable rainbow wranglers and his crew in general.

Coyne said there were times when he lost faith in the rainbow – Photo by Donna Balancia

It can’t be easy or cheap to put on an incredible show like this.  There are many layers of lights, many stunts the go off seemingly without a hitch and a general weirdness that is loved by all in attendance.

The fans are devoted to Wayne Coyne – Photo by Donna Balancia

“It’s like he brings us back to being a kid again,” said a Sheree from Los Angeles. “As adults we lose that connection to being childlike and he brings it back. It’s beautiful.”

Fans of the Flaming Lips say the show is beautiful – Photo by Donna Balancia

Some of the highlights included the multicolor horse Coyne rides, the giant dancing blow-up reptiles and getting into the clear inflatable orb and rolling over the crowd set to “Space Oddity.”

Flaming Lips merch sells at a frantic pace – Photo by Donna Balancia

Coyne said they had thought twice about doing “Space Oddity,” beyond about six months after the passing of David Bowie.  But he told the audience he thought it over and it’s his tribute, and now the song will remain in the show, and the fans were happy.

And isn’t that the whole point?


The Dave Schulz All-Star Jam Brings Rock and Roll Thursday to New Venue Mrs. Fish in Downtown LA

The Dave Schulz All-Star Jam - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The Dave Schulz All-Star Jam – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA – Thursday nights won’t be the same in Downtown LA as The Dave Schulz All-Star Jam brings a rockin’ new show to Mrs. Fish.

Schulz’ All-Star Jam plays a great range of dance music, funk and rock covers, and a couple of originals or two thrown in the mix. Schulz, who is perhaps best known for his work with bands like Berlin and The English Beat, has put togther a group of musicians who can really lay it down.


Mrs. Fish is an interesting establishment with a futuristic and upscale “hideaway” feel, located on Hill Street, in the center of DTLA.  Schulz and his band are expected to bring in a new crowd for the growing social scene in the area: People who want to kick off the weekend a little early, or those who hang around for a night of fun after work. There’s no cover charge.

The Dave Schulz All-Star Jam - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The Dave Schulz All-Star Jam – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

On the first of the Thursday night sessions at Mrs. Fish, last week, Schulz and his group of musician pals took the stage in the center of the room, and performed a range of blues, rock and familiar tunes. Friends in the industry and those celebrating the birthday of Nancy Hilton were on hand to rock n roll.

“This is one of the coolest places I’ve been to in a while,” said Ronnie, who with Celeste, grabbed a seat in one of the neo modern chairs around the band. “There are fun people here and that fish tank is amazing.”

Indeed, overhead is a coral-filled fish tank with tropical species jumping to the music. Apparently, those Fish above the crowds have something to do with the name of the bar.  The furniture in Mrs. Fish is cool and there are plenty of private and semi-private areas to hang out in the double-decker area.  And from no matter where you care to kick it, you can see the band.

Enjoying the music: Nancy Hilton and friends at The Dave Schultz All-Star Jam - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Enjoying the music: Nancy Hilton and friends at The Dave Schultz All-Star Jam – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

To call this venue a bar is really not adequate. There’s a good menu with reasonable prices, and Mrs. Fish boasts a nice list of mixed drinks.

And then of course there’s the music.

Bringing Schulz and his band in on Thursday nights was a good idea as the resume of the well-respected keyboardist is impressive. He’s worked with Bo Diddley, Fuel, Dave Wakeling-English Beat, General Public, Berlin, Ryan Cabrera, Phil Upchurch, The Rembrandts, Eric Sardinas, Fastball, Glenn Hughes, The Fizzies, Jay-J, Bran Van 3000 and One Tribe Nation.

Mrs. Fish is a cool new place to have a drink, dinner and see some of the hottest musicians in town when in Downtown LA.

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