On September 14th, hundreds of colorful and vibrant Flaming Lips fans waited outside the iconic First Avenue venue in Minneapolis, Minnesota to catch a rare act –the first ever show of the Flaming Lips’ side project: The Electric Würms. I had an all access pass to this psychedelic journey of drugs, glitter and reverb and am here to share my experience with you all.
The Würms present an otherworldly sound to match the psychedelic and futuristic attire they wear and adorn the stage with. It’s hard to find human attributes alongside the twenty-foot tall backdrop of metallic silver balloons, glitter and flashing lights. But when you do, it comes in the form of huge flashing smiles, which are highlighted in between snarls and ambient screams.
Multi-intrumentalist Steven Drozd of the Lips wears doom metal makeup you’d find on the Misfits or Alice Cooper but trades the classic black for a brilliant glitter blue. He accessorizes with a triangular shoulder piece, the new accessory found on this planet, with silver polka dots shining in the ambiance of what could only be UFO lights. The band takes the stage sending out the most high power frequencies of “Let’s party!” The combination of members of Linear Downfall and The Flaming Lips gives these musicians an all over new sound that every one found themselves bobbing their heads to immediately. Heavy Hi-C (yes, the fruit punch) doom loops keep you grounded with the juxtaposition of vocals mimicking noise or a screeching pedal. Every one took turns playing instruments and singing but throughout it’s clear that Steven is the driver of this spaceship.
My wingman throughout this journey was none other than Daniel Donahue, the artist who designed The Würms first album cover. He had this to say about their first show: “The Electric Würms sound like the outer space soundtrack to the most intense and personal psychological sci-fi movie never made.” Throughout their set I found myself thinking, is that sound on purpose? What the fuck planet am I on? And before I knew it, the first Electric Würms show had come to a fiery close.
At the end of the show, I looked down at my glowing screen that mirrored the blue blaze I’d been staring at for the last thirty minutes on stage and texted my friend, “All those thoughts I’ve been having, its true, I am an alien and I’ve found home.” “The vibe after the show with all the members was glorious exhaustion and giddy relief,” recalls Dan with a smile on his face just as big as the ones I saw on Wayne and Steven. Congratulations Flaming Lips…. you just got an upgrade in psychedelics thanks to the birth of The Würms.