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Inside The Flaming Lips’ pandemic “Space Bubble Concert”

▶ Watch Video: Preview: The Flaming Lips’ Space Bubble Concert

Correspondent Luke Burbank takes viewers inside the production of The Flaming Lips’ first pandemic space bubble concert, as part of an interview with the band to be broadcast on “CBS Sunday Morning” May 2.

To fill time during the pandemic and to promote the band’s latest album, “American Head,” leader Wayne Coyne came up with the ambitious concept to stage a concert at a time when most events were banned because of COVID-19. The first public bubble concert was held in March.

“I’m driving in the car and I think, oh yeah, that’d be fine. So, I just do the quickest 20-second sketch,” Coyne said, “and then you know, a half hour later I’m like, ‘Oh, I got it. All right!'”

A concert in which the lead singer of The Flaming Lips performed while inside a plastic bubble transformed, thanks to COVID-19, into an event in which everyone was inside bubbles.

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What he got was the idea to stage a concert where everyone stood in clear inflatable bubbles. Coyne agonized over every detail, including signs fans would hold indicating if they were too hot or had to go to the bathroom.

The logistics were intense.  “It’s worse than I even thought,” Coyne said, giving Burbank a tour of the production. 

Burbank visited with Coyne in Oklahoma City, where he lives and where the March concert was held. 

“I call him the Energizer Bunny because he goes to sleep with more energy than me and he wakes up with more energy,” said Coyne’s wife, Katy. “He’s like, ‘Let’s go! We got to do it!’ So he, like, dreamed up the bubble shows and drew a little sketch. I’m like, yeah, that’s cool. And I really didn’t know for a long time that he was trying to make it happen. But if he’s trying to make something happen, he’s going to make it happen.”

A socially-distanced audience (dramatically so) attends a Flaming Lips concert.  

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“So, I think I’m kind of like that,” Coyne said. “If I’m not doing something, you know, I kinda go crazy.” 

Burbank also talked with Coyne about the band’s career, and dealing with difficult life moments in song. 

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