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Never Miss a Flaming Lips Show: Have a Good Trip! Benefit Concert for MAPS at Mission Ballroom in Denver, Colorado | June 22, 2023

When you’re heading to Denver, Colorado for a psychedelic convention hosted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), chances are you’re planning on having a pretty great time. But what about a psychedelic convention who are simultaneously hosting a music benefit concert with The Flaming Lips? Top it off with a world class lineup of comedy acts that includes Eric Andre and Reggie Watts, and you’re bound to reach another level of entertainment.

Presented by the creators of Netflix’s Have A Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics, a comedic documentary focusing on shared psychedelic experiences, the goal of the evenings’ concert was to raise money to advance crucial studies in the fields of plant medicine. Partying for a good cause has always piqued my interest, and the sold out Mission Ballroom told me that others were excited to support this endeavor as well.

Reggie Watts performing at Mission Ballroom, June 22, 2023. Photo by Brittany Wherry for Compose Yourself Magazine

Warming up the evening was no other than artist and comedian Reggie Watts, who has developed a cult following due to his unique and impressive music production style. Seeing Reggie Watts live is an experience that is hard to put into words. His unique blend of beatboxing, looping, and improvisation creates a sound that is both mesmerizing and otherworldly. As he takes the stage, the audience is immediately drawn in by his infectious energy and charisma. His music is a fusion of genres, blending elements of funk, soul, and hip-hop into a sound that is entirely his own. 

Watching him create his music live is a true spectacle, as he effortlessly layers sounds and rhythms to create a sonic landscape that is both complex and beautiful. His live performances are a testament to his talent and creativity, and it’s no wonder that he has become one of the most sought-after performers in the world of music. If you ever have the chance to see Reggie Watts live, don’t miss it – it’s a fun and interactive experience you won’t soon forget.

Eric Andre performing at Mission Ballroom, June 22, 2023. Photo by Brittany Wherry for Compose Yourself Magazine

Eric Andre is a comedian and actor known for his outrageous and unpredictable antics. One of his most infamous stunts involves taking phones from audience members during his live shows and texting their mothers random and often inappropriate messages until one of them responds. This prank is both hilarious and cringe-worthy, as the audience watches in disbelief as their personal messages are sent without their consent. Eric’s bold and fearless approach to comedy has earned him a dedicated following, and his willingness to push boundaries and take risks has made him a standout in the world of comedy. While some may find his antics controversial, there’s no denying that Eric Andre is a true original who is always willing to go the extra mile to make his audience laugh.

Now, onto the main attraction – the Flaming Lips.

Attending a Flaming Lips concert is an intoxicating sensory experience unlike any other – disorienting bursts of confetti, gargantuan inflatables, streamers, lasers and more work to complete the show, and of course there’s the extremely talented five piece band itself. Hailed as one of the most sought after live performers in the world, Flaming Lips have been perfecting their touring antics since 1983. Though members of the band have come and gone, the explosive creativity at the bands’ core continues to remain unrivaled. 

Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips performing at Mission Ballroom, June 23, 2023. Photo by Brittany Wherry

The night at Mission Ballroom was no different, with Flaming Lips delivering a mind-blowing performance. Melting visuals courtesy of both artists Jen Stark and Flaming Lips leader Wayne Coyne prove to be a divine match to the Missions’ laser studded disco ball above. Inflatable mushrooms and brightly colored streamers spread throughout the venue, giving the entire evening a truly immersive feel. The crowd became a sea of swaying bodies, with all of us lost in the music and the moment. It was a genuinely unforgettable experience that left me feeling euphoric and grateful. 

Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips performing at Mission Ballroom, June 23, 2023. Photo by Brittany Wherry

With the band in the midst of a commemorative Yoshimi tour run, the crowd lucked out with a sprinkling of gems from the record, including ‘One More Robot’, ‘She Don’t Use Jelly’, ‘In the Morning of the Magicians’, ‘All We Have is Now’, ‘Do You Realize?’ and more.

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