The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung)

Wayne Coyne opened by shouting “this night is fucking perfect!” And, even though he was talking about the uncommonly gorgeous weather (and not the music) he would turn out to be right on both accounts. Complete with moderate temperatures, cheerleaders, a bear costume, a torrential confetti drop, a frontman in a hamster ball and – oh yeah – some amazing music, the Flaming Lips took Central Park Summerstage 2010 by storm. Be sure to check out the lips on their September North American tour and my favorite photos from Rumsey Playfield after the break.

The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung) The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung) The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung) The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung) The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung) The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung) The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung) The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung) The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung) The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung) The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung) The Flaming Lips perform on July 26, 2010 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York City (All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2010 Chris Owyoung)

Photographer’s Notes

This was my first Flaming Lips show and I can confirm what many concert photographers already know – this is one of those shows where good technique and good awareness of one’s surroundings can be exceedingly rewarding. There are a number of things I would have done differently, such as not allow myself to be knocked off the barrier at the very moment of the proverbial money shot, but overall I was pleased with many of the photos I took during my short time in the pit.

If you’re shooting The Flaming Lips in September, I would encourage you to keep your cool in the pit. Just because the show is insane and they’re are too many photographers in the pit doesn’t mean you get to be dick or ruin someone’s evening when something doesn’t go your way. Be ready for the chaos and be prepared to embrace it.

Questions? Comments? Leave em below.

  1. Nice set!

    • Thanks Jason. Definitely try to shoot them this tour.

  2. Great shots, Chris – I especially like the one of Wayne jumping. I saw them here in Calgary at Virgin Fest a couple years ago, and they definitely are quite the show. Wayne encouraged girls to come up on stage and dance naked, and a couple took him up on the offer.

    I take it your ‘suggestion’ about not being a dick is directed at whoever knocked you off the barrier. Good advice nonetheless.

    • Thanks Doug,

      Actually, I was knocked off the barrier by a security guard who I can’t blame for doing his job. I can however blame myself for not having better footing in the first place. =)

      “Don’t be a dick” is a general comment based on some of the behavior I noticed in the pit that night; it’s not aimed at a specific person. I mean, I’ll play zone defense for my angle, but chances are you’ll never see me:

      1) Shoot Hail Mary over and over again
      2) Wear things like large backpacks or tripods such that enter the photos of other photographers when I move around
      3) Stand right in front but not shoot
      4) Push or shove someone to get into the spot they’ve got
      5) Push someone else’s camera out of the way if they were there first

  3. jeremy

    Yeah it definitely was a bit hectic in the pit that night.
    I got completely and intentionally shoved in the back, by one female photographer at one point.

    Love your shots (as always) and you did a great job keeping the other cameras out of your photos and getting excellent shots of the other band members

    Here’s what I got from the other side of the pit.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gordonimages/sets/72157624468964639/with/4838529866/

    • Hey Jeremy,

      Thanks. I love that shot of Wayne coming back in towards the stage. That was basically the shot I missed when I lost my footing. I also like the “peace sign” shot; which was a moment I just didn’t have a good angle on at the time.

  4. Grab your wide angle lens and climb into your hamster ball: Photos of The Flaming Lips in Central Park — http://bit.ly/aPqvWy

  5. RT @chrisowyoung: Grab your wide angle lens & climb into your hamster ball. Photos: The Flaming Lips in Central Park — http://bit.ly/aPqvWy

  6. Nice photos of The Flaming Lips. http://bit.ly/aPqvWy /via @chrisowyoung

  7. Great pics bro. Favorite one is the last one by far.

    • Hey, thanks Dave. I love that last one too. It was technically the easiest to take of the bunch but I remember smiling as I pressed the shutter.

  8. First and fourth image seal it for me. Image 12 is a very fine one too.

    Superb overall of course.

  9. Some great photos from Flaming Lips recent gig at Central Park over on Chris Owyoung's site: http://bit.ly/b12QrN

  10. Fantastic shots Chris!

Comment