When I emerged dazed from the Bill Graham Auditorium last Thursday night, I remember feeling vaguely surprised that the city was still standing. Civic Center was still there, empty and quiet. And there was City Hall: regal, nonplussed and, unlike me, not spattered with the fake blood that had rained like shrapnel down into the photo pit. Most of my costume was missing, except for the unexplained santa hat still on my head. I did not look like a professional.
Perhaps I should have been ashamed of my disheveled state as that noble edifice stared down at me. Thankfully, the crowd dispersing from the theater into the city like CFCs from an aerosol can looked so much weirder. I was standing near two zombie Miley Cyruses, a manic ginger in a dwarf outfit, a tiny nordic skeleton and a space lobster. I saw a guy dressed in a form-fitting Beatrix Kiddo costume (of Kill Bill fame), while running with unsustainable velocity toward nothing in particular, trip, soar and faceplant on the street. To my right, what only could have been a "Sexy Jawa" gave me a knowing look and moonwalked backwards into the shadows. Seemed about right.
Rather than delineate the series of events that led to this moment, I'm just going to let the following pictures speak for themselves. I will say that Tame Impala played a fantastic, raucous hour of some of the best psychedelic rock I've ever heard. And the Flaming Lips? Well, just scroll below. I've tried to approximate my mental state at the time these pictures were taken. Enjoy.
Tame Impala in mid-shred, dressed as the Spice Girls.
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala.
The anticipation builds.
Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, in his virginal pre-apocalypse state.
Wayne, in his laser cocoon.
Come on out, little guy.
Aw. Not safe. There's a Groundhog Day joke in here somewhere.
Hm. So that's a Miley Cyrus in breastplate costume on a bear's shoulder, waving a Twerk finger. Do go on.
Why do all the other photographers have plastic wrap over their lenses? What's in that bucket? Is that fake blood? Is this a Carrie reference? This is a Carrie reference.
Wayne's arms stayed in a double-heil for most of the rest of the night.
Is that a wand? Jesus that's bright, is that a Silmaril? Who gave him a Silmaril?
This photo was taken shortly before one of the other photographers snapped and, snarling and leaping about with a needle, began popping every balloon he could. It was chaos.
Glenda? What is this? What genre are we in?