The Flaming Lips

Judging by frontman Wayne Coyne’s pre-show warning about the intense strobe lights above the stage and how to handle him as he traversed the crowd in his “space bubble,” it was obvious that the Flaming Lips’ June 17 performance at the Cosmopolitan Boulevard Pool would be something to behold. The fuzzy bass and Pink Floyd-like psychedelia of “Worm Mountain” kicked off the two-hour party. Confetti filled the air, giant balloons cascaded through the crowd—even spilling over to the Strip below—and the backdrop pulsated with concentric, multicolored rings, completing the kaleidoscopic sensory overload. Coyne sang “Silver Trembling Hands” while sitting atop a guy in a bear costume, fired countless confetti cannons over the audience and shot green lasers out of the palms of giant hands. Amid the visual assault, there was plenty of music, as well. The set drew largely from albums Embryonic and The Soft Bulletin, and alt-classic “She Don’t Use Jelly” made an early appearance. The Lips finished the evening with the symphonic pop of “Race for the Prize” and the uplifting, hymn-like “Do You Realize?,” closing a show that was worthy of its own Vegas residency.

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Call it Muppet Babies for the ComiCon set: X-Men: First Class goes back in time to tell the tale of how Professor X, Mystique, Magneto and the rest of the Marvel mutant supergroup met cute, grew up and became heroes ... and villains. For the fifth movie in its franchise, this prequel feels surprisingly fresh—mostly thanks to the dynamic young cast, headed up by James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender.