The Reverb Essay

The Reverb Essay: My time with the Flaming Lips

Lizzie Allen on stage with the Flaming Lips in Atlantic City, N.J. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Lizzie Allen on stage with the Flaming Lips in Atlantic City, N.J. Photo courtesy of the artist.

We at Reverb love it when great people find each other and make music together — especially when some of those people are from Colorado. Lizzie Allen and her bandmates in Vitamins have their story — with Flaming Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne — and it’s only just started.

Allen & Co. met Coyne in December and later opened for the band at a club show in Aspen. After spending the holiday with them in their native Oklahoma City, good things started to happen — and we caught up with Allen while she was on the east coast performing with the band. We dropped her a note, and she hit us back. Here’s her story — and keep an eye out for her to play with the Lips in early August when they take on Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison.

A dispatch from Lizzie Allen of Vitamins:

Yeah, this whole Flaming Lips thing has been a real whirlwind. I met Wayne Coyne in December randomly at a Tame Impala show at the Bluebird. We showed him around Denver, hung out at Gabor’s, then at the Breakfast King. We were talking art, music and the pursuit of everything; we drew art together alongside Patrick Porter. I knew right away that Wayne was everything he is cracked up to be. He asked us to open up for them in Aspen on December 27th. While we were in Aspen, they invited us out to Oklahoma to watch their New Years Eve show.

I ended up going.

The next night, after their show, we hung out until the wee hours of the morning at his house with his wife. We sang songs around the fire, had a fine time. I just felt very comfortable with them. It’s always an adventure hanging out with him.

Wayne and I kept in contact. I went to the Flaming Lips’ Snowball Festival show in Avon. Also, I got to know the tour manager, Chris Chandler. I told Wayne if he ever needed a female vocalist on anything that I would be down and that I sang opera in college for four years.

And so it goes … they needed someone to fill in for Peaches, who sang on their “Dark Side Of The Moon” cover album. I got a text last Saturday asking if I could sing “The Great Gig in the Sky” by Pink Floyd. I responded “YYEESS.” So they flew me out to Philly, the band picked me up, we drove to Atlantic City, I got on a green wig, gold suit, some fairy wings and ruby red slippers and sang my heart out.

The first time I performed “Gig” was at the House of Blues on Thursday, where they only covered that song. Then the next day we played at the Dave Matthews Band Caravan Festival. Both shows in Atlantic City. They all seemed impressed, so it looks like I’ll be doing a Chicago show (on July 10) with them and the one at Red Rocks (on August 3).

I am absolutely loving life. This whole thing has been very inspiring.

Vitamins is recording a record right now and going on tour in mid-August. We will be going to Salt Lake City, L.A., up the coast to San Fran, Portland, Seattle, Boise, Fort Collins. We are super excited to hit the road again.

Vitamins will play the 11th annual UMS (Denver Post Underground Music Showcase) on the weekend of July 21-24. More:

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Ricardo Baca is the founder and co-editor of Reverb, the co-founder of The UMS and an award-winning critic and journalist at The Denver Post.