Saskatchewan Jazz Festival review: The Flaming Lips, Wand, Ghost Note

Confetti showers. An enormous inflatable pink robot. A massive orb featuring a crowd-surfing lead singer.

There was hardly a moment that was anything less than thrilling during Friday’s 2018 Saskatchewan Jazz Festival opener. Los Angeles psychedelic rock band Wand opened up the concert at the Bess Gardens with a few instrumental numbers, paving way to the rest of their more heavy-hitting material. It was the perfect opener for one of the most-buzzed about acts of the year: The Flaming Lips!

Hardly any time into the headliner’s set and the audience was showered in confetti. The props and hits from the band rivaled one on another all night long – from tailored balloons spelling “Fuck Yeah Saskatoon”, to aforementioned air-filled pink robot during their song Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1, to huge laser shooting hands, and an inflatable rainbow during the last song of the evening Do Your Realize?? Obviously, one of the fan highlights was when lead singer Wayne Coyne crowdsurfed in an orb, but it made for an engaging performance, and a night that won’t be forgotten.

Other Friday night highlights included Regina’s Jack Semple at the Free Stage, Los Angeles band Cherry Glazerr, who had their Amigos crowd moshing, and the grammy winning Ghost Note, whose performance at the Capitol will be a festival favourite for many.

– All images and words contributed by the mighty Mike Morien