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Masters Golf Tournament + The Flaming Lips = ?

Flaming Lips headlines The Major Rager pre-show to The Masters Golf Tournament

Photos and recordings by Nathan Leslie of NSL Recording

Come one, come all! The 4th annual Major Rager mini-fest has graced us all with the super weird, super awesome, always outrageous stylings of The Flaming Lips! Alongside these legends are worthy mini-legends, People Of The Sun (by Moon Taxi), Eric Krasno Band, and Stop Light Observations! What a lineup, folks. It doesn’t get any nicer than this. Am I channeling my inner golf-announcer voice? No? Then let’s get to the music. What’s especially noteworthy about this mini-fest is that it always, or for the last four years at least, takes place on the first Thursday of the Masters Golf Tournament in downtown Augusta, GA. Regardless of your feelings towards golf and the Masters, you’ve got to admit that this is a pretty big deal in the world of sports and music. I mean, previous headliners have been Umphrey’s McGee (twice) and Gov’t Mule. That’s gotta be worth something.TFL2017-04-06pic-11

Don’t let the small outdoor stage setup in Augusta Commons fool you. This roomy park is in the middle of downtown and it’s a sight to see. There’s something in the water in ol’ Augusta because the trees are always mega-green, the flowers are always in bloom, and the sunsets are explosions of pink and orange and purple. Yeah, I know that sounds cheesy but don’t try to tell me you’re not even the slightest bit happy when you see a good sunset.


When it’s accompanied by good music, drunken golfers, and summer-like weather, you’re practically guaranteed to have the best night of the year. Although production was limited since lights and sound rigs couldn’t be hung, due to stage and wind!  The Lips weren’t phased even a little bit as their giant disco ball found a home above the crowd.


The Flaming Lips Setlist The Augusta Commons, Augusta, GA, USA 2017, 2017 Spring TourConfetti cannons, giant balloons, unicorn rides through the crowd, giant hamster ball.  What else can be said about the one and only Flaming Lips? Turns out, plenty can be said as S16 President Dianna Augustine put a typical, or as “typical” as they can be, set into gloriously outrageous words. Catch up with a recap of their show at the Fillmore Charlotte, and what it’s like to witness such extraordinary events, right here! Not convinced? Here’s three reasons why it’s a good decision:


Flame on! The sights and sounds of a Flaming Lips concert is spectacular. I mean, what does a glow-in-the-dark, lifesize unicorn, a giant clear gerbil ball soon to be inhabited, and two 12-foot-tall inflatable mushrooms have in common? The psychedelic rock arrangement brought their soulful space rock to Fillmore Charlotte this past week.


Billed as People of the Sun, Moon Taxi played a set of Rage Against the Machine songs that left little to no room for even a breath. They have been billed as such for a few festivals over the last few years,  Hangout Fest being one of them. Spencer Thomas (lead guitar) took over the lead vocals for the evening, with his trusty bandmates handling the backing arrangements, as the quintet personalized their favorite RATM tracks. Listen to the performance here!!
The Nashville natives have released two albums since their 2007 debut, Melodica, and are hopefully thinking about a 2017 release to follow up 2015’s Daybreaker. Missed the set? You can find audio for the night right here! Lucky you!


Moon Taxi as People of The Sun set list:

01) Guerilla Radio

02) Bulls On Parade

03) Down Rodeo

04) Bombtrack

05) Sleep Now In The Fire

06) People of The Sun

07) Know Your Enemy

08) Snake Charmer

09) Testify

10) Wake Up

11) Killing In The Name Of

It’s hard to believe that this next act wasn’t the opener (until you remember who was, but still) what with 2 Grammy’s and a resume full of names such as Lettuce, Soulive Tedeschi Trucks Band & Pretty Lights. In addition to his impressive past-projects, he’s shared a stage with the likes of The Rolling Stones and The Roots, AND produced with the likes of Norah Jones, 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, and Allen Stone, amongst other universally recognized names of course. Who is this mystery musical connoisseur? Why it’s Eric Krasno, of course!


New York’s finest artsy handy-man. After accomplishing so much in the industry, it’d be easy to lose yourself in the process. Krasno fought back and instead, found a new, more confident version of himself with his own solo release, entitled Blood From A Stone. Should you find yourself in the Carolina’s in April, Krasno will be gracing Charlotte on 4/20, Black Mountain on 4/21, and Greenville, SC on 4/23. This means you’re going to all three shows, right?


Eric Krasno’s setlist:

01 Torture

02 Jezebel

03 Move Over (Janis Joplin)

04 Please Ya

05 Curse Lifter

06 Never Know

07 Product

08 Sugaree (Grateful Dead)

09 Unconditional Love

Charleston’s own Stop Light Observations are quickly making a name for themselves, other than the shorthand misnomer “SLO.” The band started out as a young, freshly-inspired trio but eventually molded into the six-piece genre-mashup-group it is now. These days, you can find them opening sets like these, with Flaming Lips roaming backstage like it’s a normal day in the ever-swampy, albeit every-lovely, Augusta, GA. It’s a cool thing to see a local band open such an important show! We caught them open for Boone’s Rainbow Kitten Surprise back in June and if there set was anything like that, they’ll be headlining major events in no time:

“I spotted an open space near the soundboard and settled in for the night, only to become distracted by one of the sickest covers/medleys of The Pixies “Where Is My Mind” and Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” I’ve ever heard. I still don’t think those songs should work together, but Stop Light Observations made it work and the crowd was into it. Near the end of their set, they covered “Breezeblocks” by Alt-J and my inner-high school self was eating up every minute of it.”

This time around, unfortunately, we weren’t able to catch all of SLO’s set, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t head over to their Spotify page and click shuffle. Find out if they’re coming to a venue near you! Or you can hustle on over to the Neighborhood Theatre on 4/13, but that’s your call.

See full gallery of the fest!


Sheila Walsh graduated from USC Aiken in 2015 with a degree in English. While in school, she won an essay competition for an argumentative essay on why the arts are crucial to the education system. Additionally, she was recruited to play volleyball for USCA and contributed to a weekly journal discussing the life of a student-athlete. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC.

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