Fri., Feb. 01, Akron/Family
Blue Lamp, 8:30 p.m., $12-$14
I once saw the Flaming Lips twice in the same year—during the 1999 tour for The Soft Bulletin. Both shows, spaced apart only by a few months, were nearly identical. What seemed fresh and amazing the first time around felt stale, boring and lazy on the second run-through. While Akron/Family's music sometimes falls into Flaming Lips territory—it's improv-heavy, experimental and often mind-blowing—the band rarely slacks off with rote performances. Rather, Akron/Family has been known to turn each set into an epic performance that relies on audience participation and the setting aside of any preconceived notions. In other words, its live show is kind of trippy and hard to define. 1400 Alhambra Boulevard, www.akronfamily.com.