Between Wednesday at 6:30 pm CT and Thursday at the same time, the post-punkers from Oklahoma put on a fast-paced bus tour, stopping in eight different cities from Memphis to New Orleans and outperforming Jay-Z on the way.
The road trip was live-streamed as part of the third annual O Music Awards, which aired exclusively online. Viacom’s newest award show also became the company’s most-viewed digital event and a Twitter trending topic, as it aimed to recapture MTV’s early off-the-cuff irreverence and unpredictability.
“When I was 16, this was the dream – the great inclusive adventure of touring.” Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne told reporters during a tour bus press conference. “Honestly, I don’t think a lot of artists now would look very good doing this.”
Online viewers tuning in to the OMA’s could switch between three different cameras streaming live from inside the Lips’ tour bus, at all eight concert venues and behind the scenes in the control room.
Coyne initially expressed little interest in getting his name in the Guinness Book of World Records, explaining that he was more invested than the journey than the destination. But after arriving in New Orleans to perform the final show with about an hour to spare, Coyne called the achievement an “absurd joy.”
Along the route, the Lips’ welcomed several performers onstage, including Jackson Browne, Grace Potter and Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo, who all hitchhiked on the tour bus in between cities.
The Lips bus was followed all the way down the Mississippi Delta region by Guinness World Record officials and a horde of hardly-missed fans in costumes; also, “really good drugs,” according to Coyne.
After 43 million online votes were tallied, O Awards winners included Selena Gomez (Best Artist with a Camera Phone), Karmin (Best Web-Born Artist) and Adam Lambert (Must Follow Artist on Twitter). Awards were also handed out to Internet-based music services like Myxer Social Radio, ArtistGrowth and Drinkify.