THE SCENE If only for the awesome stage props — giantmulticolored balloons, streamers, and colored smoke machines under acircus-like tent — the Flaming Lips‘unannounced show at the Fox & Hound on Wed. was a sweet way to kickoff the first night of South by Southwest. Also, a giddy young couplegot engaged on stage — for real!

THE SHOW The music wasn’t too shabby either. Kickingoff with a surprisingly tight cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” theOklahoma psych-rockers tested out some material from their upcoming AtWar With the Mystics (out April 4), including the freaky metal jam“Free Radicals,” which bodes well for the new disc. To close the 45-minute set, they busted out an impressively fierce version of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” with a cameo from foul-mouthed female rapper Peaches. “We kept this a secret so all the cool peoplewould show up,” said the Lips’ Wayne Coyne. “And you guys did!” Thanksfor the compliment, Wayne; we think you’re cool too.