Lotus w/ Octopus Nebula 2.4.12
Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis & J-man
Walking past the main entrance of the Fillmore scalpers/vultures were already present. "Do you guys have any extras or do you need to purchase one?" a man asked me. "It's not sold out is it?" I asked without stopping. "Yeah, it just sold out two hours ago," a fan stated, looking perplexed and disappointed. We began our evening backstage with an interview with Luke Miller for our podcast, MusicMarauders Live. The discussion was fueled by some pretty blunt and straightforward questions that I had composed both as a journalist and as a fan. I wasn't sure how he'd react to the questions and ultimately his answers surprised me and put Lotus' career and delvelopement into perspective.
We ran into "Fleeb," the front-man for the opener, Octopus Nebula. He was visibly excited, with a smile from ear to ear. I congratulated him on the sold out show and took in all of the positive energy that he was putting out. Following our short conversation, Carly and I wandered around the empty Fillmore Auditorium listening to the soundcheck and watching the crew and staff bring the venue to the point of full operation. It was a sight that we don't often get to see, as we have only attended a few shows at the Fillmore in my year and a half in Colorado.
The doors opened and slowly folks started to pour in. The "Rail-Riders" claimed their spot front and center as Octopus Nebula took the stage. What a fantastic opportunity for Octopus Nebula and they didn't waste any time. Here is where I began to get critical... Where as I am not a fan of a lot of the newer electronica stylings, I was impressed with what I was hearing from Octopus Nebula. The material was tasteful and danceable, with the crowd reacting in a way that a headliner would normally evoke. The Fillmore packed in to a point where I began to wonder if it was the largest crowd that they had played for.
Carly and I watched from the side balcony. I noticed that when the music took a turn towards a direction that I didn't dig, the crowd would go nuts and react in a positive manner. Was I that out of touch with electronic music? Was it that I wasn't on the right substances? I began to reflect and towards the end found myself being turned off to what I was hearing. We headed down to the floor to immerse ourselves in the action. As Octopus Nebula's set wound down, I found myself dancing once again and digging the music. I dug the instrumentation and I dug the jamming, however, what I was turned off to was the heavy, dubstep style of bass and utilization of samples. Overall I found the opening set to be enjoyable and I felt like Octopus Nebula was doing interesting things.
The conclusion of the set provoked a lot of movement in the Fillmore as well as a massive entrance of young fans into the venue. I spoke with a couple of friends at setbreak who both informed me that tickets were going for $80.00 outside of the venue. I was amazed at the following Lotus had attained in Denver. By the time Lotus took the stage, it felt like a sold out show. They began with "Spiritualize" and followed with "Golden Ghost." I was pleased with the what I was hearing. It wasn't overly impressive, but it was material that was familiar and well rehearsed.
The set took a turn with "Tip of The Tongue." There were a few cluttered moments of scrambling, with the song boasting very little if any difference from any other version that I had heard. "Massif" came next as I began to reflect and become overly critical of a band that I once loved. Was I critical because I was a huge fan, or was I critical because their progression had gone in a direction that didn't necessarily appeal to me? Either way I found myself losing interest. "Spaghetti" did little to nothing for me, but I found positive in the coming of "Nematode." Though I didn't find it to be notable compared to previous versions, I digressed into elitist criticism... or was it just a matter of personal taste? The set ended with "Greet The Mind" and
"What Did I Do Wrong."
Here I was, at what many would consider a milestone show for Lotus and I was not thrilled with the first set. I could see the excitement in the faces of others. I could feel the energy, but I wasn't tapping into it. My friends were happy, a lot of the younger attendees were rolling and in heaven and the older fans grinning in glory. I felt fickle as the second set began.
"Suitcases>Ghosts 'n' Stuff>Suitcases" opened the second set with the sold out crowd going wild. Again, I reveled in the familiarity of the song, but felt like the band was going through the motions. This is where I put an end to the review. It was not productive to compare apples and oranges. Progression is only natural and looking at the numbers, people are jumping onto the Lotus bandwagon at an exponential rate. Something that Luke said in the interview stuck with me in regards to people liking older Lotus over newer Lotus...
"In some form or another, we've been doing this for twelve years. If I was still the same person that I was twelve years ago, if I was still playing the same music... I would consider that a failure. There's going to be people that like the old stuff, but we didn't sell out The Fillmore last year. We didn't sell out The Fillmore the year before. We sold it out this year. I Don't know, I think the music is getting better and I'm just going to continue on the path."
Luke was right... What did I know? I was just another overly critical old-time fan who compared all of the band's current output to what I once considered the heyday. By most accounts, the show was incredible.
Set One: Spiritualize, Golden Ghost, Tip of the Tongue, Massif, Spaghetti, Nematode, Greet The Mind, What Did I Do Wrong
Set Two: Suitcases>Ghosts 'n' Stuff>Suitcases, The Surf, Middle Road, Its All Clear>Sunrain>Flower Sermon>Sunrain
Encore: Marisol, Bush Pilot
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