Three Nights of Lotus at Boulder Theater 4.4.13 - 4.6.13
Words & Photos By Kevin Hahn
Let’s make this very clear from the beginning, when I requested to cover the recent 3-night Lotus run in Boulder I was expecting to attend only the Thursday show with a critical perspective and go on being a non-Lotus fan with an overall disdain for the “Jam-tronica” scene. Upon arriving at the glorious music venue known as the Boulder Theater I was immediately greeted with a massive crowd of Coloradoans itching to get their dancing shoes going and party faces melting, with a very diverse range of ages that is always good to see. After waiting approximately 30 minutes to attain my various tickets for the evening I entered through the awesome, yet surprisingly still secret George’s entrance and slammed my usual Vodka Tonic to help me enjoy what I was about to hear. I chose the awesome Boulder Theater balcony for my first viewpoint and just as I was settling in, the lights went down and this “Jam-tronic” 3-night rage fest began.
The Boulder Theater was rocking from the moment Lotus took the stage on Thursday night to the last time we saw them on Saturday evening. Everyone in the crowd was dancing their asses off from the first note that this Philadelphia based group gave us, and wow was the energy off the roof! In my six years attending shows at the venue on 14th Street in downtown Boulder, it would be hard for me to find a more excited and passionate crowd than the Lotus freaks who came out for this mostly ridiculous 3-night extravaganza. Drinks were flowing, people were smoking, and the party was raging HARD with each and every song that Lotus brought to the table. Some of my personal highlights from Thursday night were “Slow Cookin," “Wooly Mammoth,” and the funky as fuck “Spaghetti." Trading unique guitar riffs back and forth Mike Rempel and Luke Miller, the two guitarists of the band, brought the Boulder crowd to a frenzy with each progressive note.
Following the absolutely disgusting Italian food funk, Lotus gave me something I hadn’t heard in a very long time... The Zelda theme song! What a treat for the nerds in the crowd as this version of the video game cult-classic’s theme song was ripping and roaring from start to finish. Night one came to an end in a personally unsatisfying “Womp-tastic” fashion, but the flat-brimming audience members were digging the bass and all of the cool sound effects that came with dub-step. So now, I had to make a very hard decision. Attend night two or not? After a good talking from my best buddy on how amazing night two would be, I started to pack my show stuff and get ready to rage it once again. Friday nights at the Boulder Theater always have a party atmosphere surrounding them and this one did not disappoint in the slightest. Lotus kicked off the night with a great dance/party starter, “Spiritualize” and kept bringing the heat from there on out. Pieces such as “He Ain’t Well” and “L’immeuble” were executed flawlessly with the transitions from bass to guitar leading right into great rhythm progressions. My personal favorite Lotus song “Behind Midwest Storefronts” was even better live than on the recordings, and while almost dropping my camera a few times I quickly realized that this night was going to be off the chain.
Now I will take a moment here to discuss some of the things that not only confused me with Lotus, but also disappointed me greatly. I must do this to keep some level of standards for my musical appetite, and I am sorry if I offend any Lotus freaks out there with the questions I have:
-Since when is 30% of Lotus’ music dub-step?
-What is up with the computerized vocals? You guys can’t afford a live singer?
-Does Jesse Miller (bass) really need a keyboard/sampler, or could he focus more on slapping that bass even harder than he does?
I ask these questions because not only did Lotus change my mind completely about what their music is over this run, but also I quickly became a fan of what they do. I appreciate their unique take on the “Jam-tronica” genre and their fans obviously love them to the core. So why not play more instruments, and less computers?
Friday night quickly came and went, but all of us party animals knew that we had one more raging night to have Lotus melt our faces and tire us out. The anticipation I had for night three was palpable, as Friday night simply described was a fucking awesome time. Ripping through songs such as “Middle Road,” “Gilded Age,” and “Tip of the Tongue,” Lotus’ first set on night three was jam-packed with melodic transitions and crazy tone changes. Set Two was much of the same and the Boulder fans were noticeably not excited for the end of this epic run. The “Sunrain” sandwich to close the night was great, and the crowd could be heard yelling down the block “One more Song!” But, what would the Philadelphia ragers do for their 3-night run encore? After a nice “Kodiak” and “The Surf,” Lotus gave the crowd what they really wanted, a slow and melodic “Colorado” to end it. Personally, I thought this was a truly pathetic way to end a raging 3-night stand but as the Stones say… ”You can’t always get what you want.”
To sum up the Lotus extravaganza I will admit, I am now and will be for the unforeseen future a definite Lotus freak. The energy the band brings to each show is almost drinkable, and it was hard to find a moment where I wasn’t dancing my ass off. I highly recommend Lotus and their dancy dub-step, and will 100% be catching every Colorado show they have in the near future. Us music-obsessed Coloradoans won’t have to wait too long, as Lotus announced a Red Rocks date in mid-September. So go out and dance the night away to the sounds of Lotus, because I promise you will not have a bad time.
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