CONCERT RECAP: Lotus @ Buffalo Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY 9/21-9/22/12
Lotus returned to Buffalo for a 2-night run at the Town Ballroom, throwing down those trademark sexy ass instrumental post-rock and electronic dance grooves.
No matter what the venue, the energetic joy and catharsis of a Lotus show is an infectious feeling and an unforgettable experience. Yet again this month I was so fortunate to catch these professionals in action in an actual venue, a change of scenery from the festival grind they been crushing lately. By the end of this two night run I had seen Lotus 20 times in the past two and half years. Crazy you say? I see it as more of a periodic spiritual medicine refill. Whenever the chance arises I cannot help but get my butt to one of these classic, memorable, love-radiating performances.
With the release of Lotus’s new self-titled album, the direction of the band is moving in a decidedly more electronic direction than their previous two releases – Hammerstrike (2008) and Oil on Glass/Feather on Wood (2009). In the new Lotus chapter analog synthesizers, manipulated sounds, dub effects and heavy bass are complemented by horn and string arrangements. Seeing these guys live is nearly identical to seeing a professional orchestra that accompanies a Broadway play. Every song tells a story and every note explores a feeling.
When Lotus breaks out the improv its like setting a wild beast loose in a mystical jungle. I particularly love when a band that grew up on exploring jams and melodies through improvisation aren’t restricted by a festival slot time and get to do their thing. The result produced unique oldies-in-a-segue sequence, blending two musical narratives together- “Bubonic Tonic > Nematode” a totally fresh segue that many Lotus fans have never seen done before (if it even has been done before). Another hard hitting highlight of night one included “Its All Clear To Me Now > Shimmer & Out”, a suite producing and inducing a pure happiness vibe with a twist of hard melodic rock, causing hearts to beat and feet to creep.
After night one it was hard to fathom how they could top such a unique, beautiful, special show. Lotus faithfuls sat around contemplating what we would hear the second night of this already spectacular experience. Before the show, we couldn’t help but make the drive 30 minutes to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of The World – Niagara Falls. It was here we enjoyed a day in preparation for night two.
Lotus came out strong, laying down a new funky oriented track “Middle Road,” an early opportunity for guitarist Michael Rempel to showcase his earthy, pragmatic, natural groove. Adding to the already crazy pairs of segues during this two night run, Lotus took a dark and suspenseful route playing a rare “Did Fatt > Lucid Awakening” pairing. The song segue went from Rempel’s dark, mysterious, clean Les Paul riff to birds and animals chirping – like morning time out on the farm.
Another rare tune “Kesey Seed” was busted out for this Buffalo show, leaving a lot of Lotus faithfuls content and satisfied with its poignant, spiritual polarization.
All in all it was a fantastic couple nights in Buffalo. Lotus has taught me that a band that never disappoints is a band that will be around for a long time. A couple of nights filled with bongos, synthesizers, bird calls and good people. Looking forward to seeing these wonderful musicians New Years. Shout out to Rempel, Chuck, Luke, Jesse and Mike G. One love guys!
About the author
Grew up in Chicago around live music going to Lollapolooza for six years in a row. Born in New York and now living in New York after finishing off school at FDU in Madison, NJ studying cinematography and directing along with enjoying and shooting live music. Loves bands like Lotus and STS9 and all things music festival.
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