Lotus returned to Philly for one last massive 2012 hometown show, bringing a tasty couple of sets to the ears of a packed E-Factory. Getting the warehouse party moving with a delicious, jazz-induced 14 minute “Flower Sermon”, a fan favorite and perfect tune to get people in the proper state of mind for what was to come.
The show was a special treat for many faithful Lotus fans with licks from an earlier version of the band such as “Mikesnack”, a super funked out song created by master guitarist Michael Rempel. Rempel remarked about the tune:
“Mikesnack was inspired by two funk songs from a Pat Martino album that I found myself listening to constantly. The song was untitled for awhile and Steve (former drummer Steve Clemens) just started referring to it as Mikesnack and the name stuck.” -MR.
Another highlight of the experience was a sizzling segue that featured an earlier, potent song “Travel” written by bassist Jesse Miller which inevitably morphed into a jaw-dropping “Greet The Mind” funk build up of insanity. Completing this vibe-filled atmosphere was a rare, special throwback jam entitled “Arupa” a Jazzy, bass and drum composition with a short bass solo by the song’s writer Jesse Miller which seamlessly transformed into a electrifying “Hammerstrike” where Rempel let all the cannons loose!
Personally, coming from a serious Lotus fans like myself, these are the songs we live for. There is nothing out there that can compare to the Funk, Improv, jammed out, Remple sky-high, peaking, Les Paul guitar sound. When the improv comes early and often Lotus is at the top of their game: Rempel sounds like a musical superhero fighting crime with every note he plucks, Jesse crushes the bass-lines so smooth and puts his mind inside of the bass guitar, exploring this incomprehensible matrix of bass. Greenfield is hitting the drums like an advanced robotic machine from the future, Chuck is providing this Latin-infused bongo rhythm groove, knowing just what pieces of his percussion arsenal to use and when to use them. Luke is in bonds of harmony with Rempel and controlling this unstoppable puzzling thunderstorm of force with his magnetizing current of synths.
Every Lotus performance I see gives me more and more faith that this band will never abandoned its roots. From a group who once played at small bars, luring people to come dance by covering and studying the musical compositions of Medeski Martin & Wood, James Brown, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Grateful Dead, to a touring force generally greeted by thousands of fans screaming before they even take the stage. The energy on the floor and this genuine appeal are why I will forever love and appreciate everything Lotus does as a group up on stage.
SETLIST: Lotus @ Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA || Friday, November 30, 2012
I: Blacklight Sunflare, Flower Sermon, Pitched to the Fire (reworked), Livingston Storm > Dowrn, Mikesnack, Wax
II: Suitcases, Ashcon, Travel > Greet the Mind, Arupa > Hammerstrike, Age of inexperience
E: The Surf, Behind Midwest Storefronts