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Wednesday, March 14

Review and Photos:Lotus - 3/5/12 – Orlando, FL - The Beacham Theater

Lotus rolled through Orlando, FL while embarking on a very busy late-winter tour that made most of its stops throughout the mid-west and southeast including 3 in Texas and 1 in Oklahoma. The tour is in support of their latest studio release, the self-titled album.  Lotus, the groups 4th and arguably hottest album dropped last fall and was well received by fans. Despite earning the moniker of Jambando, the city of Orlando has slacked on providing a well greased music scene and a Monday night downtown could have proved to be a bad night for a band like Lotus to showcase their grooves.
Greensboro, SC 3 piece electro-jammers, The Malah, handled the opening duties. The crowd steadily packed the ballroom style venue and had it comfortably ready to rage by their second song. The Malah effectively intermingle middle-eastern samples with solid jam-tronica roots to create an interesting dance groove. They hit 6 dates with Lotus through the southeast and were masters at getting the pumped crowd ready for the feature act.
Lotus hit the stage at 10:00 pm sharp and quickly announced that it was their first show ever in Orlando. To get things started they tore into 2 songs from the new album. They began the show with the engulfing electronic/house grooves of “Harps” then continued with “Bush Pilot;” the only 2 songs played from the new album. The latter begins with sampled horns that meld into a tubular jam with guitar licks that alternate between jazzy and gruff/rock through the amazing talents of lead guitarist Mike Rempel.  

The already stoked crowd reached a point of no return during the middle of the set when the trinity of “Wax,” “It’s All Clear to Me Now” and “Livingston Storm” were busted out one after another. Each song was between 10 and 15 minutes long and ate up nearly a quarter of stage time in the 1 set show. “Wax” is a song that traverses between multiple sounds of house type beats, jazzy funk, synthed electronica and straight jam featuring tight drum beats and controlled guitar noodling; the archetype of the Lotus vibes.  The mid-set trifecta lead into the ultimate jam sandwich set closer, “Bellwether>Umbilical Moonset>Bellwether.” Keyboardist/guitarist Luke Miller kicked off “Bellwether” with a bouncy loop that is followed by voice box lyrics that would leave Lil’ Wayne jealous; for real funk! Edgy guitar and a space jam lead into an upbeat psychedelic piece that took a turn into “Umbilical Moonset.” Quite possibly the simplest composition of the night and only 2 minutes long, “Moonset” was placed so perfectly in the set that all hands were in the air, some bodies were on the floor, and everyone was shaking. 

Lotus proved most of the locals wrong; good things do happen in Orlando on Monday nights in the live music scene. Fans came from all over the state of Florida and elsewhere to nearly sell out The Beacham Theater. It is impossible to label the multi-genre ragers but exciting to see that there is something truly fresh on the scene. A group that leaves no stone unturned on their journey through experimentation and quality sound. Jambando was back, at least for one night and from the size and energy of the crowd something tells me that Lotus will be back again too. 

Set List:
Harps, Bush Pilot, Shimmer and Out>Ghosts N Stuff>Shimmer and Out, Golden Ghost, Blender, Wax, It’s All Clear to Me Now, Livingston Storm, Middle Road, Bellwether>Umbilical Moonset>Bellwether
E: Age of Inexperience

Words and Photos By: Rich Kujawa