Freezing temperatures aside, the Fillmore was turned into a dancing sauna, brimming with melodic improvisations and thousands of moving bodies. If Lotus derived their band name from Greek origin, then we all got a taste of the sweet fruit that leaves you in a state of contented forgetfulness. Granted, no one will forget Lotus' first sold out show at the Fillmore last night, but everyone can agree that at least for a brief moment in time, euphoric harmonies played a part in that dream world.
With Lotus playing two full sets, the unified mindset seemed to extend beyond the common thought of the "three Ls" for most real estate markets: "Location, location, location...Lotus." The sound at the Fillmore last night was a bit piercing in certain spots, but a sweet spot could be found standing directly next to the sound engineer (duh?).
Opening the first set with "Spiritualize," the band displayed a chemistry that was impossible to ignore. The commencement couldn't have been more appropriate for the sold-out crowd, giving us a slow building track that set the tone for the night: Rising melodies that barely reach pinnacle before segueing into another well paired track.
The intensity of the first set reverberated through "Tip of the Tongue," where a slow spot, or maybe even a timing mix-up in the guitar chords, felt like an aimless song in search of a crescendo. You know when you see the lead guitarist taking precise steps to the forefront of the stage? That typically signals a change in the beat, and it felt that a few missteps occurred in the opening tracks. The peak, however, came with Mike Rempel absolutely slaying his six-string with an insatiable fervor.
Guitarist Mike Rempel
Photo Britt Chester
"Greet The Mind," preempted the first set's closer of "What Did I Do Wrong," and may have quenched that thirst for intense, high-energy expressions. But many surprises were still in store for the Fillmore, one being a certain cover that would, regardless of whether or not you like the original, send a ghastly shiver from your bouncing shoulders all the way down to your toe-tapping feet.
Photo Britt Chester
The second set opened with "Suitcases," off the 2004 release Nomad, and bled directly into the cross-genre cover of Deadmau5's "Ghosts 'n' Stuff." The synth hook was recreated by guitarists Luke Miller and Mike Rempel with flawless precision and delicate respect to the original. Regardless, the Fillmore audience ate up every note, and some avid fans of both jam-rock and electronic music, two genres that are converging at exponentially creative rates, could be seen lip-synching the original Rob Swire lyrics: "I just want to play it right."
That cover segued back into "Suitcases," and the second set was already proving to be both memorable, and diversely interesting. The closing mash-up, an applauded and frenzied mix of "Sunrain" and "Flower Sermon," gave the Fillmore precisely what it needed to send the masses back out into the freezing air with a cloud of steam rising from the tops of their heads.
Photo Britt Chester
With a starting set time of 8 pm, Octopus Nebula took the stage of the Fillmore for the first time to a quickly filling floor. This being the grand slam for many artist's careers, Octopus Nebula came out with some old tracks, as well as several new, unheard releases. They jammed through the climactic "Octopied" and "Anahata," off the groups latest effort "Through the Next Door," and gave glimpse into some new direction when "Hope" was debuted as the closer. Recently collaborating with fellow Denver band MTHDS for a track, Octopus Nebula offered a vocal sample on a track that could have easily summed the night up: "Uppers and downers -- I want to get down."
And everyone got down.
Personal Bias: I am happy to see a local band's first show at the Fillmore. Especially a sold out one.
By The Way:Octopus Nebula brought out Mike Rempel for a cameo track.
Random Detail:The show sold-out day of.
Lotus Fillmore Auditorium - Denver, CO 2/5/12
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SET I Spiritualize Golden Ghost Tip of the Tongue Massif Spaghetti Nematode Greet The Mind What Did I Do Wrong
SET II Suitcases>Ghosts 'n' Stuff>Suitcases The Surf Middle Road Its All Clear>Sunrain>Flower Sermon>Sunrain
ENCORE Marisol Bush Pilot