LOTUS @ RED ROCKS | 10/4/13 Despite predictions of snow all week, the weather stayed calm but frigid at Red Rocks as Lotus performed its show, which had been rescheduled due to the flooding a couple weeks ago. Even though it was cold, all quickly warmed up dancing to the high energy genre-bending music on stage, and were even treated to a special guest.
Based in both Denver and Philadelphia, the jamtronic band happily graced the stage for its second headlining show at Red Rocks. Jesse Miller, bassist and sampler, started off the night with a sampled percussive rhythm that opens "Wax." The rest of the band quickly jumped right in, and the sound was absolutely perfect. Thanks to the cold, you could really see the smoke machines cranking out a lot more haze, which naturaly makes any good light show great.
Chuck Morris's percussion, which came through loud and clear, added another level of beats to bounce to in the songs, as Luke Miller played some heavy funky synthesizer riffs and guitarist Mike Rempel repeated melodies on guitar, changing them around slightly once in a while for added interest. Jesse, meanwhile, threw in bass solos, as the band sped up faster and faster, creating a big peak that showed they were here to throw down.
The band has really evolved through the years, and isn't afraid to change its sound to try out what they members are into. Past performances have seen the group much glitchier and electronic sounding, but this time out, the sampler seemed to be used more sparingly, and thus more effectively. As crowd favorite "Neon Tubes" started up, the energy level of the audience rose significantly, the dance tempo elevated faster and faster before bringing it all down to a smooth funk jam. Luke was really laying on the synth, making a sound almost like an airplane that rose higher and higher until the band hit take off.
Special guest Ras Arcane came out on stage for the fairly new song "Cloud 9." The catchy song was met with a roar of approval. "What Did I Do Wrong," meanwhile, had the whole place head banging as the whole band played faster and Rempel got a chance to lay down a straight up rock and roll guitar solo. The band finished out the night encoring with "Shimmer and Out", a great capper that left the crowd happy.
Earlier in the evening, Boombox played a soothing, mid tempo set. Guitarist and vocalist Zion Godchaux (son of Grateful Dead members Donna and Keith Godchaux) has a very chill but powerful voice that goes really well with this brand of psychedelic house music. Producer/DJ Russ Randolph took over the rest of the sounds, using a wide array of turn tables and sequencers to build layered but eloquent beats. Break Science kicked off the night with big, bad, thick beats from a live drummer combined with quirky samples and funky keyboard playing, all of which made this set an unpredictable and tribal dance party.
Personal Bias: I'd wear my ski pants as well as my ski coat next time. Random Detail: I have never seen so many people fall at one show. When you are at Red Rocks in icy temperatures, don't walk on the wooden part of the steps. Pure ice in spots. By The Way: They sell hot chocolate at the bar inside the Red Rocks museum. It's good, too.