Lotus and Mux Mool, The Top Hat, Missoula, MT – 11/2
Photo by Carla Kilgore
Lotus has been a mainstay on the live-tronica and jamband circuit for the better part of the last decade, always expanding on their sound and experimenting in the concert setting. Tonight was no different.
Mux Mool was a great opening act for Lotus. While most producers sit behind their computers and midi electronics spinning regular rotations of over-sampled and glitched out beats, Mux Mool proved that if you stay interactive throughout the set and produce a sound that is uniquely live then the results will be golden. While his enthusiasm was somewhat reserved, the music was not, with wild changes, amazing beats and jammed out sections of trance, and dub-step that not only warmed up an eager crowd but kept them completely entertained. Hats off to this opening act.
Lotus consists of Mike Rempel on guitar, Luke Miller switching back and forth from keys and guitar, Jesse Miller holding down the rhythm on bass and newcomer Mike Greenfield on drums. They quickly delved into “Age of Inexperience” and with a backdrop of four layered strands of LED’s behind them the song took on a very real and live jazz feel to it. Moving through multiple tracks from their repertoire of albums they played “Blackened Sunflower,” “Blender” and then a great segued sequence of “Travel” > “Am” > “Lucid Awaking.” The last three songs really hit the crowd hard and demonstrated that despite coming off of two amazing shows where they covered Paranoid and a night dedicated to video game themes they still had a lot of energy in them.
As the evening progressed it felt as if their energy was a give and take between a sold out crowd at the Top Hat and the band. Luke Miller, a main composer and songwriter of the band, kept the keys and electronic feel of their show while allowing the organic and layered sound of the others to shine through. Mike Rempel kept his guitar fills neat and clean, using a variety of effects to adapt his sound to the song at hand.
The songs ebbed and flowed as “Golden Ghost” was drawn out for over ten minutes and then another montage of segues followed, from “Lead Pipe” > “F#m” > “Cm” > a very driven and fun “Spiritualize.” The crowd at this point was more than transfixed but engulfed in a stream of sounds and jams that allowed them to lose themselves in the music itself. The encore, which was welcomed loudly by the full room consisted of “Scrapple” and a fitting “Shimmer and Out.” All in all, it was a very rewarding evening for both sides of the stage.