Lotus, Minglewood Hall, Memphis, TN – 2/22
Photo by Ellis Jones
Lotus has been riding a cloud of momentum that has seen the band’s popularity grow expeditiously over the last year. While they have enjoyed critical success in the past, their latest self-titled release is their strongest to date. They have been packing venues this winter on their ambitious twenty four date winter tour. On this evening the Memphis fans relished their appearance and were treated to a bravura performance.
When Lotus took the stage shortly past ten, the comfortably crowded dance floor erupted as the notes to “Suitcases” soon consumed the pristine hall. By the time the band launched into “Bubonic” the crowd was immersed in the sound and also the labyrinthine stage design and lights, which lent a festival vibe to Minglewood Hall.
On this evening the band made every number count, seeming to play each song with the vigor usually reserved for encores. This was no more evident than on “Wooly Mammoth” which was taken to great heights. Luke Miller, who handles guitar and keyboard duties, embodied infectious enthusiasm on stage that had a ripple effect on his band mates, especially guitarist Mike Rempel. Meanwhile, drummers Mike Greenfield and Chuck Morris effectively communicated with one another and the group as a whole to encourage the profound play.
Besides the crowd pleasers, Lotus also introduced new material, playing “Sodium Vapor” for only the second time. The song had a jazz feel while offering great potential of becoming a jam vehicle in the near future. The epic “Hammerstrike” closed the two hour plus marathon set that had touched on almost every genre of music, while the “Intro to a Cell” encore was a fitting end sending the diverse fans floating to their cars.
Lotus smashes any label one might be inclined to bestow on them. In the ever growing electronica scene this band separates themselves with their impeccable chops. The instruments take precedent, while the samples and dance-friendly loops add structure and melodic texture as opposed to dominating the landscape. The future has never looked brighter for this innovative group.