The Scene: Last Thursday Lotus roared into the Boulder Theater for the first night of a three night run in the beautiful Art-Deco room. After a wild show at the Aggie Theatre the night before, the band returned to Boulder and greeted a contingent of lifelong fans and newcomers eager to witness the madness. Touring in support of their newest and most complete album to date, Build, Lotus chose Colorado as a logical ending point for the 2nd leg of their 2013 winter tour, thrilling fans with incredible set-lists and mind bending instrumentation that left behind a sea of melted faces each night. Thursday was no exception as the band jammed, experimented and confidently delivered two defining sets of music for the sold-out crowd.
Blame the ambiance and supreme acoustics of the Boulder Theater but this performance, and in particular the second set, will go down as one of the finest moments in the history of the band as it proved why fans keep backing coming back for more. Although we weren’t able to catch the Nu-Disco sounds of the opener, Munson Meeks, a large crowd of Grassroots Hats, gem dealers and ticket seekers had already gathered when we arrived, signaling the start of an epic three-night run.
Lotus: Following a massive show at Red Rocks Amphitheater last September, Lotus just seems to treat Colorado like home. Interestingly, the first set was delivered to a not completely packed room and this added up to more dancing room and bodies flying in all directions. The night showcased a strong mixture of classic tracks and the funky new songs featured on Build. The first set began with bang as the band launched into an electric combination of “Juggernaut,” “Scrapple,” “Slow Cookin” and the wild synth-laced “Neon Tubes.” Part of the attraction of a Lotus show is the ever-changing style of set lists that are specifically developed and tailored to the venue by founder, keyboardist and guitarist, Luke Miller. Taking full advantage of the acoustics of the Boulder Theater, the band also focused in on Mike Rempel’s guitar and the performance soared as a result. The first set concluded with a pulsating rendition of “Greet the Mind” that left the crowd a bit dizzy and scrambling for their next cocktail.
After a quick 15-minute break, Lotus returned to the stage with “Nematode,” “Dowrn,” “Plant Your Root” and the rock vibes of “Hammerstrike.” Needless to say, this was a whirlwind start to the set and the crowd quickly progressed to sloppy, swaying and bouncing with each song. The band added more fuel to the fire by playfully transitioning from “Massif” to “Spaghetti” and peaking with a rarely played rendition of “Zelda.” For many of the fans around me, the reaction to this set was nothing but pure joy. Never hesitant to bust out the classics, the 2nd set was old-school Lotus at its finest and one the best dance parties I’ve ever seen inside the Boulder Theater. Limbs were flying aimlessly as the boys eventually roared into “Jump Off” to end the show. A melodic but subdued three-song encore followed highlighted by the brand new Hip-Hop track “Cloud 9.” It’s good to see Lotus progressing into this territory and shedding the jam band label that plagued them in the early years. The crowd applauded fiercely as they exited the stage in anticipation of two more nights. I wish I could have been there to witness what went down. Don’t miss Lotus when they make their triumphant return to Red Rocks, on September 13th.
Lotus- 4/4/13 Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO
Set 1: Juggernaut, Scrapple, Neon Tubes > Slow Cookin’ > Neon Tubes, Ashcon, Debris, Wooly Mammoth, Greet the Mind
Set 2: Nematode > Dowrn, Plant Your Root > Hammerstrike, Massif, Spaghetti > Zelda > Jump Off
E: Caywood, Cloud 9, What Did I Do Wrong
Energy: A +
Stage Presence: A
Set/Light Show: A+