Jamtronica five-piece Lotus headed to Colorado over Halloween weekend for a pair of shows at Aspen’s intimate Belly Up and a Flaming Lips tribute blowout at The Fillmore in Denver.
Lotus has gained a faithful following of jam band enthusiasts over the years, and the annual Colorado shows bring fans together from all over the country. The Denver- and Philadelphia-based band is known for their ambient, genre-melding, electronic rock jams with a catalog spanning over twenty years.
ASPEN, CO – 10/31/19
The band is no stranger to the venue nestled in one of Colorado’s most beautiful mountain towns, having played two consecutive shows there each year for seven years running. A line of costumed fans formed outside of the 450-person venue, with many dressed as Lotus song titles. A Golden Ghost, a Drunken Giraffe, and a Blue Giant were spotted among other creative interpretations of the band’s songs.
Lotus kicked off the weekend on Halloween night with “Lucid Awakening”, guitarist Mike Rempel‘s delicate guitar tone easing the crowd into a steady groove. The band segued into the electro-pop “Golden Ghost” and back into “Lucid Awakening,” dance party in full effect. Lotus got spaced out next with a haunting version of “Destroyer,” Rempel and Luke Miller‘s distorted guitars indulging in a darker heavier tone.
A highlight of set one was the tasty “Bellwether” sandwich, with a rarely played “In The Bliss” placed perfectly within the 2007 fan-favorite. Lotus then dropped into a unique cover of The Special‘s “Ghost Town” for a spooky Halloween vibe before finishing out with “In An Outline,” a percussion masterpiece.
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Set two opened with another delicious jam sandwich which saw one of Lotus’ most well-loved songs, “Spiritualize,” wrapped around a Halloween-appropriate cover of Deadmau5‘s “Ghosts ‘N Stuff”. Rempel’s vibrant tone shined brightly on “Kesey Seed” from 2006’s The Strength of Weak Ties and transitioned smoothly into another fan-favorite, “It’s All Clear To Me Now”, as the venue erupted with cheers.
Lotus then surprised everyone with their debut of Phish‘s “Ghost”, keeping in the spirit of All Hallows Eve. Set two could be one of the most satisfying Lotus sets to date, ending with a giant “128” >”Umbilical Moonset”> “128”. The two-song encore wrapped up the night with “Sift” and an always anticipated “Gilded Age” featuring an extended jam sequence to close out the second set.
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Setlist: Lotus | Belly Up | Aspen, CO | 10/31/19
Set 1: Lucid Awakening> Golden Ghost> Lucid Awakening, Destroyer, Bellwether> In The Bliss> Bellwether, Ghost Town, In An Outline
Set 2: Spiritualize> Ghosts ‘N Stuff> Spiritualize, Kesey Seed, It’s All Clear To Me Now> Ghost> 128> Umbilical Moonset> 128
Encore: Sift, Gilded Age
[10/31 Recap: Emily VanderWiel]
ASPEN, CO – 11/1/19
Friday night’s show started off with a jazzy disco vibe with “Bubonic Tonic”, blasting off into a spacey trio of songs; “Mikesnack,” “Faceblind,” and Blender. Lotus then busted out a treat for fans with a juggernaut of a “Juggernaut” sandwich infused with “Contagion” and the always-fun “Legend Of Zelda” in between.
Based on the buzz from the audience, the opening of set two was certainly one of the highlights of the weekend. The well-loved “Flower Sermon” sandwiched around 1999’s “Sid” got the second set off to an energetic start. Non-stop jam sequences kept the venue rocking as Rempel’s guitar mastery and Chuck Morris‘ percussion prowess continued to shine.
Lotus still had a few more delights in store for the Aspen crowd. “Forgotten Name”, a relatively newer song played live only 5 times prior, and “The Opus,” which debuted in 1999 and has only been performed live 18 times prior, kept the second set momentum high. The rarity-filled setlist felt like it was written especially for the band’s die-hard fans. After “The Opus”, the band played another beloved song from 2004’s Nomad, “Plant Your Root”. To wrap up the second night of the Aspen fesivities with a dynamic “Slow Cookin” and a hard-hitting “Hammerstrike”. After a quick exit, the band returned to the stage for a giant “Wax” encore.
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Setlist: Lotus | Belly Up | Aspen, CO | 11/1/19
Set 2: Flower Sermon> Sid> Flower Sermon, Forgotten Name, The Opus, Plant Your Root> Slow Cookin’, Hammerstrike
[11/1 Recap: Emily VanderWiel]
DENVER, CO – 11/2/19
After two nights kicking off their late fall tour and celebrating Halloween in Aspen, Lotus finished their weekend in the Rocky Mountains on Saturday night at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium with. Themed shows are nothing new to the Philadelphia five-piece jamtronica group, but the guys busted out new cover debuts to celebrate one last “dressed up” 2019 Halloween show, billed as A Flaming Lips Tribute: Psychedelic Robot Battle at the Gates of Hell.
Brooklyn-based quartet Moon Hooch got the night started at 8:30 p.m., laying down some soulful horns and pulsating electronic jazzy jams for 30 minutes in the Fillmore’s dazzling fanciful atmosphere.
Shimmering under the venue’s sparkling chandeliers, Lotus started into their techno favorite “Cold Facts”, kicking off the night with the funky flair. The first Flaming Lips song of the night came next, with percussionist Chuck Morris taking lead vocals on “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell”. The funk was turned up with “Neon Tubes Pt. 1” complete with some bouncy bass riffs and electro keys that quickly led the band back into Flaming Lips territory for “Do You Realize??” The band took on the alternative rock ballad at a faster-than-usual pace. Instead of light, dreamlike vocals, Rempel made his vocal debut, singing the lyrics with a vocoder and turning the song into a techno dance anthem in the process. Their original “Livingston Storm” served up some spooky energy into the room before the band closed out their first set with The Flaming Lips’ digitalized “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2” and regular Lotus set-closer, “Age of Experience”.
After a brief setbreak, Lotus returned to the stage with their “Modular” intro before starting into one of The Flaming Lips most famous tunes, “Fight Test”. Morris once again took lead vocals for the lyrical ballad, serenading the crowd over the band’s funky interpretation of the song. Their light and springy “Suitcases” saw its time onstage next before Morris continued his vocal leads by guiding them into The Flaming Lips’ “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1”.
A run through “Fortune Favors”, one of the newer tunes off their 2018 studio album, Frames Per Second, was up next. From there, a four-part “Greet The Mind” sandwich commenced, finishing the first set’s “Neon Tubes” saga with part two and heading into the Flaming Lips catalog for Morris’ last vocal lead of the night on “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell” before landing back in “Greet The Mind”.
The jazzy sling of “Jump Off” marked the night’s last song, sending the weekend’s dressed-up crowd into a frenzy of cheers. After opening their encore with “Bush Pilot”, Lotus put a cap on an incredible Halloween weekend with their melodic “Shimmer & Out”, a fitting song choice for the sparkling venue and shiny-costumed, colorful crowd.
Setlist: Lotus | The Fillmore Auditorium | Denver, CO | 11/02/2019
Set One: Cold Facts, Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell*, Neon Tubes Pt. 1 > Do You Realize??#, Livingston Storm > Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2 > Age of Experience
Set Two: Modular Intro, Fight Test*, Suitcases, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1*> Fortune Favors, Greet The Mind > Neon Tubes Pt. 2, Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell * > Greet the Mind, Jump Off
Encore: Bush Pilot, Shimmer & Out
[11/2 Recap: Mikala Lugen]
From here, Lotus will navigate the Midwest and Northeast with performances at Columbus, OH’s Newport Music Hall (11/15); Cleveland, OH’s Beachland Ballroom (11/16 & 11/17); Syracuse, NY’s Westcott Theater (11/20); Cohoes, NY’s Cohoes Music Hall (11/21); Rochester, NY’s Anthology (11/22); Burlington, VT’s Higher Ground (11/23 & 11/24); and Philadelphia, PA’s Fillmore (11/30).
For ticketing and more information and a full list of upcoming shows, head to the Lotus website.