Jamtronica five-piece Lotus rocked out the Colorado mountains over the weekend with a sold-out, two-night stay at Bellvue’s Mishawaka Amphitheatre.
Coming off of a heavy touring summer, which featured headlining sets at Summer Camp Music Festival, Great South Bay Music Festival, Summerdance, and more, the band returned to the historical Colorado venue to finish off their summer tour close to where brothers bassist Jesse and guitarist and keyboardist Luke Miller grew up.
Nestled just over 30 minutes north of Fort Collins, 1,000 Lotus fans from around the country camped out in the northern state’s mountains to greet the band back once again for their 8th year at the historical venue. Built approximately 100 years ago, the Mishawaka stands as a traditional Colorado-classic venue, bringing national acts on its intimate stage for fans to experience a one-of-a-kind musical experience surrounded by the echos of the music among the mountains.
With cell service a thing of the past once leaving Fort Collins, the Mishawaka filled up with the Lotus family to kick off the Friday night jams. Starting off a little past 8 p.m., Lotus kicked off the weekend with “L’immeuble”, as guitarist Mike Rempel set things off early with a hearty guitar solo and sent the jam into the Todd Terje cover of “Inspector Norse”. The band lifted off into space with a “Cosmosis” jam, ending the first three-part sequence of the night.
Rempel and Luke Miller started into the staccato-filled melody of “Opo”, taking the improvised tune to a quick key change with some slick electro key work from Miller and going into Daft Punk’s “Around The World”. The crowd danced as spacey guitar echos rang and surged throughout the venue before the band gently slipped into the light melody of “Soma”, taking up the beat to a frenzied space jam. The guys went into “Stranger Danger” off their newest album, Frames Per Second, with Chuck Morris laying down the crunchy percussion to transition into an edgy rendition of “Expired Slang” to end the first set.
Lotus came back for the second set ready to kick the party into high gear, starting with their disco-pop number, “Eats the Light”. The guys stretched out the jam past the 10-minute mark, taking it to a slow beat to cool down before electrified keys shot out to bring back the sampled lyrics. The band took things low with the opening of “Kalea”, taking the crowd on a gentle ride before the heart of the first night came up with a five-part sequence.
Jesse Miller threw on the hip-hop sampler opener to “Lead Pipe” for some fast-paced dance moves, as Rempel finessed some psychedelic guitar power, leading into a deep jazzy breakdown to make way for “Spaghetti”. Rempel’s wavey psychedelic licks conjured up the esoteric opening of “Did Fatt”, as Rempel and drummer Mike Greenfield gradually took the melody to a faster tempo as the song progressed, bringing the crowd on a tranced fast dance, transitioning into a synth-lead “Travel”. Almost ending the first night’s ride, Lotus took the last part of the sequence into the electric-funk “Juggernaut”. Space-themed keys lead the bulk of the jam into a party peak to send the crowd out in cheers. Coming back to finish the first night, “Into to a Cell” was deemed the first night’s closer for a spicy dance jam, which saw all members layering on lush beats to keep the crowd warm for the chilly September night ahead.
Lotus – “Did Fatt”
[Video: Live For Live Music]
For those who didn’t attend the first night, the rest of the Lotus Family trekked up the mountains to catch the band for the second night at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre, as the venue greeted everyone with multi-colored changing trees for the first day of fall.
Colorado-based producer Moon Frog opened up the second night on the indoor stage, playing sonic, psychedelic soundscapes, and getting the crowd’s feet moving and warmed up for the night ahead.
Lotus eased into the opening of night two with “Grayrigg” before Morris went into a quick edgy beat to start up “Nri”. “Anti-Gravity” started the first double sequence of the night, which saw Luke Miller craft up a rhythmic key groove under the indie-pop sampled chorus. A house jam was summoned with a slight dub bit, leading the band into the jazzy start of “Suitcases”, allowing Rempel to take over the lead on the jam. A tribal back beat solidified the foundation of “Caywood”, echoing the relaxed guitar melody to soothe and ease the crowd. The first set saw a long-time bust out of “Machine Gun”, as the band took the funky rendition on a stretched out jam and ended with the fan-favorite “Nematode”.
After a brief set break, Lotus returned to the stage with their scratchy “Debris”, awakening the crowd with pops of electro-key bursts before Rempel layed into his guitar. The slower tune of “Giffard’s Airship” came next, as Rempel played a twangy melody over electrified-key bits. Jesse Miller threw on the sample opener to the 2007 track “Through the Mirror”, taking the song on a space ride jam for a tranced dancing crowd. The shooting synths made way for “Bubonic Tonic”, allowing Rempel to stir the mood with some jazzy twangs and a cylindrical disco jam. Jesse Miller brought up the bass melody with overlapping key punches, wandering into the start of the lyrical “Tip of the Tongue”.
Morris took on the tribal beat as psychedelic timbral riffs centralized the futuristic tune, leading the group to the ending of the weekend’s run with “And Yet They Fight”, paving the way for the punchy bass in “128”.
A roaring cheer brought the band back on for an incredible three-song encore, kicking off with the low, fragmented “Behind Midwest Storefronts”. From there, the band brought their home to Colorado in the groovy take on “Philly Hit” that flawlessly slipped into a blissed “Sunrain”, highlighted by quick guitar riffs raining down on the crowd.
Lotus – “128”
[Video: Live For Live Music]
If you missed this past weekend’s shows, Lotus now has a month break to prepare to ignite their fall tour, which begins with a three-night Halloween run in Colorado with two nights at Aspen’s Belly Up and Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium. Lotus will then shower their east coast fans with some love in Ohio, New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maryland. For a full list of tour dates, head to the band’s website.
Setlist: Lotus | Mishawaka Amphitheatre | Bellvue, CO | 9/20/19
Set One: L’immueble > Inspector Norse > Cosmosis, Opo > Around the World > Soma, Stranger Danger > Expired Slang
Set two: Eats the Light, Kalea, Lead Pipe > Spaghetti > Did Fatt > Travel > Juggernaut
Encore: Intro to a Cell
Setlist: Lotus | Mishawaka Amphitheatre | Bellvue, CO | 9/21/19
Set One: Grayrigg, Nri, Anti-Gravity > Suitcases, Caywood, Machine Gun > Nematode
Set Two: Debris, Giffard’s Airship, Through the Mirror > Bubonic Tonic > Tip of the Tongue, And Yet They Fight, 128
Encore: Behind Midwest Storefronts, Philly Hit > Sunrain