Thursday was a historic day for Lotus as the band welcomed new guitarist Tim Palmieri with an intimate show at Ardmore Music Hall. The addition of the former Kung Fu guitarist comes following the departure of founding Lotus guitarist Mike Rempel. Rempel announced last month he was leaving the band as well as live music to focus on a career in wellness.
From the cozy confines of the newly renovated Ardmore, PA club it felt like Lotus was starting from scratch, working their way back up in a sense. With Rempel’s guitar tone so ingrained into the musical DNA of Lotus, Palmieri was in for a challenge. Like any new guitarist, however, he wisely chose to be himself and set his own tone rather than chase his predecessor. Similar to Jimmy Herring joining Widespread Panic following the death of Michael Houser, Palmieri’s presence opens up a new chapter for the band that takes nothing away from the previous incarnation.
The new Lotus lineup dove right into the band’s extensive songbook with the opening “Intro to a Cell” and did not shy away from lending Palmieri’s hand to old-school tracks. Everything was fair game as the ensemble executed a segue train of “Aquamarine” into “Spaghetti” and finally “Expired Slang” before “Land of the Lush” closed the set.
While the structure of Lotus remains intact, with the band still functioning as a cohesive five-wheeled vehicle driving the same direction, Palmieri’s presence is reminiscent of the band’s early, guitar-forward sound. The song structures still provide for understated leads and rhythm-building throughout, but the guitarist showed on Thursday he isn’t afraid to step out into the spotlight.
Returning for set two, the band continued to toggle between the old and the new, rattling off “Destroyer” to start followed by a “Cold Facts” featuring a modular jam. “Inspector Norse” came next before a movement of “It’s All Clear to Me Now” into “Travel” into “128” closed the frame. The most notable bust out of the evening came in the encore slot with the first “In an Outline” since 12/28/19, per Phantasy Tour, before closing the show with “Debris”.
Lotus is off to Resonance Music & Arts Festival in Morgantown, WV for a set on Saturday, September 18th. For tickets and a full list of tour dates click here. Scroll down to watch full show video of Lotus at Ardmore Music Hall on Thursday.
Lotus – Ardmore Music Hall – Ardmore, PA – 9/16/21
[Video: Ardmore Music Hall]
Setlist: Lotus | Ardmore Music Hall | Ardmore, PA | 9/16/21
Set One: Intro to a Cell, Bug Love, Aquamarine > Spaghetti > Expired Slang, Land of the Lush
Set Two: Destroyer, Cold Facts#, Inspector Norse, It’s All Clear to Me Now > Travel > 128
Encore: In an Outline, Debris
# with Modular jam