Photo courtesy of Greg Horowitz / CSMP (full gallery)
Written by Azaria Posik
Last Wednesday night was the finale to the three-night run of Lotus at Brooklyn Bowl, and although the sound, style, and experience escape a simple description, it was nothing short of incredible. There was plenty of dancing and jamming out as people grooved and turned a regular weeknight into a memorable party with Lotus vibes.
The weather outside was chilly, but that didn’t stop fans from waiting, some for over an hour, to see the sold out show. Those inside before the music started excitedly got drinks and talked about where they traveled from and what songs and transitions they were hoping to hear. The feeling of the crowd was one of genuine happiness and a sense of community, best described by fans as the Lotus family, and it definitely felt like a family gathering in this little corner of Brooklyn.
Many people travel the country catching Lotus play for multiple nights in a row and get just as excited seeing the Lotus crew as the band themselves. Production manager Padraic “Padge” McQuillan is as recognizable as the band, and as one person said, “He fires me up cause it means they’re close to coming on!” You really did get the sense that everyone was excited to be together, to get down and enjoy the music, and it didn’t matter if you were a devoted fan or there for your first show because the vibe was welcoming and the music was on point. Maybe the best example of this family was at the end of the first set. You felt chills when a friend of the band proposed to his girlfriend on stage in front of hundreds of cheering fans.
Lotus has been making music since the late 1990s/early 2000s combining elements of jam band aesthetic and electronic music that has evolved over the years and accounts for their diverse and growing presence. Every night the set list is carefully selected and the closing night in Brooklyn had people going crazy for favorites like “Nematode,” “Spaghetti,” “Flower Sermon,” and “L’Immueble” to name a few, with some teasers and a “Ffunny Friends” cover by Unknown Mortal Orchestra. It was a special night of Lotus vibes and had everyone wishing the encore would last at least another hour. The guys absolutely crushed the show and it’s exactly how they keep evolving and turning more people on to their music.
After such a great performance, it’s hard to go from party mode to zero and Giant Step was honored to present the after party at the Panther Room. Lotus members and brothers Jesse Miller and Luke Miller performed as their side projects Beard-o-Bees and Luke the Knife, respectively, to a packed room of fans until four in the morning. The setting of the Panther Room made for a more intimate and club like feeling with its high ceilings, dark interior, and no photography policy, but fit both sets surprisingly well. Beard-o-Bees utilized a launchpad and monomes, playing heavier electronic beats and twisted synths while Luke the Knife played nu-disco and funk, reworking artists like Disclosure and Michael Jackson.
As the night ended and turned into a very early Thursday morning, people stopped to talk and high five with friends and the Miller’s. Everyone slowly left looking tired but elated, and most were probably thinking of the day ahead; some were already on their way to the next Lotus show in Baltimore.