Review: Lotus at Brooklyn Bowl + After Party

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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.

New Album + Video: Lotus – Monks

 

Lotus drops the new hip-hop album, Monks, today and you can download it for free via their Bandcamp page. The album finds them taking their live electronic sound and mixing it up with classic hip-hop. Guests on the album include Gift of Gab, Mr. Lif, Doodlebug, Ozay Moore, Ras Arcane, Mane Rok, Xencs L. Wing, CX, and more.

The guys have also released a video for “Cannon in the Heavens” featuring Lyrics Born & Chris Vos. Check it out above.

New Track: Lotus – “Cloud 9″ ft. Doodlebug & Ras Arcane

 

Lotus drops a second track today from the forthcoming hip-hop album, Monks, out September 10th. Potholes In My Blog premiered “Cloud 9” featuring Doodlebug & Ras Arcane. Check out the lyric video above and download via SoundCloud below.

You may know Arcane from Philadelphia based groups Dialects and Burndown All Stars. And if you don’t know Doodlebug from Digable Planets, you don’t know hip-hop.

New Track: Lotus feat. Lyrics Born & Chris Vos “Cannon in the Heavens”

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While they have always straddled genres, electronic 5-piece Lotus is breaking new ground with the hip-hop infused album Monks, out September 10th (pre-order). Using the band’s own studio work as a sample source, the music will have a familiar feel to Lotus fans but recontextualized as classic hip-hop featuring Lyrics Born, Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), Mr. Lif, Doodlebug (Digable Planets) and more. Vibe dropped the first single, “Cannon in the Heavens” feat. Lyrics Born and Chris Vos today as a free download. Grab it below.

Monks Tracklisting:

1. Monk (Young)
2. He Ain’t Well – ft. Ozay Moore
3. Cannon in the Heavens – ft. Lyrics Born and Chris Vos (Record Company)
4. Great Molasses Flood
5. Deep Inside the Mothership – ft. CX
6. Different Dream – ft. Mr. Lif and Jay Lapp (Steel Wheels)
7. Pitched to the Fire
8. Another World – ft. Gift of Gab
9. In the Shadow of Towers
10. Follow Me – ft. Mane Rok and Xencs L. Wing
11. Atlas Slugged
12. Simplify Unwind – ft. Mr. Lif
13. Four Tips – ft. Ras Arcane
14. Bow Out
15. Cloud 9 – ft. Doodlebug and Ras Arcane
16. Monk (Old)

Tour + Downloads: Lotus’ Luke Miller Launches DJ Project- Luke the Knife

 

Lotus’ Luke Miller is turning his musical skills to the DJ booth. Using the moniker Luke the Knife, Miller brings funk and disco to the dance floor with multiple mixes, remixes and edits available as free downloads on SoundCloud. You can catch him on the road in April (dates below) opening for Future Rock including a stop at Brooklyn Bowl on April 18th.

April
6 – Boulder, CO – Denver Disco Presents at The Lazy Dog [official Lotus after-party]
12 – Avon, CO – Agave [w/ Chuck Morris (Lotus) on drums]
18 – Brooklyn NY – Brooklyn Bowl * [w/ Mike Greenfield (Lotus) on drums]
19 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer * [w/ Mike Greenfield (Lotus) on drums]
20 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground *
25 – Columbus, OH – Woodlands Tavern * [w/ Rob Chafin (The Werks) on drums]
26 – Grand Rapids, MI – Intersection *
27 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues *

* w/ Future Rock

Luke the Knife Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud