Arts & Entertainment, The Muse

Dancing with Lotus

Lotus isn’t going to sing to you. They won’t play you a ballad on acoustic guitars, and rarely will they say anything at all during a show.’ What Lotus will do is make you dance.

The first show of Lotus’ two-night run at the Paradise Rock Club Thursday night was the perfect display of that dedication.’ With the second night on Friday already sold out and guaranteed to be a packed, steamy affair, the atmosphere Thursday resembled that of an intimate pre-party with room enough to move around.

But that didn’t stop Lotus from bringing an action packed show to the stage.’ Going on around quarter after ten following the set of openers The Egg, Lotus got funky real quick.’ Bringing their particular brand of electronica-funk-dance music, the band brought in heavy hitting rhythms with opening song ‘Livingston Storm’ off their 2004 album Nomad (Harmonized).

The purchase of a two-day pass to the Paradise got fans two brand new EPs, Oil on Glass and Feather on Wood, the band’s first releases since last October’s much anticipated Hammerstrike (SCI Fidelity), which the band lost no time delving into.’ After hitting on ‘Turquoise,’ a song found on Hammerstrike and remixed on Feather on Wood, the band leapt into ‘Monochrome,’ the final song on Oil on Water.

The extra space provided by the lower turnout on a Thursday night allowed the crowd just enough room to appreciate the thick, danceable disco that Lotus was pumping out.’ With their signature light show of pulsating boxes of color covering the stage, the Paradise was transformed into Lotus’ own private dance party.

The song ‘Bubonic Tonic’ from the album The Strength of Weak Ties (Harmonized) was one of the highlights of the first set, as its contemplative lead guitar line from guitarist Mike Rempel soared over the thick, driving low end in typical Lotus juxtaposition, playing as much on the intertwining lines of the song as it does on the space and tightness of the rhythm section.’ The few songs of theirs that do contain lyrics were looped through bassist Jesse Miller’s computer, which he also used to sample beats to supplement the heavy, vibrating bass.

What Lotus truly excels at is harnessing this powerful rhythm section and using it to build their melodies, eventually erupting in a frantic and chaotic energy that builds to a peak. It would be easy to get lost in the constant 4/4 throbbing, yet the band’s jams and tinkering are quickly forgotten when they burst into the climax of their songs. Show closer ‘Flower Sermon’ echoed that idea, with a pulsating ending that was undeniably danceable.

While the encore of ‘Molluskunk’ failed to recapture that same energy, the show had hit a number of breathless highs that made it memorable, to say the least. That the band jumped down and mingled with the fans immediately after putting down their instruments made an intimate night into one that felt like a gathering of good friends, an atmosphere that many bands strive for but few can truly create.

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