It took a few minutes of digging into the file cabinet of concerts in my mind to remember the first time I saw Lotus. By digging I mean, a quick google search, which revealed that they opened for STS9 in August of 2010. I found it difficult to imagine them as an opening act, especially given how many devoted fans were packed into the three floors of Terminal 5 this weekend.
I must say that the crowd at this concert felt different than others I’ve attended. There was an overwhelming feeling of… understanding. I attribute this unique vibe to the fact that most of Lotus’ music consist of expansive instrumentals. With no lyrics, fans are invited to be engulfed by the unspoken story written by these masterful musicians. We all got lost that minute-long repeating solo that guitarist Mike Rempel lays down in “Marisol.” We all felt a surge of…something unexplainable when they played “Behind Midwest Storefronts” as a part of their encore. You’d turn your head and see a smile of someone who just gets it.
During their fifteen year career, the guys of Lotus have built not only a dedicated fanbase, but a solid library of songs that speak to you at different moments in your life. There were older fans, like myself, who felt especially warm inside when they played songs from 2009’s split LP, Oil On Glass / Feather On Wood. Conversely, there were younger fans (clad in light-up feather scarves or bear claw hats) that appreciated their newer jams. They even threw in a cover of Tame Impala’s “Elephant” to everyone’s delight. Either way you cut it, their sound remained a consistent jam-funk that had everyone vibing on the same level.
I’m glad to see Lotus upping their game. Their clearly doing something right — they nearly sold out Terminal 5 and entranced a crowd of old and newer fans for two solid sets. Maybe it was the beautiful light show, maybe we all just need to dance our asses off, either way, we all definitely can’t wait for new music from these guys this coming year.