Lotus Brings Trance-Fusion to Historic Capitol Theatre April 10, 2018 13:06

Words by Kenny Cunningham: Live & Listen

Photos by Angelys Ocana: Good People Bad Habits

On Saturday night, April 7th, Philly-based Lotus brought their unique sound of dance grooves, EDM, and funky guitar rhythms to Port Chester’s historic Capitol Theatre. The Cap is such a great space for a band like Lotus, as the inside of the theater provides an excellent backdrop for the light show that accompanies the band’s music. Lotus is well-known for their unique sound, one that has few “rivals” in today’s jamtronica scene. They have become recognized for their late-night festival sets, but also for their fun, dancey, groovy style.

The show opened up with L’Immeuble, and then dropped right into “Wax,” one of their most popular jam vehicles. Luke and Jesse Miller had a lot of fun on the keys and sampler during this song, as Mike Rempel provided his typically-stellar guitar playing. The first set continued with some other Lotus classics, like “Suitcases and Sandwiches,” which the band started, went into another song, and then came back and closed the first set out with the outro. The energy inside the Cap was high, as the crowd was dancing and grooving throughout the first set. The lighting rig added an interesting element, as it helped accentuate some of the darker and funkier jams.

The second set opened with “Inspector Norse,” and the crowd got right back into the action, as Luke Miller went into a super tight keyboard jam. And then on a full-on dance party broke out during “Shimmer and Out” and “Contagion.” Repel provided some soaring guitar solos during the latter, and Mike Greenfield got involved with some dark and driving drum playing.

The band must’ve been having as much fun as the crowd, as they announced after their closing song of the second set that they would be staying on-stage for the encore, as they were running out of their allotted time. They closed the night out with “Midwest Store Fronts,” and the Northeast crowd was able to go home with tired feet and smiles on their faces.

Dominican Holidaze Reveals Stacked 2017 Lineup May 09, 2017 13:27

Host bands Umphrey's McGee, STS9, and The Disco Biscuits have revealed the lineup for The 11th installment of Cloud 9 Adventures’ Dominican Holidaze destination concert event in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This year's festivities are scheduled from December 1st - 5th. Along with the host bands, this year’s Holidaze will feature GRiZ, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Lotus, The Motet, TAUK, Spafford, Sunsquabi and Wolf + Lamb, plus a poolside set from Umphrey’s McGee’s Brendan Bayliss.

All-inclusive packages for returning Holidaze guests go up for grabs on May 17. If rooms remain following the pre-sale, there will be a public on sale on Thursday, May 18 at 12 p.m. ET via Head to the festival’s website for additional details.

Watch the Dominican Holidaze (2016) official aftermovie here:

Lotus Brings The Funk To Atlanta's Tabernacle February 14, 2016 14:49

Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Philadelphia-based, electro-funk band, Lotus, continued their highly anticipated run through the Southeast on Saturday night, stopping at one of the regions greatest venues, The Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA.  This would be the band's first Atlanta show since February of 2015, when they were touring with Connecticut-based funk outfit Kung Fu.  Saturday night brought a slightly different feel, with support from Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits, who was performing a solo DJ set.  Additional support came from Michael Menert & The Pretty Fantastics, which featured dj/producer Menert and his latest touring band.  Lotus took the stage around 11:00 PM EST, bringing two hours of non-stop, raging funk to a rowdy Atlanta crowd.  

We've included a full photo recap, with select video clips, from last nights show below.  Do yourself a favor and keep a close eye on Lotus in 2016!

Watch a segment from Lotus at The Tabernacle here:

Complete Setlist: Lotus - Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle - 02.13.16 

Set: Intro to a Cell, Basin to Benin, Flower > C# > 1/2 > Spaghetti > F# > B > Sunrain, Cold Facts, Ashcon, Inspector Norse, It's All Clear > Gm > Expired Slang, Behind Midwest, Eats the Light

Encore: What Did I Do Wrong?

Watch two more segments from Lotus at The Tabernacle here:

Photos by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Interview: Jesse Miller of Lotus October 07, 2015 15:17

We couldn't be more pleased to parter in promotion with our friends at Creatures of the Night Music & Art Festival, which occurs this weekend in Adams, TN.  The first year festival boasts a stellar lineup, headlined by the likes of Lotus, Keller Williams, Papadosio, Dopapod, Emancipator Ensemble, Zoogma, and Wax Tailor.  We caught up with Jesse Miller  (guitar/keyboards) of Lotus earlier today for a little extra insight on the band, as well as the band's thoughts on the upcoming festival.
Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
Lotus was born Indiana, while attending Goshen College.  What led to the formation of the band?  When did you guys start to realize this would become much more than a college band?
Jesse:  Luke (Miller) and I met Mike Rempel (guitar) and our original drummer Steve Clemens at a camp in Colorado before college. We had similar music interests and played together on acoustic guitars and hand drums. The idea to start a band was born there, and when Luke and Mike started at Goshen College (where Steve was already attending), they put a band together. The following summer the band moved out to Colorado and I joined on bass. At that point we started writing, rehearsing and playing shows on a regular basis.
We were very serious about the band from the beginning. We would rehearse 4-5 times a week and played tons shows while Luke and I were working on our music degrees at Goshen College.
The sound of Lotus is extremely diverse, constantly incorporating elements of rock, electronica, jazz, jam, hip-hop, funk and other influences. Who were some of your biggest influences that helped shape your style of play?
Jesse:  Yes, we draw influence from many places. Some of the biggest are probably Talking Heads, Herbie Hancock (70s fusion era), Underworld and The Orb. Great music isn't limited to genre, good composition and interesting music come from many places so we pull from anything that moves us. I'd even expand beyond music to include film, art, design and literature as influences.
It's been just over a year since the release of your most recent album, Gilded Age.  Have you guys had a different approach towards each studio release?    How do you ultimately decide on the tracks and their placement within each album?
Luke:  Every album has a different tone. For Gilded Age we kept the instrumentation mostly in the rock realm. Almost no synths. We want an album to be cohesive and have a natural sequencing. Some strong tracks can be left off an album because they don't fit in well with the other tracks, but often that ends up spurring another EP or album. 
That happened with Monks. We had Mr. Lif on a couple tracks while we were recording Build. They didn't seem to work for that album, but we just kept expanding the hip-hop collaboration idea and eventually ended up with the full album Monks.
I'm always interested to hear how the songwriting process works within the bands I follow.  How is the songwriting balanced within the band?  Can you share an example from a song in the current catalog?
Luke and I write all the music. Usually one of us works an idea and then there is a lot of back and forth between us about arrangement. Most often the main writer of a song is following the whole process including producing in the studio through the end, but occasionally both of us will write parts for one song. After the initial demo is solidified it goes out to the band to learn parts and we'll start rehearsing or recording. 
I usually prefer to write by playing all the parts myself. I figure if I can pull off a part on a keyboard or guitar Luke and Mike will be able to play it.
There is no doubt that Lotus is a premier act in the world of live music. You've been playing in many of the most prestigious venues around the country for several years.  How does the band balance out the rigorous tour schedule?
We don't want to burn ourselves out on the road so we limit the amount of big tours. Touring can be physically exhausting and we want to have time off the road to write and record so the band can progress musically. 
Lotus scheduled to headline Creatures of the Night in Adams, TN on Friday night.  Every band seems to have their own unique way of planning a set.  How do you guys go about the process?
Jesse:  Luke writes our set lists. It is a combination of anticipating what kind of crowd it will be, looking at what we've played recently or previously in the market and creating a flow to the show. Drawing the crowd in early and finishing strong are always key. Knowing when to work in a more obscure song from deep in the catalog or a cover to keep the crowd listening close can make a set more memorable.
Creatures of the Night is one of the many new music festivals to surface in 2015.  The lineup is stacked with many of the jam scenes biggest acts.  While many new festivals surface each year, we seem to lose several as well.  How do you feel that Creatures can solidify itself as a mainstay in the festival circuit?
The artists booked are the initial draw for any new festival. But, the experience created on site - the grounds, staging, sound and crowd - those are the things that make festival goers loyal to a festival.

Looking Back on Catskill Chill Music Festival: Night 1 September 22, 2015 09:23

 Photo by Andrew Scott Blackstein - Blackstein Photography

One of the year's most anticipated music festivals, Catskill Chill, occurred this past weekend for one last go-round at Camp Minglewood in Hancock, NY.  Due to circumstances out of their control. the sixth-annual festival served as "A Farewell to Minglewood," as they will be forced to find a new home in 2016.  The festival will continue next year, and several amazing prospective locations have already been placed in the mix.  The year's lineup featured the likes of moe., Lotus, Zappa Plays Zappa, Lettuce, Electron, The Motet, Dopapod, Kung Fu, Twiddle, Turkuaz, The Werks, Particle, George Porter Jr. & Runnin' Pardners, and many many more.  Below you will find a collection of our favorite moments from the weekend, with photos and setlists courtesy of our friends at Brotherly Love Productions.  

 Photos by Andrew Scott Blackstein - Blackstein Photography

Erick "Jesus" Coomes of Lettuce


Eric Krasno of Lettuce

Jesus Coomes, Adam Deitch and Adam "Schmeeans" Smirnoff of Lettuce

Mike Rempel of Lotus

George Porter Jr. & Brint Anderson of the Runnin' Pardners


Borahm Lee and Adam Deitch of Break Science 

Mihali and Friends - "Dead Set"

Mihali Savoulidis of Twiddle and Tim Palmieri of Kung Fu 


Mihali and Friends - "Dead Set"

Josh Dobbs of Cats Under the Stars (Keys), Ryan Clausen of Dead Set (Drums), Brook Jordan of Twiddle (Drums), Zdenek Parker Gubb of Twiddle (Bass), Mihali Savoulidis of Twiddle (guitar) and Tim Palmieri of Kung Fu (guitar)

"Dopakuaz" Plays Studio 54

Featuring Members of Dopapod and Turkuaz

Josh Schwartz (Bari sax), Josh Sanderson (Tenor sax), Chris Brouwers (trumpet) of Turkuaz

 Dave Brandwein of Turkuaz


 Setlist: Lettuce
Get Greasy, Bowler, The Force, Harmonics(major>minor), Slippin into Darkness, Phyllis, Lettsanity, Dread Zeppelin, Trillogy, Madison Square, By Any Shmeeans Necessary, New Reel, Squadlive, Makin My Way (Nigel Hall), Sounds Like A Party To Me (Nigel Hall), Do It Like You Do (Nigel Hall)
Setlist: Lotus
Suitcases, Tarot, L'immueble > Neon Tubes, Sid > Wooly Mammoth, Lead Pipe >  Arupa, Kesey Seed, Livingston Storm > Umbilical Moonrise, What Did I Do Wrong
Setlist: Dopakuaz Plays Studio 54
That's The Way, A Fifth of Beethoven, Bad Girls > Le Freak,  Bell, You Should Be Dancing, Get Down, Funky Town > Disco Inferno, I Feel Love, Give It To Me Baby, Heart of Glass > Good Times


Stay tuned for recaps of Night 2 and Night 3 on Wednesday and Thursday!