Lotus | 11.03.07 | NYC

Words by: Martin Halo

Lotus :: 11.03.07 :: Bowery Ballroom :: New York, NY

Lotus :: 01.27 by Sam Friedman
As the stories of rock & roll glory pile up in an overgrown heap and the sunset marks the beginning of another night of musical transcendence, it is the image of New York City that remains the most magnificent. Summer is long gone and the brisk breeze of autumn street scenes has set in. The heroin junkies that littered the stoops of the Lower East Side have long been pushed underground but the culture remains. After performing the night prior across the East River at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg, Lotus returned to Manhattan Island on the heels of Halloween hoopla.

Fresh off a Northern Indiana college stint and signed to the Colorado-based SCI Fidelity Records, Lotus has made a name for themselves by cultivating a scene of jam band rock fused with the hedonistic seductiveness of a raging rave. In mythology, both Greek and Indian, the lotus is a plant that yields a fruit that induces a dream state upon ingestion, and in similar fashion the band Lotus unleashed their own form of intoxication upon the Bowery Ballroom.

The band is touring in support of their live release, Escaping Sargasso Sea (May 2007). The floor, which spilled down the back stairwells of the Ballroom, looked more like an ecstasy driven gyration fest reminiscent of Webster Hall. Glowing jewelry could be seen illuminating the audience while watchful eyes gazed down from above.

Lotus :: 01.27 by Sam Friedman
I had never seen the band live before, and even after an extended conversation with bassist Jesse Miller the night before on the streets of Brooklyn, I really didn't know what to expect. With the project being an instrumental ensemble I was concerned about whether I would see an in-cohesive self-indulgent jam band or wordless, magical discovery. Taking the stage promptly at 11:00 p.m., the band, which is comprised of Miller (bass), Steve Clemens (drums), Luke Miller (guitar, keys), Chuck Morris (electronic-acoustic percussion) and Mike Rempel (guitar), put the freaky lust back in NYC.

With a double drummer attack of Clemens and Morris, Lotus' sound is a full-figured tonal punch. Basslines hold down the snarl while percussion keeps the rhythm in check. Keyboard lines provide melody while Rempel's screaming guitar licks sends the crowd into hysterics.

With the ballroom raging, the floor was a body of water flowing and churning like a single telepathically connected entity. The only thing keeping the people from mass collision was the fragrant smoke rising from it, serving as an inhibitor and cushion to all the roiling.

The showcase started in a funk-laden groove with hypnotic vibes. Extended jams became soul-sacrificing compositions. I laughed as I watched strangers make love connections in the crowd, sweating as their bodies rubbed against each other, becoming closer in the moment. The set slid gracefully into more dance-driven beats, and what stood out were compositions of unlimited improvisation and manipulation, with each band member adventurously pushing the stiffness out of their parts.

Some of the audience wore dark shades with long, overgrown beards as they swung their heads in indulgent euphoria. Clocking in with two one-hour sets, Lotus convincing dispelled any doubts and not only blew the roof off the Bowery Ballroom but converted a new fan.

DMW News Presents: An Interview with Lotus

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[Published on: 11/19/07]

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karacter0 starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/19/2007 11:42AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Converted new fan??? Where have you been for 3+ years? They are a Philly based band and you obviously make it to NY shows. Better late then never, thanks for the write up.

onthemoon starstarstarstar Mon 11/19/2007 03:27PM
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this band KICKS ASS.

whodoyoudo Mon 11/19/2007 05:53PM
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wuts a good show to gat from archive

ive liked what ive heard but still havnt seen more than bits of a set at waka a few years ago

rulosa01 starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/19/2007 06:28PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

The show from the recher theatre in MD from January is pretty Hot. SBD too so its also fresh.

Lotus is pretty hot right now

Schafey starstarstarstar Tue 11/20/2007 07:26AM
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After enthusiastically following Lotus for a few years now, there was no question as to where I'd be to celebrate my birthday this year. The trip from Wyoming was WELLLLL worth it! Both shows were incredible, but Saturday's euphoric dance party was one of the best Lotus shows I've ever felt. If you've yet to experience these guys, you're missing out!

johnnygoff starstarstarstarstar Tue 11/20/2007 09:26AM
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Martin! Kick ass job my friend.

Between the DMW's vid you produced and this writeup, I am very impressed.

Lotus deserves all the press they get and more some. great band. great people. great music.

jambase/kayce/gadiel --- Please give us more jambase vids like the one above.

sooooo much more in depth, real, intimate, etc...than just a review.

Never ditch the reviews, just supplement them with sweet vids like the one above.

lovin this piece.

wilson021 starstarstarstarstar Tue 11/20/2007 09:53AM
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"escapeing from sargasso sea" is a good live album they have put out.

Lakai starstarstarstarstar Tue 11/20/2007 08:00PM
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these 2 shows were soo off the hook the brooklyn show was much more mellow tho. i love the part about the glowing jewelry cause im pretty sure that was me and my flashing glasses

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/21/2007 05:17AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

if they would only come to the southeast !!!!!!!!!!!

fuk n A. dudes.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/21/2007 05:18AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

Escaping Sargasso Sea (May 2007). BEST JAM RELEASE OF THE ENTIRE YEAR.

sorry UMPH they killed you!!!!!

moejoerisin Wed 11/21/2007 10:47AM
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again with the umphrey's comparisons.. they're completely different bands.

iamkickinit Wed 11/21/2007 11:48AM
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Treetop - look into getting their set from Waka '07 (might be '06)... its on the archive... pretty good quality... You'll love it, especially if you are a Zelda fan. They do the original NES Zelda theme song. Its hilarious and awesome.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Thu 11/22/2007 05:37AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

I was only comparing 2007 jam albums. thats all.

Umph was the only other double live that came out. so they got compared.


bigfro Mon 11/26/2007 01:54PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Lotus was fantastic, but it's true that they are no where near the level that Umphrey's has achieved. They'll get there. Ravers don't understand that their music is the same without lyrics. It's acid music

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Tue 11/27/2007 09:46AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

they just need to keep it up.

they do nothing but improve every year. total sickness.


moejoerisin Wed 11/28/2007 12:32PM
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their music is not the same at all. you're not much of a thinker, are you bigfro?

Chrissy1 Sat 12/15/2007 08:20PM
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this review sucks .. where have you been? why would jambase send someone whos never heard lotus to give a review like this? guy talks more about what the audience is doing. was a great show but damn