Lotus at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 9/8/12
LOTUS @ RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE | 9/8/12
As its just over two-hour set came to a close, Lotus's encore proved there is a special place in the band's heart for Red Rocks. Following the close of "Colorado," the second track in a three-song encore, Lotus opened into "Spiritualize," which is arguably the best way to close one of the best sets the group has ever performed in the box state.
Lotus approached the stage at exactly 10 p.m. and didn't waste any time with getting the party underway. Opening with "Harps," the first of many songs in which Mike Rempel's guitar took center stage (and Luke Miller's skills on the keys showcased the band's blended rock and roll), Lotus' highly anticipated set achieved a good start. Next, "Hammerstrike" proved the perfect segue into the building set with its mellow, guitar-heavy chorus that again showcased the frets of both Rempel and Miller.
When the group launched into "Bubonic Tonic," a soothing track that instantly tamed the crowd filling the steps of Red Rocks save for a few open rows at the very top, the buzzing hive of dancing bodies slowed its roll and dialed into a slower, foot-tapping groove. This led into "Shimmer and Out," which built perfectly on the set and brought the pace back up. The crowd was jumping, clapping, dancing and screaming, and before long, the five-piece band reeled into "Cannon in the Heavens" and "We Are Now Connected." The guitars came in heavy again on "Connected," which steadily built on itself before leading into "Ashcon."
Chuck Morris and Mike Greenfield, the two masters holding down the percussion section, carried the beat throughout the night. Without Greenfield ever missing a step, perhaps following the cues of Rempel as he occasionally took a few steps back to control the unique time signatures of each song, the percussion couldn't have sounded better. The group danced outside the lines of its typical song structure to give way to improvisations that spotlighted the members' talent on their respective instruments.
"Arupa" really brought out the percussion. The song is fast and melodic, and Greenfield and Morris took the reigns to get the crowd's blood pumping at the close of the set. "Jump Off," a funky groove that Jesse Miller's bass carried, settled things down for the close, but the audience was still far from leaving, and Lotus knew it. The crowd knew it. But, what would they close with?
"Kodiak" started off the encore, and while some acts like to take things out on a strong note by ending with an explosive track, Lotus took the road less traveled and helped the crowd wind down. Just as a glowing moon hung in the sky over the stage roof, "Colorado," an obvious selection off the group's 2004 album Nomad, played flawlessly and in full. And while a brief moment passed, the opening notes of "Spiritualize" filled the eager steps between the two most famous rocks in the music world.
As measured in crowd response, this was the most anticipated song of the night. The crowd went insane bobbing up and down with the beat, and the band appeared equally as satisfied. Rempel and the Miller brothers (Jesse and Luke) held gleaming smiles for the entirety of the song, soaking up the final moments of the biggest and best show they've played in Colorado.
Continue reading for a review of Eoto.