:: Lotus :: Aggie Theater :: April 10 :: :: Fox Theatre :: April 11 and 12 :: :: Copper Mountain :: April 13 :: (2 p.m. show)
By Heather Jarvis
Imagine taking a festival and dumping it smack in the middle of a city which not only tolerates the atmosphere, but encourages music fans to take their extra-curricular activities to the streets and businesses nearby. Not just a dream from another dimension, but for the passport owning, more well-off jam fans, it’s a reality at Jam In The Dam.
For three days, psyched American music lovers swarmed the streets of Amsterdam, and musicians like Keller Williams stayed in houseboats on the river. Playing with the likes of Umphrey’s McGee, Disco Biscuits and Dark Star Orchestra was electronic rock band Lotus, who, while no stranger to late-night festivals or sharing the stage with jam band greats, were able to experience their first tour in Europe at one of most famous cities in the continent.
Upon their return from the trip overseas, The Marquee chatted with Lotus bassist Jesse Miller during his short break back at home.
“Europe was great,” Miller said. “I could finish packing up my bass and step around the corner and be drinking amazing Belgium beers. It was great to get away and make it part vacation, part show.”
Although Lotus played for a lot of dedicated American jam freaks, there were some Europeans who were able to experience the instrumental band’s eclectic mix of rock, modern electronica and club dance music for the first time.
“I thought it was really cool to play for (Europeans) because they don’t know what Lotus sounds like at all. It was cool to hear the response from people who had never seen us before,” said Miller.
Although this was the band’s first time in Europe, Lotus has made the long flights before. With a couple of tours in Japan under their belt, Miller says the band sells almost as many albums in the East Asian country as in the U.S., and their tours have always been ones to remember.
With a unique sound that rivals bands such as STS9 and Particle, the band has been a shoe-in for late night festival slots where packed tents are filled with dancing fans. To imagine that the members of the band met at a Mennonite college which had originally banned on-campus dancing seems ironically fitting. Although Miller claims that the college isn’t the reason they are so dedicated to getting their fans in the groove, they definitely keep it a top priority.
“We always feel that if you can get people dancing at a show you become a lot more aware of the music,” he said. “Every little change, you feel physically. I think it’s great for people to experience it that way and it really draws them in and that’s why it’s worked for us. It keeps us moving too, because when you lock into a danceable groove and the whole band and audience is feeling it, I think it really is a different type of experience than you can feel any other way.”
When Lotus formed over eight years ago, the band leaned towards a fusion-style funk. To create music that was danceable, the band began incorporating more electronic influences and the type of “repetitious groove stuff” that comes out of crowd rock. Those grooves are ones that lend themselves to improvisation which, Miller says, building on those, along with adding a lot of other influences including their own life experiences, form the Lotus sound.
The band’s busy schedule only gets tighter with the upcoming summer and festival season. With an exhausting schedule that includes Summer Camp, Wakarusa, Rothbury, and a few other festivals, the band will also travel coast to coast. Miller said the payoff comes with live shows in which everything clicks and the audience is doing their part to pull the band along as well. To the band, and most likely the fans, it is an experience like none other.
One of the highlights of the tour for Lotus includes two nights at the Fox Theatre which, as the Boulderites know and Miller puts it, “is always a good time.” The band is stepping up to a bigger room in New York at the Fillmore and will also grace The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.
And if all of that weren’t enough, Lotus is currently working on its next studio album, which they hope to complete by the fall.
:: Lotus ::
:: Aggie Theater :: April 10 ::
:: Fox Theatre :: April 11 and 12 ::
:: Copper Mountain :: April 13 :: (2 p.m. show)
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