Having recently moved to LA from the Colorado music scene, I've been jonesing for my livetronica fix. This was a perfect Friday night in LA and the crowd was ready to get down. The El Rey is a small but wonderful Art Deco venue in the heart of LA’s Miracle Mile. The inside is reminiscent of any given Fillmore theater cut in half—beautiful purple and gold chandeliers and plenty of levels for standing on the main floor fosters amazing visibility and plenty of room to groove.
There’s a special place in my heart for VibeSquaD—I’ve watched his sound develop from the days of yore when he was just beginning in Denver. What I love most about Aaron Holstein is his unwavering charisma and infectious energy while performing. You can see his grin from the back of the balcony. You can tell that he truly lives for this and enjoys every minute with his entire being. His groovy, crunchy style was the perfect appetizer to get this crowd primed for Lotus.
The crowd was spirited—it was evident that this was not their first rodeo. I was excited for this night because it has been a long time since I’ve seen Lotus in such a small, intimate venue. In CO, they will easily sell out 3-night runs at Red Rocks. Though their production was scaled down, there was nothing underwhelming about their performance. With their gorgeous spectrum of lights and several tiled light columns creating a backdrop
Lotus has an impeccable skill for presenting some of the most balanced sets I’ve ever experience. For every heavier electronica number they do, they wind down and ride a good ol’ fashioned jam for awhile. They started heavy with “Kodiak,” a driving track that is one of my faves, before settling down into their classic “Nematode.” The set continued like that until culminating with their Set I closer “Tip of the Tongue.” Lotus really holds the crowd in the palm of their hand the entirety of their sets—as they seamlessly shift dynamics, the energy of the room shifts as well.
After a much-needed set break, we all filed back in from the smoking section to be roused by their anthem “Break Build Burn.” Audience favorite Chris Voss joined the band to perform his vocals and harmonica on “Cannon in the Heavens” and he brought the house down. There is such a soulful, rich tone to his voice. The second set was high-energy & unrelenting. After the encore of “Massif” and “Gilded Age,” I was ready to drag my weary bones home for a good night’s rest. I can’t wait for these guys to come through town again—it was a treat that I won’t soon forget.