Flying Lotus 3D Tour: Gimmick Or The Future of Concert Experiences

Steven Ellison also known as Flying Lotus brought his 3D tour to Denver this past weekend. The Los Angeles producer, dj, director, and filmmaker has been in the news lately in regards to his coming out and supporting Gaslamp Killer in lieu of his allegations of rape. Later retracting his statement at a recent show saying, 

“The internet is a fucking liar. Ain’t nobody judge and jury but the fucking law… Let truth and justice have its day.”

Despite the controversy he managed to bring his one of a kind unique and immersive visual masterpiece to a packed EXDO Center for our enjoyment. The visuals combined with the ambiance of fog created an unusual backdrop for the talented DJ as he intertwined his staple elements of sound with strange and twisting 3D images that made for an amazing experience. Claiming each show to be unique and not rehearsed the crowd got a first hand look at what has made Flying Lotus a unique player in todays music scene. Concertgoers were handed 3D glasses upon entry and if you weren't lined up in the middle of the venue the sight-lines were pretty non-existent to get the real feel of the concert. A show of such magnitude begs the question, are 3D shows more for gimmick or are they a step in a new direction of live music? As artist continue to walk the line of providing for a one of a kind concert experiences, the effort to even give us something different from the norm has to be appreciated. FlyLo provided the latter which provided for a new aspect to the everyday concert going experience.

Words and photos: Robert Castro
 

L.A. Witch Casts a Spell on Denver

LA Witch at Lost Lake (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

The 3 ladies of L.A. Witch definitely cast a spell over Lost Lake on Thursday night. Sade Sanchez on guitar and vocals, Irita Pai on bass, and Ellie English on drums, each has their own signature style, head of hair, and attitude to match. Together they create hazy, reverby, garage rock magic. A jumble of vintage tees, animal print, Doc Martens, and leather, the image L.A. witch has is totally awesome, and seamlessly goes with their sound. Their Facebook description states, “This isn’t music for the masses; it’s music for the miscreants, burnout, down-and-out dreamers, and obsessive historians.”

The trio just put out a self-titled album this year, and it’s full of dreamy guitar, powerful drumming, and pretty ominous lyrics. Sanchez’s voice is sultry and seductive, and takes you down a rabbit hole of classic surf, garage rock, psychedelia and rockabilly flare. Starting with You Love Nothing and ending with Get Lost, the gals played the entirety of their album in addition to a new song. They also gave an encore, which fan Laina Sydney mentioned is becoming rare as encores are seemingly “over”. A pleasant surprise indeed, as I’ve noticed that trend as well. Lame! #encoresmatter

Lost Lake was packed and also the perfect venue to see these rocker babes up close and personal. The sound was good and the lighting simple, the instruments highlighted beautifully along with the exceptional musicians behind them. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the future!

Count On Cut Copy For a Good Time!

Cut Copy at the Ogden (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

Cut Copy this last Wednesday in Denver, may have been one of the most fun shows I’ve attended all year. The Australian band made up of miraculous multi instrumentalists, reminded me of Dads everywhere in their white and cream colored business casual ensembles, and they had Dad dance moves to match.

Songwriter, producer, and DJ Dan Whitford started Cut Copy in 2001 as a solo project and put out a single and an EP before adding more members to help execute his full, synthy sound. At this point in time, the band has 4 total members and a style that has evolved from daytime disco meets synth pop, to pretty straightforward dance pop. The group has 5 albums and a Grammy under their belt for Best Dance/Electronic album in 2012.

The crowd at Ogden Wednesday was made up of 20 somethings with an appreciation for synths and bustin’ a move, and everyone in the venue was doing exactly that. There wasn’t a still body in the venue, and wide eyes and equally wide grins were hard to ignore. Local yogi and music fan, Riley Chapman said, “I knew I had to see them once I listened to their new album after a 4 year hiatus. I was blown away by the production and their stage presence. The vibes and energy at the Ogden evoked a visceral reaction to let loose and move your body! I felt like I was surrounded by a bunch of wild animals whose only given purpose was to dance down!”

DJ Dan Whitford (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

“Lights & Music” the bands “banger” from 2008 album In Ghost Colours, has an 80’s pop meets LCD Sound System sound about it, and got the crowd dancing harder than the substances they had taken. (Hehe.) “Footsteps” from album Free Your Mind was also one of the tracks that sent the crowd into a sort of frenzy, so it was nice that songs like “Standing in the Middle of the Field” and “Airborne” from newest album Haiku From Zero were on the mellower side of the set. The set appealed to hipsters and club kids alike, and the versatility was pleasant to see.

Tim Hoey (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

Quite the crowd (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

DFA outrages Englewood

Sebastien Grangier of Death from Above (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

Sebastien Grangier of Death from Above (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

Not really, just keep reading. Since their release of The Physical World back in 2014, Death From Above-- yes, they 86'd the 1979-- have dropped their latest Outrage is Now! and are back in the tour mix. With the release of their radio ready single, "Freeze Me" back in June, DFA hit some of the summer festival circuit, playing select Canadian festivals and Riot Fest Chicago.

Gracing Englewood's Gothic Theater Friday night, DFA, decked out with bassist Jesse Keeler's signature acrylic bass guitars and backdropped by their trunk-cated DFA silhouettes, the dynamic duo got Denver to dance their asses off. It took no more than 3 tracks for the mosh pit to form, and fans didn't dare stop before encore.

"Audience was [insert fire emoji]! Makes a difference!" DFA said after their set. For a city that has a rep in some music circles for being hard to win over, Denver sure did show the love for Death from Above...and for openers The Beaches.

L: Kylie Miller R: Jordan Miller of The Beaches (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

L: Kylie Miller R: Jordan Miller of The Beaches (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

Also hailing from DFA (& Drake & Beiber & Avril) land of Toronto, Canada, this quartet served fierce and mighty with tracks like "Money" and "Gold."

Both bands wrap up tour together next month in Toronto.

Shigeto Shakes Up Globe Hall

Shigeto (Photo Credit: Meesh Deyden)

Zach Saginaw, otherwise known as Shigeto, played Globe Hall on Wednesday night, promoting his newest album on Ghostly International, The New Monday. Extra special mention to opener Ela Minus, who was a pleasant surprise of experimental electronica, on a mixer set up that said, “Bright Music for Dark Times”; A perfect description of her sound, and the enticing night ahead.

The ever-evolving artist originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan is now based in Brooklyn, New York. He started out as a drummer in 2010 for School of Seven Bells, and over the years has done collaborations with Jazz trumpeter, Dave Douglas, as well as Hip-Hop artist, Zeelooperz. Each of these collabs is evident, as well as prominent, in Shigeto’s growth, because the styles of each collaborating artist are present in following projects. Early involvement in the Detroit music scene also has had an influence on Shigeto’s undeniably tight basslines.

 Shigeto is constantly exploring many genres, and doing so quite well. Ambient techno, melodic jazz, post dubstep, and hip-hop came together in a well put together solo show. Just when you start to begin questioning the soft, elusive “over air” sounds, a jazzy interlude would bring you back to what felt comfortable. Recording sounds live, mixing those in with his signature “container noises”, and playing the drum kit simultaneously, he was incredible to watch. Saginaw has a very expressive and enthusiast presence, which trickled into the crowd as the show picked up in pace, and made it hard not to dance along.

Slightly confused at the diversity of the crowd, I couldn’t figure out whether Globe Hall was filled with fans or just people trying to occupy their Wednesday night, but either way, everyone in the building seemed to enjoy the graceful journey of Shigeto’s evolving experiment of sound.