When I first found out I was going to be able to officially take pictures for the show, my excitement was at the point where you just don’t even know what to do. Just sitting and wondering, is this even real? It was a dream of mine, coming true in one of the most beautiful places in the world with one of my favorite bands; Lotus
It felt like things had come full circle. I came up with the idea for this company during a Papadosio show but actually launched it a few years later when we made Lotus shirts for the 3-day Boulder run and sold them outside. That was just over 4 years ago. How things have changed over that time. The night before the band actually sold out that same theater and I was able to enjoy it with several of my close friends including Scott, who had actually helped me start ORA and run it for the first few years. Dancing away the whole night it evoked so much emotion and happiness and though I never need a reminder, it certainly reiterated my love for this band…So here I am now, about to shoot Red Rocks for the second time, only show before that just so happened to be Papadosio, and it just felt like things are really taking form and I want to take a moment to thank the band for a chance to shoot and write about my experience. You have been a huge influence on my life and I am forever grateful for all of the memories shared at your shows and listening to your music <3
The night started off with an act I have always heard come up over the years but hadn’t heard much personally, Nosaj Thing. I felt it was a little off because there wasn’t much light, even as an opener, you couldn’t really see him. I remember standing there though talking to someone how it got dark really fast and we were both kind of surprised how little light they were using. He played a really beautiful set however and of course I was there for the music not the lights. Though not a ton of people made their way in to witness the set, everyone who did, had nothing but good things to say as we talked waiting for Com Truise to start. He who brought the pace up quite a bit with some harder hitting bass, and more upbeat house feel. Mixing in with some psychedelic sounds and funky bouncy synths, it fit in with the Lotus crowd well. Though a lot of people were expecting some bigger names, I feel like they both did a great job and you could tell they were grateful for the opportunity.
As I stood dead center of the front waiting for them come out, I was almost shaking with excitement. Before the show, several of my friends and I were talking about what we wanted to hear, openers, hopefuls, etc, much like any show and though it may be cliche’ I definitely wanted a “Spiritualize” opener. I hadn’t seen it in a while and I feel like it always says a lot of what to expect. Much like the night before, we were in for a night of some great Lotus jams. The synths got me bouncing my knees and the bass of Jesse Miller was a whole trip in itself, that hand you moving all over the place. Everything about this song just mixes so well together and as I took a moment to look back from the camera, all you could see was people dancing.
My excitement only grew as the opening of Neon Tubes came on, only to be short lived as keyboard malfunctions cut it as soon as it started. After a quick adjustment though Luke led everyone quickly into Opo. It was easy to feel bad for them, no one wants technical difficulties especially at a place like Red Rocks, but they quickly recovered. Luke brought a ton of energy right away to get everyone back in the groove of things. With some grungy rhythm guitar by Miller, Rempel was really starting to take hold and dial in on the lead with the rest perfectly in sync with each other.
Things were definitely back on track as the band went into Flower Sermon. Easily one of my favorite songs, it gets you dancing so hard, and this night was nothing short of that. The band was totally in sync and the crowd was bringing the energy higher and higher.. This song always gets so spacey yet down right funky, that shows a lot of everyone in the bands sound. Rempel has a great intro, and goes all over the fret board. Those killer psychedelic riffs, tied with intense jams back with Jesse rocking the deep space bass while Luke’s keys go from one end of the spectrum to the other before you can even realize it. Everyone in the crowd was getting down. Surprisingly a good amount of space was available but people made up for it by dancing on every inch of that venue. Up and down the rows people were going all over the place enjoying the night in front of them.
The energy fed right into “When our nerves no longer twitch” which would have normally ended the set. Since they did get into “Neon Tubes” though they had time to go into “Greet The Mind.” I knew one of my best friends wanted to hear it so it was nothing but smiles as the two of us danced away with several of our good friends celebrating another wonderful summer full of music and adventures. They band had a lot of passion clearly evident before stepping off to take a super quick set break.
As I anticipated the second set was about to start I made my way closer to get some more pictures and it felt great with how easy it was to get close. Everyone was so nice, smiling away as they gave me space. The Lotus vibes were certainly high, especially as they opened the second set with “Wax.” Another favorite of mine, much like a lot in attendance, the whole band came out with force. This song also makes me totally let loose and dance like an idiot, but it’s so fun, because every one else is too. When they start going off key and getting those intense hits, I can never not just laugh as I move back and forth. The lights were really going hard at this point, without missing a beat with the band, and the second set was off to a great start as they made their way into “Face Blind,” a song they just recently released at their festival Summerdance.
Heading into a slower trancey song “Arupa” I made my way back up to find my friends and was again loving the fact that it was just easy to get around the venue for a change. The crowd at Lotus is always easy to be around but it’s also hard to get upset on a great song like this, that has great vocal chops and slow plucking guitar. It was such a perfect fit going into “Umbilical Moonrise.” I just remember looking over at my friend right as I heard that first guitar intro and just smiling be like “they’re doing it.” We both knew it was coming and were both so excited it was happening. It’s such a beautiful euphoric song. It’s one of those songs where you just close your eyes and just drift away. A song that you just can’t listen to without smiling, and this was no exception. The entire crowd was beaming with energy while the band took us on a love filled journey through space and sound.
Bringing the energy up a bit, they headed into this incredible Ratatat cover, “Cream on Chrome” that had everyone geeking out. I couldn’t just help but smile and laugh because it’s just, that’s what it’s about. The moments we live for. Hearing those songs we weren’t expecting or really just want to hear. There’s nothing better. Even being a cover, you could tell a lot of people we extremely happy they jammed it. It had this great grungy guitar with a super funky backing vibe.
Everyone’s high energy carried its way as the band started “Bubonic Tonic” a song my friends and I had all really wanted to hear. Actually, pretty sure every one probably wanted to hear it by the way they sounded when the opening synths and bass line came on. The high vibes were still going strong with night two quickly coming to an end but they had everyone dancing their heart out, not missing a beat. There was a lot of chatter after the show with them deciding to close with “Gilded Age,” but I was not disappointed. I understand hearing the same song and placement can get stale, but it’s just a happy song that it’s hard to be mad at hearing. A more upbeat style song, it always evoked good feelings for me, and left me feeling great as the night and my Red Rocks season came to an end.