We Can Dance If We Want To: Lotus at Water Street Music Hall

Despite several non-heady forces: A red hot Syracuse basketball team playing,  sub-zero wind chills, and a liquor license-less venue; Rochesterians turned out en masse for the electro-jam instrumentals of Philly based Lotus. Touring heavily behind their latest critically acclaimed release Monks, fans came from far and near to catch this rare Upstate performance. Local DJ favorite Papi Chulo opened the night with his skillful genre hopping house infused DJ set that got everyone limbered up for the headliner.

Water Street, as many know, has been struggling to get their new liquor license for many months, and many shows have been canceled, rescheduled or moved. Despite the lack of delicious hops, this show was expertly staffed and it was a relief to see a packed show again in Rochester’s most history filled venue. Note to New York State: These unbelievably long, senseless bureaucratic delays for a simple license continue to cripple small businesses struggling to profit and stay open. Reboot this system and let’s get New York’s small entrepreneurs back on top!

By the time Lotus took the stage Water Street was elbow to hoop girl from front to back with a large contingency spilling upward into the balcony for some dancing room. Their sound, while definitely in the EDM genre, sticks mostly to old school influences with healthy doses of funk and hip-hoppy beats mixed within melodic keyboard battles and a dual-ax core. Beyond some occasional voice effects by guitarist Luke Miller, the songs are all instrumental, yet hold a distinct memorable vocal character to them that transcends many similar bands in the genre. No UntzUntzUntzDROP here, this is hypnotic organic dance music filled with timeless melodies.  Unfortunately Lotus has no more shows scheduled in NY currently, but keep an eye on their tour page, as they’ll be back and you won’t want to miss it.

Check out and purchase Lotus’s Monks  here

Setlist:
Set 1: Bellwether, Ashcon, Neon Tubes, Opo, Wooly Mammoth, Bubonic Tonic ->Tip Of the Tongue
Set 2: Debris, Golden Ghost -> Livingston Storm, Different Dream, Behind Midwest Storefronts, IACTMN ->Wax
Encore: Cain & Abel, Hammerstrike