It should actually be illegal to see both Flying Lotus and Thundercat in the same month, but here we are. Flying Lotus is someone I’ve looked up to for awhile in the music industry, being someone who isn’t afraid to explore more avant / experimental themes. His contributions to channels like Adult Swim cemented this notion for me more than anything.
Because of Flying Lotus’s nature I knew the visuals at this live show would be postmodern abominations. It was a lot more than just that though, encompassing a wide array of DMT-esk geometry, Japanese animation styles, and generative-AI art. Flying Lotus was perched on top of a DJ both behind a massive LED panel elevated above the crowd. Rather than have himself as the center of the performance, the LED’s were the source of the show.
It makes sense why Flying Lotus is more reclusive in this manner and his lack of visibility for me, was not an issue. As I have reiterated multiple times on this publication, there’s an experience associated with music - some artists get it, some don’t. Flying Lotus gets it. I’m sure it has a lot to do with his Jazz background being a descendant of Jazz legend Alice Coltrane or being someone who’s stage name is coined from lucid dreaming.
The music he played was fantastic, fluctuating between various genres and styles. Two of my highlights were his reaction to playing Kendrick Lamar or coming down from his elevated perspective to rap to Tyler the Creator. Looking at his past setlists and festivals appearances, every Flying Lotus setlist has a substantial amount of variance - fluctuating between jazz, experimental, and rap aesthetics.
Towards the beginning of the set, there was a Lofi & Tay K crossover which I absolutely loved the contrast of. The tracks fluctuated between underground and mainstream creating a beautiful and unique experience. A setlist from a Flying Lotus set rewards you for how much you pay attention to music.
I was nestled in stage left backstage where I was able to watch Flying Lotus from behind the front LED board and spectated onto the crowd. Quite honestly, my photos we’re eh because of the stage setup / lighting - but I was much more invested in watching the show from that point of view. There’s a lot of times for me, where the images take a back seat and you enjoy every fleeting present moment of a great live performance. Especially since I do reviews - I want the experience to be accurately conveyed - images can sometimes come second.
On my way home from the event (around 2 am) I took an Uber with Robert, a very kind Uber driver. He reiterated to me that concept of enjoying the moment - multiple times. I know first-hand about the transitory nature of self, and want to make it a priority in my life to enjoy the moment. Robert gave me a number of great perspectives on life and really was the proper end to a Flying Lotus experience. It was like running into Iroh in Avatar the Last Airbender - or a wise old man in the streets.
I briefly want to shout out Teebs (who played a great instrumental hip-hop set) and Salami Rose Joe Louis (who’s vocals absolutely blew me away). I wouldn’t expect anything less than perfection in openers for someone like Flying Lotus.