Flying Lotus, one of the preeminent producers still skirting The Edge even as borderline mainstream success flashes amid his career, brought his fresh hybrid of jazz fusion, modern hip-hop and EDM to House of Blues last night. The crowd soaked it up. Everything last drop of the show - the fantastic lighting, the samples, the sheer energy - blossomed into unrelenting excitement.
But the show was a fairly far cry from FlyLo's studio catalog. Take LPs like Cosmogramma and Until the Quiet Comes. These are heady affairs meant for headphones in the dark. These are dense tips of the hat toward the producer's jazz lineage (*cough* John and Alice Coltrane *cough*) and toward the inner depths of his mind. When he came out onstage last night and quickly tossed a Lil Wayne sample into the mix (thankfully it was "I Feel Like Dying," one of Weezy's more esoteric songs cut just before the rapper took off into stratospheric heights of success via Tha Carter III), the vibe was clearly veering in a different direction.
And, in the end, the whole thing was enticing. Exciting. The light show frenzied - and psychotic at times. Polygonal structures evolved in real time as FlyLo kept the music bumping throughout the night. Robotic figures danced on the screens, anthropomorphic beings stuttered into life, and shapes of various sizes coalesced into sentient blobs before the crowd's eyes and ears. Amid it all, the shadow of FlyLo grooved back and forth like a nonchalant god observing the storm below.
Before Flying Lotus's set, Thundercat brought his patently psychedelic brand of jazz fusion to the venue. Bassist Stephen Bruner, whose genome includes the thrash of SoCal's Suicidal Tendencies, presided over a trio of unstoppable, jammed-out fusion, rock and soul. Do give his album The Golden Age of Apocalypse a spin - guaranteed good times today.
Cleveland was awesome ! Much love— Flying Lotus (@flyinglotus) May 17, 2013