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Lotus Pays Tribute to Flaming Lips at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium

Lotus Pays Tribute to Flaming Lips at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium


November 6th, 2019

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Lotus sold out Saturday’s show to Denver’s fan base in their most recent performance at the Fillmore Auditorium. Throughout, they covered their own work as well as music from the Flaming Lips. Lotus is known for their extensive touring schedule, and usually hit around 80-105 shows every year. Their electric jam-band style has been a favorite among Colorado music lovers for years. And their Halloween performances have been a staple on many Colorado music-lovers’ lists. As always, the band hit the stage with a cool and entrancing presence.

Throughout the show, they led the audience on a journey of mellow and sentimental melodies with a mixture of funky, electric jams that people got-down to. If you have never experienced a Lotus show, it is hard to describe the dedication and love that their fan base carries for their hypnotic music. For their most recent album, the band describes taking a “decidedly more electronic direction”. They have managed to continually shift and explore their sound, without alienating their jam-band fan base.


Lotus originally formed in 1999 at Goshen College in Indiana. Members of the band include Mike Greenfield (drums), Mike Rempel (guitar), Jesse Miller (bass and sampler), Luke Miller (guitar/keyboard) and Chuck Morris (percussion). Most consider their music “multi-genre.” Bassist, Jesse Miller, has previously stated in an interview, “I truly believe Lotus’s sound comes from the roots of Rock-n-roll mixed with electronic beats that are popular today. It took a long time for us to finally find a sound we all agreed on.”

Due to their high volume of live performances each year, the band often picks other bands to pay tribute to. For example, Lotus covered the Talking Heads in a performance at Red Rocks in 2014. The concert was incredible, and continued the band’s ongoing respect in Colorado’s music scene. Since the release of their album Gilded Age, it does not sit right to classify the band into a strict jam-band genre. As it were, their pure electric style with classic prog riffs and sharp tempo changes that mix with a strong guitar melody lend this band into a classification of its own. Not to mention that no show is ever the same. They are only able to pull this off so well due to their high amounts of live shows. As always, in their Saturday performance, they performed with incredible synchronicity on stage.

Saturday’s Performance

Lotus began Saturday night with classic Flaming Lips covers such as “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell” and “Do You Realize.” They continued the evening with “Flight Test” and other fan-favorites. Though focused on their tribute to the Flaming Lips, they also played their own classics such as “Jump off”, “Bush Pilot” and “Neon Tubes”. These were a welcome contribution. As a long-time Lotus fan, the evening rounded out with a sentimental love for the band and their unique sound.

As always, the band did an impressive job covering another beloved band’s sound. However, I feel conflicted in my opinion regarding Lotus paying tribute to a band who are, themselves, still touring. Without a doubt, their 2014 Talking Heads tribute was a masterpiece. But it stood as an incredible tribute because the original band had contributed so much to the music scene as a whole. As the Flaming Lips are still touring, it is hard to make a similar comparison. How do we as fans feel about this decision?


Unsurprisingly, Saturday night was a jam/electric field of good vibes and intense dancing. The crowd leaned in as Lotus delivered a mixture of their own sounds with remixed covers of the Flaming Lips. Lotus is known for their ingenuity and their willingness to continue to expand their sound and style. It is debatable whether or not this was stifled by the tribute to a band that is also continuing to tour and transform their own sound. Regardless, the night was filled with a fluid mix of melodies that had the whole auditorium in a trance. Lotus is a band that you have to see in order to understand, and Saturday proved this to be true yet again.

Photos by Reda Ruokyte

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