Lotus tops my list of bands that I have to see if I get a chance and since I was back in the Pittsburgh area I had to make it to this show. I had already had the pleasure of seeing Lotus at the Canopy Club earlier this year. It’s really an awesome experience to get to see a band at several stops along their tour. I’m hoping to catch them one more time before festival season is upon us.
Stage AE is a great venue, easy to get a drink, and the downtown Pittsburgh atmosphere is really one of the best in the country. Stage AE sits just a few hundred feet from the meeting of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers which merge at the point to form the Ohio River. The view of the city, river valley, and rivers could not be more incredible. It is really a beautiful place to see live music. As a side note, Pittsburgh is also home to Mr. Smalls Theater and The Rex Theater which are always hosts to lots of great music including Lotus at Mr. Smalls a few years ago.
As opposed to the last time they were at the Canopy Club, Lotus just played one set in Pittsburgh, which was awesome because I go to hear extended versions of several of the songs they played the Canopy back in November. The place was as crowded as I’ve ever seen Stage AE and the energy from the audience was great. The show kicked off with Wax which of course was a crowd favorite from the 2007 album Escaping Sargasso Sea. Wax is THE song that plays through my head when I think about Lotus. It’s an tune they’ve been playing for awhile and it really is the quintessential song to represent Lotus’ “sound.” Classic rock, funk, heavy metal, and contemporary electronic beats. I was lucky enough to hear it at both shows I’ve seen this tour!
The show ended with an Umbillical Moonrise encore that definitely left everyone wanting more. The relaxing and smooth roll of this song is however an inspiring note to leave a show on. This song really gives you the feeling of something bigger surrounding you as the guitar bounces around the room and the crowd sways and cheers. It’s amazing to be with so many people and all be on the same page. Music and people like this are one of the greatest things in life and I’m so glad I get to share so much of my time with good bands and people. Lotus is a must see.
Here is the set list, including a live recording by Bean that is incredibly high quality. Thanks really have go out to the awesome tapers everywhere! Thank one when you see one!
Set List: Wax - Blacklight – Sunflare - L’immueble > Massif Opo - Lead Pipe > Dowrn - The Robots - Through the Mirror > Greet the Mind - Marisol - Flower Sermon
E: Umbillical Moonrise
Since I saw Rebelution at All Good in 2010 I had been itching to see them again. Unfortunately last year I was unable to catch their Summer Camp set but last night I finally got the opportunity to scratch and caught their show at Mr. Smalls Theater. As fortune would have it they stopped in Pittsburgh as part of their “Spring Greens Tour.”
Hot Rain kicked off the night. They are joining Rebelution for the tour. Hailing from Hawaii this upbeat reggae band stays true to their heritage and genre singing about love and beautiful women. They constantly interacted with the audience; uniting the souls which filled the venue in song. It was a fun way to start the show, check out their myspace page with free music here.
J Boog took to the stage next and kept the upbeat reggae jams flowing. Many people may not recognize him as the former B2K member that he is. He’s grown a bit since those days and so has his talent. J Boog maintains undertones of the R&B, hip hop background while bringing forth a new kind of sound.
Then Rebelution took to the stage, starting off their performance with one of my favorites: “Bright Side of Life” (check out the video!) Everyone started jumping and the whole place was jammin. The venue was the perfect size and so was the crowd. The vibes at the show were flowing peace and reggae love. It was spectacular. During the second half of the show they also played “Outta Control,” another personal favorite. Apparently a crowd favorite as well because the entire place beamed forth even greater energy for that song.
It is astonishing to think this band is almost 10 years old – haven taken off from Cali roots to become the great band they are today. Part of what makes them so special is their political consciousness and their call to action. If you haven’t yet, listen to “Courage to Grow.” You will find yourself inspired with new feelings of hope and desire for fulfillment. The band consists of Eric Rachmany (vocals/guitar), Rory Carey (keyboard) Wesley Finley (drums), and Marley D Williams (bass). I was actually lucky enough to meet and spend some time with Marley after the show. He was extremely nice and super down to Earth (not to mention very attractive!)
Rebelution has tons of music available to listen to and even download for free on their myspace page. The band will be touring in the US throughout the month of May and is then heading over the Atlantic for a United Kingdom run with one stop in Portugal. They will be back in Cali and Oregon in August. If you can make it to a show – do not miss out! It only took one show to make me a giant fan and I know it will only take one for you as well.