Last Friday was one for the books. You could feel the electricity in the air all afternoon as fans began to fills the lots at the illustrious Red Rocks Amphitheater down in Morrison, CO. The night many fans had been waiting months for was finally upon us and Lotus was about to ignite the airwaves with Papadosio and Orchard Lounge parting the seas of the evening for them. Orchard Lounge, the production duo of Spencer & Bethany Lokken, took the stage as we were dealt the lasts winks of sunshine for the evening and delivered us a set of groovy electronic melodies that quickly stoked the fire around Papadosio and Lotus’ upcoming sets.
As the darkness of the evening took hold of the crowd Papadosio was quick to take the stage for their first performance on the main stage of Red Rocks. It truly puts a huge smile on our face to see how far they have come over the course of the past few years. It was only last summer that we caught them strutting their stuff at a night of Global Dance Festival where they wooed everyone at the smaller stage atop Red Rocks. This was clearly a very monumental performance for the quintet that now resides in Asheville, NC on their off time.
Though they only had an hour long slot to play around with the guys served up a well arranged set chock full of gems. Who would expect any less for their big Red Rocks debut, right? Papadosio kicked off their set with fan favorite ‘The Bionic Man Meets His Past’ and the crowd was immediately set into motion. As they worked their way into ‘Cloud Found’ and soon after ‘Cue’, it was an all out party. It wasn’t possible to find a single person without a giant smile streaked across their face, the entire sea of fans was dappled in an array of spotted lights as they amorphously transitioned into ‘New Love’. By this point you could truly feel the electricity coursing through the air as their melodies weaved their way throughout the crowd. The guys were joined by Mike Rempel of Lotus for ‘Find Your Cloud’ which followed and simply made everyone look on in awe as they sung along. Papadosio wrapped the set up with a sultry ‘Paradigm Shift’ that left many people yearning for more. It was amazing that they were able to stretch six tracks into a spacey groove party that truly got the blood flowing for Lotus to bring us their ‘Talking Heads Deconstructed’ set that was right on their heels.
While everyone made haste to hit the restrooms and refill their drinks before Lotus began their sets the stage crew quickly swapped out Papdosio’s equipment and almost instantly it seemed like it was time for Lotus to do their thing. The first set they dished out was their highly anticipated ‘Talking Heads Deconstructed’ tribute where the guys paid homage to the Talking Heads by piecing together a set of their original music with a little added Lotus flare. This is only the second time they have done this performance, the first being around a month back at Gathering of the Vibes in CT. The set features Gabriel Otto of Denver’s Pan Astral on the mic whom might I add did an eerily amazing job impersonating the stage presence of David Byrne. They dished out favorites such as ‘I Zimbra’, ‘This Must Be The Place’, ‘Crosseyed and Painless’, amongst others that worked the crowd up into a disco fueled dance party that some of us thought might never end. Between how well Lotus pieced together each song and the on stage antics of Gabriel Otto you could tell the entire crowd was reeling as the lights went down and the set was drawn to a close. While Lotus picked things up again with their own originals you could tell a certain chunk of the crowd was hoping for another set of Talking Heads infused rifts. They kicked things off with ‘Kodiak’ and soon worked their way into fan favorite ‘Suitcases’. As Lotus took hold of the crowd once more you could tell the crowd was just as ecstatic as they had been during the last set. Throughout the set we were dealt other gems such as ‘Spiritualized’, ‘Blacklight’, and ‘Age of Inexperience’ before the stage went dark and the crowd began begging for a few more songs.
After a slight lull the lights came back up and they doused everyone with a few more tracks to close out the evening. ‘Sunset of the Giant Dipper’ from their new album ‘Gilded Age’ got everyone grooving again before they brought Gabriel Otto out one more time to wrap everything up as they wooed the crowd with ‘Once in a Lifetime’. As all of Red Rocks sung along to the great Talking Heads anthem there couldn’t have been a more fitting way to close out the night and for some of us, another season of amazing shows at Red Rocks. With only a few more shows on their calendar for the year it’s always a bitter sweet goodbye until next Spring when they pick things up once again. For those of you looking for more Lotus, they just announced their New Years plans so get on that! Papadosio fans, as I’m sure many of you already know, they guys will be continuing their ‘Imaginal Cells Tour’ so check out their tour dates because more likely than not they will be coming to a city near you very soon! And PS, incase you’re in Colorado and didn’t make the show, Papadosio announced their annual Earth Night show will be taking over the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver on December 13th with some killer musical accompaniment as well as live art so make sure you grab a ticket ahead of time!
Catch an entire stream of the show below incase you missed out!