They’re not college kids any longer, but members of Lotus continue to educate the dance-music world with their innovative live instrumentation and dazzling light shows.
Formed at Goshen College in 1999, Lotus is as bright and hopeful as any 18-year-old should be. After several years of playing “jamtronica,” the band added percussionist Chuck Morris in 2001 and retooled their instrumental music. Other Lotus musicians are Mike Greenfield (drums), Mike Rempel (guitar), Luke Miller (guitar and keyboards) and Jesse Miller (bass and sampler.)
Lotus will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Cargo Concert Hall in downtown Reno with El Ten Eleven opening the all-ages show. Tickets are $22 in advance or $25 at the door.
It will be a dance party, for sure, and standing-room only might be a misnomer.
Lotus is considered a multi-genre band, employing elements of rock, jazz, jam, funk, electronica and hip-hop. Relix magazine summed it up as “sexy and sophisticated dance music, mature enough to be played in the club or in the living room.”
In 2007, Lotus released “Copy/Paste/Repeat,” an album of remixes and earlier studio work. PopMatters magazine said the effort “reinvent(ed) the jam band’s music as dance floor jams, with hip-hop and trance-influenced beats and mind-warping electronic synth burbles.”
Bassist Jesse Miller has his own take, noted in an online bio: “I truly believe Lotus’ sound comes from the roots of rock ‘n’ roll with electronic beats that are popular today. It took a long time for us to find a sound we all agreed on. But believe me, we experimented plenty before deciding what sound we were looking for.”
In 2016, the Philadelphia-based band released “Eat The Light” and currently is touring in support of an album featuring remixes of that work.
The openers, El Ten Eleven, are the Los Angeles duo of Kristian Dunn and Tim Fogarty. Dunn plays bass/guitar double neck, old-school six-string bass and fretless bass, while Fogarty adds drums and electronic drums. Their post-rock sound has influences that range from Beethoven, Bach and Tchaikovsky to The Who and Simple Minds.