Flying Lotus 3D + Seven Davis Jr + PBDY @ MTelus – 9th November 2017

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Flying Lotus Montreal

Flying Lotus, famed producer, DJ, founder of the label Brainfeeder and friend and avid promoter of the West Coast Get Down stopped by at MTelus on his latests tour “Flying Lotus in 3D”.

It was my first time at the venue after having been renovated and rebranded. Last time I was there, when it was called Metropolis, was for one of Flying Lotus’ friend and collaborator, Kamasi Washington, a concert that I thoroughly enjoyed and that set the tone and expectations for other west coast musicians.

Nothing much changed from my last visit, a new sound system, a couple of screens were put up, some retouches but the stairs and most of the venue remained the same. Still, it remains one of the best venues I have been too with great visibility and a comfortable layout that both accommodates the people who are there for the music first and those who are there for the dance too.

The event was touted as a revolutionary audio visual experience where apart from FlyLo’s music, mixes and know genre bending shows, people were given 3D glasses in order to experience the weird and absurd visual being projected behind him.

The MTelus theatre was already half full for the first opening act of Seven Davis Jr, a Texan duo mixing live singing, electronic mixes and drums. The music was refreshing given that hearing a duo with real instruments a live voice in Dance/Electro scene is not usual. The people were already standing close to the scene and bopping their heads to the rhythm, answering Seven’s calls and smiling at his lyrics.

The words were funny at the beginning but the theme was predictable and tiring. All songs were about obsessing with a (any) girl, that obsession not being corresponded and a pubescent determination with getting laid at all cost. Even the transition to PDBY’s set, which was a unreleased collaboration between both, dwelled on that same theme.

PBDY’s set had a bigger audience and more people were already warming up to stronger and louder beats. He was preparing everyone for what was to come after and he was doing a good job at it, even though what he did behind the console was turning knobs and slides, with a couple of keystrokes from his Mac laptop.

Finally it was Flying Lotus’ turn, people were really pumped about it and all the bearded-deep v-neck-indoor hat wearing millennials put on their 3D glasses to witness what started out as a great synchronicity between FlyLo’s beats and the fractal projections that unfolded in unison.

The VJ (is that still a word?), could be seen syncing the lights and projections behind the console, sipping beer and treating the module as an extension of himself, barely looking at it and enjoying every last bit of it.

Flying Lotus every couple of tracks left the console to sing some lines and rap about, thankfully, different themes than the monotone first opening act. His alter-ego, Captain Murphy, took the stage and screen, singing and inviting all of us to get pumped up. Everything flowed right most of the time, with only a brief interruption due to some technical issues but that did not stop him or everyone from enjoying the night.

The majority of the crowd just stood there (or sat if you were on the first floor) drinking, watching the strange psychedelic images and moving from time to time to the rhythm. With every unexpected use of the 3D technology to showcase infinite depth, up-in-your-face skeletons, people ooh-ed and ahh-ed, greatly fascinated by the whole experience and being present. A few others came in groups and enjoyed the whole thing with their friends, forming little pockets of dance circles, enjoying themselves and being present all the way. But for a few, no amount of stroboscopic lights, fractals or decibels could unglue them from the bright screens of their cell phones. Maybe it will take smell-o-vision, VR or AR to amaze them, who knows.

Finally, the show left me several questions, What is to come of Jazz and Dance music? Do we need so many gimmicks to be entertained? Will this generation go deaf at 40 from such loud music being blasted through their headphones and concerts? And most importantly, isn’t our reality already in 3D?

PS: here is a brief intro to Flying Lotus in case you haven’t heard him or about him

review – Ricardo D Flores

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