music / Columns

Jam Central Station 02.09.13: Lotus – The Beachland Ballroom – 1.31.13

February 9, 2013 | Posted by mojo4395


Hey all. Hope you’re having a great week! Things are going pretty good here. Good shows, good people, etc… Looking forward to a CD release party in a few months and some great music before that. Anyways, I had a chance to check out Louts last week, so here’s the review!


As I’m sure many of you know, it’s not easy for me to review jamtronica/EDM/instrumental music. While I certainly love a good party, I’ve always been drawn to more traditional rock-style music. Lyrics, verse/chorus structure, maybe a nice bridge or a jam thrown in. That’s what I relate to and where I’m drawn. Being involved in the “jam band” scene over the years, however, has led me to familiarize myself with the more electronic side of music. While it started out of necessity it’s grown into a real interest of mine. I’ve enjoyed seeing how different bands combine live and pre-recorded sounds, use computers, synthesizers, and looping techniques, and put it all together to make a great party. Different bands mix these elements in a variety of ways. Over the past few years Lotus has become one of the premier names in the live instrumental/jamtronica scene, due in no small part to their tremendous live shows.

After being absolutely blown away by Lotus at the 2012 Werk Out Festival, I knew that I needed to check out their headlining set at The Beachland. The night actually got started with a pair of solid opening bands. Local Cleveland jamtronica trio Broccoli Samurai got the evening started on the Beachland’s smaller stage. The band has been steadily growing in popularity throughout the Ohio region, and they showed why with this set. They put together over an hour of solid music to move and groove to, creating a great layered sound with some very cool solos and well-orchestrated (and very tight) changes and movements in their music. Guest guitarist John McCarron from Stagecoach Robbery (another local band) added some great guitar work and fit seamlessly with the rest of group. It’s always impressive to watch a band that can keep everything together during songs that head in a variety of different directions, and Broccoli Samurai have that down pat. These guys have been making an impression at local venues and regional festivals for the past couple of years, and, with a CD coming out soon, I expect them to be taking another step forward in the near future.

The drum and saxophone trio Moon Hooch followed on the main stage. I never expected a couple of saxophones to be able to lay down more dubstep-style womp than most DJ’s, but these guys do it. They use their jazzy groove to serve as the backdrop to their Drum and Bass/Dubstep style, making music that is extremely catchy and unique. Their ability to build up to a climax, drop some bass, and continue to solo and jam is very impressive, especially because they put everything together live with just the drums and sax. I’ve noticed that these guys have already been added to a handful of festivals this summer, and I’m expecting a great party when I go to see them.

All of this served as an appetizer for the main course of Lotus for the night. The band has an album coming out later this month, so this show served as a little preview of what to expect. The band put on a two set show that lasted well into the night. The first set borrowed from a variety of their early albums, but the mix worked very well. They opened with “Golden Ghost,” an older tune for the band, and went through a variety of older and newer tunes. The early jam of “Spiritualize” into “Harps” was one of my favorites, with some nice build up in the middle of “Spiritualize” and a seamless segue into the somewhat more wompy “Harps.” A somewhat creepy “Monk” followed, and the band let a very cool “L’immeuble” segue directly back into the end of “Spiritualize.” The hour-long first set closed out with funky jam “Sodium Vapor” and a trancy “128” that closed with a massive guitar solo.

The second set got started with “Middle Road” from their upcoming album. It’s a pretty cool new tune that included some different style keyboard and vocal effects to mix things up. “Nematode” had one of my favorite bass jams of the night before going all over the place musically for 14 minutes. My favorite tune of the night was probably “Break Build Burn,” the lead track off of the band’s new album. It has a very cool synth part and a great groove to dance to. I’m looking forward to seeing how the band builds on that song and uses it with other songs in the future. The main portion of the second set ended with an excellent “Bellweather”->”Umbilical Moonset”->”Bellweather” segue that featured one of the most upbeat and fun jams of the night. The three-song encore featured “Disappear in a Blood-Red Sky” before settling into a groovy “Cloud Nine.” They closed the night with a solid “Hammerstrike,” the title track from my favorite Lotus album.

Overall I was very impressed with the show. Lotus had the crowd moving, had a great visual show, and had a lot of energy. That’s what most people at the show were looking for, and that’s exactly what they got. The highlight of the night for me was probably the Moon Hooch show, just because it was so unexpected to hear that music coming from the instruments on stage, but the whole night was a good time. Personally, I would’ve preferred if Lotus had only played one set, since there was just about 2 1/2 hours of music from the band, but that’s a minor concern. I’m probably never going to be a massive fan of the jamtronica scene, but I can appreciate a good show when I see one, and that’s exactly what Lotus does. If you’re looking to dance, party, and have a very good time, Lotus is a band that you should check out.



Sasquatch! lineup released
This year’s Sasquatch! Music Festival will be held at The Gorge in George, Washington from May 24-27. The extremely popular festival (which will sell out) will include Mumford and Sons, Primus, Sigur Ros, Vampire Weekend, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Lumineers, Cake, The xx, Arctic Monkeys, and many others.

Electric Forest lineup out
Electric Forest will once again be held at the Double JJ Ranch and Resort in Rothbury, MI. This year’s festival will be held on June 27-30. Along with the infamous (and expanded) Sherwood Forest, the festival will feature three nights of The String Cheese Incident, Pretty Lights, Passion Pit, Dispatch, Lotus, Empire of the Sun, Knife Party, Beats Antique, Grimes, EOTO, Railroad Earth, Femi Kuti & Positive Force, Trombone Shorty, Pimps of Joytime, Digital Tape Machine, Greensky Bluegrass, and many other great bands and electronic artists.

Northwest String Summit releases lineup
This year’s Northwest String Summit will once again be held at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains, OR. The event will be held over July 18-21 and will be hosted by Yonder Mountain String Band and will feature David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Greensky Bluegrass, Keller Williams & Friends, Danny Barnes, and many others.

Mumford and Sons announce “Gentlement of the Road” stops
Mumford and Sons will once again be doing a handful of “Gentlemen of the Road” mini-festivals. They announced 5 events. Each event will feature a band headlining a Friday night show (Vampire Weekend for the UK date, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros for the U.S. dates) as well as a full day of music on Saturday, headlined by Mumford. Tickets for all 5 events are already sold out.

Lewes, UK
July 19th – Vampire Weekend
July 20th – Mumford & Sons
With following guests to join over the weekend: The Vaccines, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Mystery Jets, Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit, Very Best Sound System plus more to be announced

Simcoe, Ontario
Aug 23rd – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Aug 24th – Mumford & Sons
With following guests to join over the weekend: Old Crow Medicine Show, The Vaccines, Hey Rosetta!, Dan Mangan, Willy Mason, Bear’s Den plus more to be announced

Troy, OH
Aug 30th – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Aug 31st – Mumford & Sons
With following guests to join over the weekend: Old Crow Medicine Show, The Vaccines, Half Moon Run, Those Darlins, Willy Mason, Bear’s Den plus more to be announced

Guthrie, OK
Sept 6th – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Sept 7th – Mumford & Sons
With following guests to join over the weekend: Alabama Shakes, The Vaccines, Half Moon Run, Those Darlins, Willy Mason, Bear’s Den plus more to be announced

St Augustine, FL
Sept 13th – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Sept 14th – Mumford & Sons
With following guests to join over the weekend: fun., The Vaccines, Half Moon Run, Those Darlins, Willy Mason, Bear’s Den plus more to be announced

Dark Star Jubilee announce lineup
The Dark Star Jubilee will return to Legend Valley this year. The festival will move to Memorial Day weekend and will feature 3 nights of the Dark Star Orchestra, Mickey Hart Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Wailers, The Werks, Greensky Bluegrass, Donna Jean Godchaux Band, Elephant Revival, and many others.

Shaky Knees Music Festival
The first Shaky Knees Music Festival was announced this week. The event will be held in Atlanta at the Fourth Ward Park and the Masquerade Music Park on May 4th and 5th. The event will feature The Lumineers, Band of Horses, Drive By Truckers, Jim James Band, Gary Clark Jr., Dr. Dog, and many others.

Yonder adds dates
Yonder Mountain String Band added dates to their spring tour. They’ll be heading through the south, midwest, and out west through April until festival season begins.

February 28 Lawrence, KS—Liberty Hall
March 1 Dallas, TX—Granada Theater
March 2 Austin, TX—Stubb’s BBQ
March 6 Tulsa, OK—Cain’s Ballroom
March 7 Urbana, IL—Canopy Club
March 8 St. Louis, MO—The Pageant
March 9 St. Louis, MO—The Pageant
March 13 Albuquerque, NM—Sunshine Theater
March 14 Flagstaff, AZ—Orpheum Theater
March 15 Salt Lake City, UT—The Depot
March 16 Aspen, CO—Belly Up
March 17 Aspen, CO—Belly Up
March 20 Billings, MT—Babcock Theater
March 21 Boseman, MT—Emerson Cultural Center
March 22 Missoula, MT—Wilma Theater
March 23 Missoula, MT—Wilma Theater
March 24 Phoenix, AZ—McDowell Mountain Music Festival
April 18 Seattle, WA—Neptune Theatre
April 19 Eugene, OR—McDonald Theatre
April 20 Eugene, OR—McDonald Theatre
April 21 Ashland, OR—Historic Ashland Armory
April 24 Bend, OR—Midtown Bellroom
April 25 Sacramento, CA—Harlows Restaurant & Nightclub
April 26 San Francisco, CA—The Fillmore
April 27 San Francisco, CA—The Fillmore
May 30-June 2 Ozark, AR—Wakarusa Music Festival
July 18-21 North Plains, OR—Northwest String Summit
July 27 Floyd, VA—Floyd Fest

Bassnectar to tour east coast
Bassnectar will be heading out east for a run of small-venue dates in April and May. He stated that he’s looking for the intimacy of clubs and theatres that he hasn’t played in a while.

April 24 Burlington, VT—Burlington Memorial Auditorium (*%)
April 25 Boston, MA—House of Blues (*%)
April 26 Boston, MA—House of Blues (&%)
April 27 Rochester, NY—Main Street Armory ($%)
April 28 Providence, RI—Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel ($%)
May 1 Philadelphia, PA—Electric Factory ($%)
May 2 Philadelphia, PA— Electric Factory (*%)
May 4 Washington, DC—Fillmore (*%)
May 5 Washington, DC—Fillmore ($%)
May 8 Columbia, SC—Township Auditorium ($%)
May 9 Charlotte, NC—Grady Cole Center ($%)
May 10 Atlanta, GA—Tabernacle (#%)
May 11 Atlanta, GA—Tabernacle (*%)
May 12 Chattanooga,TN—Track 29 (*%)


Jam in the Sand
March 1-5, 2013
Breezes Grand Resort
Negril, Jamaica
Dark Star Orchestra’s first Jamaican event. This event will feature multiple DSO shows as well as three Keller Williams sets and other activities

Buku Music Project
March 8-9, 2013
Mardi Gras World Warehouse
New Orleans, LA
Performers include: Kid Cudi, Calvin Harris, Primus, Passion Pit, STS9, Zedd, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, Datsik, Lettuce, and many others

SnowBall Music Festival
March 8-10, 2012
Winter Park, CO
Performers include:Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, Portugal. The Man, Rubblebucket, and many others.

Suwannee Springfest
March 21-24, 2013
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Peter Rowan, Keller and the Keels, Jerry Douglas, Cornmeal, Leftover Salmon, Donna the Buffalo, The Travelin’ McCoury’s, Elephant Revival, and many others.

Ultra Music Festival
March 15-17, 2013
March 22-24, 2013
Miami, FL
Performers include: Tiesto, David Guetta, Above & Beyond, Bassnectar, Fatboy Slim, Richie Hawtin, Crystal Castles, deadmau5, Major Lazer, Thievery Corporation, and many others.

March 21-24, 2012
Killington Resort
Killington, VT

April 12-14, 2013
April 19-21, 2013
Performers include: Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blur, Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bassnectar, xx, Modest Mouse, Lou Reed, Postal Service, Grizzley Bear, Wu-Tang Clan, Lumineers, and many others.

Wanee Festival
April 18-20, 2013
Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang, and many others.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 26-May 5, 2013
New Orleans, LA
Performers include: Dave Matthews Band, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Widespread Panic, B.B. King, The Black Keys, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Maroon 5, and a very diverse lineup of many other artists.

Shaky Knees Music Festival
May 4-5, 2013
Atlanta, GA
Performers include: The Lumineers, Band of Horses, Drive By Truckers, Jim James Band, Gary Clark Jr., Dr. Dog, and many others

BottleRock Festival
May 10-12, 2013
Expo Grounds
Napa Valley, CA
Performers include: Furthur, The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, Cake, Alabama Shakes, The Black Crowes, Ben Harper, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and many others.

Hangout Music Festival
May 17-19, 2013
Gulf Shores, AL

Summer Camp Music Festival
May 23-36
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL
Performers include: moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Thievery Corp., Big Gigantic, Lettuce, Cornmeal, Keller Williams, and many others.

May 23-26, 2013
Cumberland, MD

Dark Star Jubilee
May 24-26, 2013
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
Performers include: 3 nights of Dark Star Orchestra, Mickey Hart Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Wailers, The Werks, Greensky Bluegrass, Donna Jean Godchaux Band, Elephant Revival, and many others.

Sasquatch! Music Festival
May 24-27, 2013
The Gorge
George, WA
Performers include: Mumford and Sons, The Postal Service, Sigur Ros, Vampire Weekend, Primus, The Lumineers, The xx, Cake, Arctic Monkeys, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and many others

May 30-June 2, 2013
Mulberry Mountain
Ozark, AR
Performers include: Widespread Panic, Yonder Mountain String Band, STS9, The Black Crowes, Umphrey’s McGee, Dispatch, Shpongle, Snoop Lion, Gogol Bordello, Zed’s Dead, Rebolution, and many others.

Mountain Jam
June 6-9, 2013
Hunter Mountain, NY
Performers include: Phil Lesh & Friends, Gov’t Mule, Widespread Panic, Primus, The Avett Brothers, Dispatch, The Lumineers, Gary Clark Jr., Soulive, ALO, and many others.

Governors Ball Music Festival
June 7-9, 2013
Randall’s Island
New York City, NY
Performers include: Guns and Roses, Kanye West, Kings of Leon, The Avett Brothers, Pretty Lights, The Lumineers, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Thivery Corp., Gary Clark Jr., and many others

Camp Railroad
June 10-14, 2012
Full Moon resort
Big Indian, NY
This 4-day music camp will feature members of Railroad Earth in an assortment of workshops, performances, discussions and other sessions to help aspiring musicians and those interested in the music industry to gain an insight into the inner workings of the band. A variety of accommodations are available, and musicians of all skill levels are accepted.
June 13-16
Manchester, TN

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 20-23, 2013
Telluride, Colorado
Performers include: Sam Bush Band, Jackson Brown, Emmylou Harris 7 Rodney Crowell, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Jerry Douglas Band, Punch Brothers, Trampled by Turtles, Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, and many others.

Firefly Music Festival
June 21-23, 2013
The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway
Dover, DE

Solid Sound Festival
June 21-23, 2013
Museum of Contemporary Art
North Adams, MA
Hosted by Wilco

Electric Forest Festival
June 27-30, 2013
Double JJ Ranch and Resort
Rothbury, MI
Performers include: String Cheese Incident (3 nights), Pretty Lights, Lotus, Passion Pit, Dispatch, Beats Antique, Railroad Earth, Trombone Shorty, Digital Tape Machine, Jeff Austin & Friends, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others

High Sierra Music Festival
July 4-7, 2013
Quincy, CA

Camp Bisco
July 11-13, 2013
Indian Lookout Country Club
Mariaville, NY

All Good Music Festival
July 18-21, 2013
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH

Northwest String Summit
July 18-21, 2013
Horning’s Hideout
North Plains, OR
Performers include: Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Keller Williams & Friends, and many others.

Pitchfork Music Festival
July 19-21, 2013
Union Park
Chicago, IL

Floyd Fest
July 25-28, 2013
Floyd, VA
Performers include: The Lumineers, John Butler Trio, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Trampled by Turtles, Blitzen Trapper, and many others.

Gathering of the Vibes
July 25-28, 2013
Seaside Park
Bridgeport, CT

Newport Folk Festival
July 27-28, 2013
Newport, RI
Performers include: The Lumineers, Andrew Bird, Shovels & Rope, and many others

Newport Jazz Festival
August 2-4, 2013
Newport, RI

August 9-11, 2013
Snow Ridge Ski Resort
Turin, NY

Outside Lands
August 9-11
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA

Catskill Chill
September 6-8, 2013
Camp Minglewood
Hancock, NY

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
October 4-6, 2013
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA

Austin City Limits
October 4-6, 2013
October 11-13, 2013


Thanks for hanging out! Hope you enjoyed. Check out more jam on Facebook and Twitter. Until next week, Jam On!


article topics

comments powered by Disqus