There’s something about the House of Blues, with its intimate small setting and the painted banner above the stage proclaiming “Unity in Diversity,” that just sets a tone of fellowship.
When the jamtronica band, Lotus, along with opener Broccoli Samurai, rolled into town for a concert at the House of Blues on March 8, there was definitely a feeling of warmth among fellow concertgoers. When Broccoli Samurai took the stage, many people were still filtering into the venue, or still deciding on their drinks at the bar and making conversation.
Though the dance floor was thin to start, when the four-man band asked if anyone had seen their Columbus show the night before, the majority answered in affirmation. Broccoli Samurai, a Cleveland based band, played smooth rhythms paired with light vocals, pulling inspiration from various musical styles including funk, electronica and rock and roll.
As the crowd filled in more, there was swaying to the relaxing music. A group of three, wearing space cats shirts and shimmering metallic fabric space helmets (you had to be there to understand) steadily wobbled and rocked to the music in their own corner of the dance floor. Broccoli Samurai has their own loyal following, and it showed with many of the crowd greeting each other with a sense of community. Broccoli Samurai strived to bring smiles to the dance floor and succeeded in their mission.
After a brief intermission, Lotus took center stage. By this time, the House of Blues was packed and vibrating in anticipation for the headliner. Like they did with Broccoli Samurai, many in the crowd followed them from another concert in Columbus on the previous night. Lotus started out with some more laid-back music to set the tone for the gathering. With the aid of well-choreographed lights and atmospheric dance music, Lotus took the night.
As the night progressed, the muted scent of marijuana got stronger, and the dance floor packed more and more amicable concertgoers together. On the second floor balcony area, two young girls dressed in rainbow and tie-dye danced interpretively with scarves and ribbons.
Lotus’ tone developed from a swaying rhythm to a jumping dance beat. The floor was filled with leaping bodies, all without the intense pushing and shoving in regular to rougher mosh pits. After a short intermission, Lotus continued on through the night. I was unable to get the full experience of the show, as I had to leave the concert early. Still I know that Lotus definitely knows how to work a crowd and layer their music choices in a way that moves the tone of the concert from laid-back to pumped up.
Since their performance in Cleveland, Lotus has added more cities to their already successful tour.
Show: Lotus, Broccoli Samurai
Location: House of Blues Cleveland
Date: March 8, 7 p.m.