Article By Ocean DeRouchie @oshieposhie
Photos Shannon Carranco @shannonpossum
A three-dimensional concert audience must look a bit funny to a performer. Kids staring back at you with theirs jaws dropped, gazing in awe at non-stop psychedelic visuals which you are providing.
A windy Thursday evening welcomes Flying Lotus to the MTelus. His tour is going on for a month. I’m excited for this limited show; people generally speak very highly of FlyLo’s performances. Inside, everyone is wearing plastic red 3-D glasses. They’ll experience some of best concert visuals yet to be seen on stage. Not only are these glasses way cooler than the ones from movie theatre, but they complement everyone’s outfits —- not a single person looks bad in them.
I wonder if Flying Lotus has been watching Stranger Things. His booth looks like an alien rock, a big chunk of stone that turns into dozens of sharp tentacles pointing in all directions. It’s creepy and dark, combined with pulsating red vines and a slow, electronic intro. There’s an eerie vibe to the beginning of the show. He says hello and gets right into it. With nothing to prove —because we all know this show is going to be awesome — he demonstrates how a single dj can engage with an audience by hitting the crowd with an unforgettable optical experience.
The booth appears to be flying as shapes and colour flash and spin in the background. It draws the audience’s gaze into a trance. A lot of people are saying “Holy shit!” under their breath. The 3D is sick. The glasses make a huge difference, and the quality of the show’s visual production goes far beyond any expectations. It feels like an acid trip.
Prismatic images of futuristic architecture, body parts and unidentifiable objects flash incessantly. My favourite visual: two speaker-shaped circles with beige, wriggling jellyfish tentacles bounce around to the bass. There is so much to take in. I don’t blame people for wanting to pull their phones out.
Sometimes FlyLo narrates the music with a spooky voice. His drug-inspired electronic hip-hop carves out its own space in the genre, and it’s clear that the multi-talented producer puts a lot of energy into these performances. I couldn’t bet on whether FlyLo would play anything off of Duality, a low-key mixtape produced under his alter-ego and moniker Captain Murphy. It was released for free on the Internet in 2012 and it’s still fucking amazing. I was “casually optimistic” about it, but I hoped all day leading up the show that he would.
Fortunately, he pulls through.
Towards the end of the show, the familiar intro to “The Killing Joke” takes over and it wakes the crowd up. A sense of relief and excitement wash over me.
The screen transitions from silver oozing clouds and turns into a multi-coloured skull, that blue and pink diamond from the mixtape in the background. If you liked the mixtape, this song is to live for. If there’s one song off of Duality that you want to see live, I think it’s this one.
FlyLo raps over the beat, and the crowd of course loses it.
At what is an objectively amazing show, the power cuts out. Within seconds it comes back on, and FlyLo reassures us that it’s alright. “All good, all good,” he says. It’s minor, painless save that could have been worse.
Nevertheless, Flying Lotus in 3D is exactly the kind of concert I want to go to on a Thursday night. It’s creative and gets you into motion, but doesn’t end late and leaves you feeling good. A solid weekend pre-dance, so to speak.
Easy to say that if another 3D shows comes to town, I’ll be sure to go.