Flying Lotus, Muse of the Arts

South Side Ballroom was filled with mesmerizing sounds and visuals on 9/15/19

Upon first passing through the Gilley’s box office, they handed everyone who passed by a pair of 3D glasses that had “Flying Lotus 3D Live” etched on the left side. Entering a ballroom, one generally feels a sense of the majestic aura that they are about to celebrate upon. This is how Southside Ballroom could be described in the case of walking into a blue hue of light setting upon Salami Rose Joe Louis’ opening set last night in anticipation for the headlining much revered Flying Lotus.

Brainfeeder, the label out of California under Flying Lotus’ control, showed the crowd they have much to offer aside from the experimental jazz, hip hop, & wonk that the producer has trademarked for his particular sound. Salami Rose Joe Louis brought the synths to relax the Dallas civilians after a potentially busy Sunday before the week rang us in again. In response Dallas is swaying side to side as the sound of doldrums flew among the ballroom’s air. In the near end of her performance she excitedly exclaims “thanks Dallas, performing here for y’all is making my dream come true,” as she finishes the material from her debut album, Zdenka 2080.

RIP Ras G montage flashed on during the transition period to the next opener that featured a DJ set by Brainfeeder rostermate Pbdy [pronounced Peabody]. During the clip it features home tapes where he is in sessions with MNDSGNS’s older Boiler Room project: Breakfast with Ringgo and other pieces of footage where he is jamming with Flying Lotus, in the end memorializing his time of living, indicating he died this year on July 29 at only 40 years old. After DJ Pbdy paid his respects to the memorial, he popped off into a whole new dimension of energy and brought some heavy bass with his electronic set where he jumped into many different sounds and put them well together. A great foreshadow to Flying Lotus’  upcoming set.

The next opener, Brandon Coleman brought the synths to provide Dallas the FUNK that we as a city legion had to jam to. While only three musicians were on stage, musically, they had a lot going on. The stage containing along the 3 talented musicians, 2 keytars, 2 synths, a drumset, and a trumpet, along with many analog equipment and wires that were toyed with throughout the night by the band to evoke some funky noise. Brandon Coleman made it clear that he knows how to throw down a solo on a keytar or synth like the late and great Prince. Absolutely shredding to the point where even being up front in the crowd would not let you see how fast his fingers move. The solos made the crowd roar every time, but Coleman could keep it so under control that the solos transitioned into the next song, and it was done each time seamlessly.

After a lot of hype from the openers about Flylo’s appearance last night, everybody roared at anything that would barely hint at him taking the stage at that moment. After the last opener, a period of time went by until the lights all went dim and commanded us to put on our 3D glasses. When did as commanded, the screen changed to a video for “Fire is Coming” which features a narration by David Lynch, and also on the video featured his face over one of the creatures in the clip. Upon the climactic scene of the video, Flying Lotus appears under red light, ready to take us with him on a journey that he had clearly rehearsed and mastered through a career of performances.

Throughout his mix of the night, he also explored a variety of his own sounds, jumping from projects such as Cosmogramma, You’re Dead!, and even performing DUALITY by his side project, Captain Murphy, which was very surprising to most fans who were lucky enough to make it to the show that night. As if it weren’t satisfying enough, he also went down the hole of playing labelmate, Thundercat’s music, which everyone in the crowd knew the words to, to Flylo’s amusement. The crowd loses it when he performs his most successful hits “Between Friends” (which he also performs), and “Never Gonna Catch Me”. Captain Murphy’s portion of the set had some serious seizure inducing visuals, which was great, but would have given even a healthy being a headache after a while.

When the show comes to a close, a cry for an encore immediately ensued, which then didn’t take long for Flying Lotus to come back out on stage to appease the hunger of his fans to hear him break it down some more. Finally, a quasi-moshpit appeared in the middle of the crowd for all of us adrenaline fiends to have a minute of a great time before he ended the night with a heart moving speech. A speech about creativity, where he gives an open arms shoutout to all creators who could call themselves artists of any variety. After showing us last night how an art performance is done, Flying Lotus finished by asserting we can make whatever we want to happen and bring our creations to life like we just saw him do.