GIG REVIEW: Flying Lotus @ The Forum, Melbourne
It would be a great disservice to you, the reader, if we were to talk about FLYING LOTUS’ recent Australian tour without first mentioning the incredible local talent brought along to support. Tassie put up fast-rising local fave AKOUO, Perth followed suit by contributing their own much-loved beat smith TA-KU.
Brisbane’s line-up boasted Melbourne boss-man JPS while every stop on the tour was lucky to have SILENT JAY hold it down as one of Australia’s most creative and talented young producers. Seriously, I could write this entire spot on Jay’s steez, twisting some new original works (including exciting stuff with some of his HIYATUS KAIYOTE bandmates).
Melbourne’s show at the forum also had a few internationals on the bill. London-based pioneer KUTMAH spun a mix of funky footwork, followed by OM UNIT bringing that type of close-to-shitting-yourself bass (much to the cheer of the loyal crowd already skanking hard at 10pm). Perth had RYAN HEMSWORTH… but I wasn’t there… sad face.
But of course, this was a FLYING LOTUS show – and it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a haircut ten times as sharp as TA-KU or a natural aura of coolness twice that of SILENT JAY, it’s hard not to be overshadowed by one of LA’s most revered music-makers. Especially when he’s at the helm of a gigantic two-screen 3D light show. FlyLo is a king, and although he’s already left the country, he has left a wake of dumbfounded amazement and “you should’ve been theres” which will probably last until next time he comes down. Being a huge fanboy, I caught both his Melbourne show and followed him up to the Opera House gig in Sydney.
Both gigs had wildly different flavours; Melbourne was treated to a giddy (and admittedly quite drunk) FlyLo who took the stage as if he was right at home, eager to show some new and unreleased music he has been working on with Thundercat (assumably for his upcoming album). CAPTIAN MURPHY fans were not disappointed to see him come out from behind his visual-cockpit and spit some rhymes – not one but two bras were tossed onto the stage, throwing him into a laughing fit. Sydney’s Opera House gig on the other hand was on a different vibe; the sold-out concert hall had pretty comfy seats (rejected by some who wanted to boogie) which lent itself more to the ‘cerebral journey’ side of his music.
Recently FlyLo has been discussing a fondness for classic prog-rock, tweeting in a Q&A session that he had been listening to a-lot of Queen, Pink Floyd and King Crimson. This came-through in his new tracks, especially a guitar-heavy Captain Murphy joint which went so hard it could be deemed punk rock, as-well as a bizarre moment where it looked as if he was about to play Queen’s ‘Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke’ in its entirety before twisting the vocals into trip-hop artistry.
All in-all it’s refreshing to see any artist – especially one with a complex mix of fans ranging from the obvious Odd Future disciples to the occasional middle-aged acid-jazz heads be able to come out and play a show with no-restraints.