Reviews

Flying Lotus @ The Vogue Theatre – November 20th 2017

flying lotus_red credit Tim Saccenti

The Vogue was a perfect venue for Flying Lotus’ 3D tour: the intricately patterned wallpaper somehow matched perfectly with all the crazy visuals that were flashing on stage. Not that I was paying attention to the wallpaper. My eyes, and the eyes of everybody else in the jam-packed theatre, were glued to the stage for the entire hour of his performance. Stumbling outside after, with some attendees still wearing 3D glasses, the only complaint was that it had been too short.

The opening of his set was discordant. Creepy smoke rolled across the screen. His booth took the form of a supervillain, Star-Trek-esque, chrome space rock. Red light washed over it, making it look like an ominous meteor. Heavy beats rumbled through the floor, interspersed with enticing harmonies.

His set was incredibly versatile. It ranged from the mysterious, lush and vibrant sounds of “Coronus, the Terminator”, to the catchy melody of “Can’t Catch Me” with Kendrick Lamar, to the sleepy lo-fi chimes and percussion of “Zodiac Shit”, to heavy glitch and even house sounds. Each song blended flawlessly into the other, except for when he stopped to comment: “sometimes I surprise myself. What up Vancouver?”

“His booth took the form of a supervillain, Star-Trek-esque, chrome space rock. Red light washed over it, making it look like an ominous meteor. Heavy beats rumbled through the floor, interspersed with enticing harmonies.”

Despite his amazing musical talent, the highlight had to have been his visuals. Many underwhelming 3D movies that have come out over the years. Whereas those movies try to project images outward, though, FlyLo used 3D to go inward- to add infinite depth to his incredible visuals. Our eyes raced through long, deep tunnels with flashing lights. The industrial imagery was evocative of Ghost in the Shell. We witnessed a city folding into itself over and over again in an endless Fibonacci spiral. Dazzling rainbows collapsed into rapid fractal patterns. A grinning skull bounced across the screen.

On the other end of the spectrum, there were vivid images of biology. Cells pulsed and split. Nature burst to life. Strange human figures filled the screen, gross and enticing. It felt like he was taking us on a journey through evolution. And in a way, he was, with those videos and sounds being the peak of it.

In case you didn’t catch his show this time around, the journey isn’t over yet: before he left, he said, “see you next year.” I’ll hang onto my 3D glasses.

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