Lotus at Rams Head Live in Baltimore
On Saturday, April 19th, in Baltimore, Lotus ended their spring tour electrified and full of life. Fans from all over the northeast came in for what was expected to be a standard, solid two-night run at the Rams Head Live, one of the cooler venues the Inner Harbor has to offer people visiting the city. And the band provided just that—a very standard and solid, yet fitting and powerful ending to a very successful tour, without missing a beat.
You’ve got to give them credit for rarely faltering and for maintaining their momentum, whenever they are on tour, which is their one defining characteristic. The amount of dedication and work they bring to the stage sometimes goes unnoticed, but Lotus is a band that tries so hard to consistently offer their fans some level of quality musicianship, regardless of how they feel, right on up until the end.
Reflecting for a moment, throughout their spring tour, Lotus experienced many ups and downs, both musically and personally. For musicians who make a career out of traveling and playing music, a fine line is always drawn between work and play, and the stress that arises, or gets released from both. For some, continuously sleeping on a bus never ceases to lose its shine. For others, that time after a night’s work, when one can hang out on a couch and simply watch some television, or take an opportunity to check into a hotel and dive into a real bed, becomes a more than welcomed experience. The romantic idea that all is love and play is nothing but a fantasy. As my dad, a man who loves his job, often reminds me, “Work is pure drudgery sometimes, no matter how much you love doing what you do. But there are those moments that do remind you why you got started working in the first place, and those are the moments we live for.”
With that said, consider the lifestyle and how taxing it can be on one’s physical and emotional state. Consider also that musicians are always growing as people, as well as within their careers, because they are without a doubt constantly being tested. Yes, sometimes they have to fake it. Yes, sometimes they feel like they are going through the motions, like robots, even though some fans might think of such moments as the best. Simply put, yes, sometimes members of the band are just not “feeling” it, which is a real problem and something to which we can all relate. This is what makes Lotus’s Baltimore run, specifically the second night, a good end to what was probably not altogether an easy journey for them to make, after thawing out and stepping into a new season.
Overall, the set-lists for the shows were pretty normal, with a few bust-outs and fan-favorites. They managed to keep the selection fresh, too, given the fact that they came straight from a three-night run which took place in Brooklyn, something incredibly hard for similar bands to execute. Night-two contained a nice blend of funk and mellow music, with songs like “Middle Road”; “Sift”; “Expired Slang”; “The Oaks”; “Strawberry Letter 23”; “Kesey Seed”; “The Surf”; and “Bubonic Tonic,” songs they’ve been playing comfortably for a while and seem to really enjoy performing.
In other words, they played a lot of frequently sought-after songs, even including an old tune which I had not seen performed live called “opo,” so that was a major moment in my book. And even though I’m sure there were probably moments here and there during the show when Lotus felt like they were just playing another song, the energy that is the number one by-product of their music was as pervasive as it always is; they kept it professional, well-crafted, consistent, and gave the fans what they came for—an enjoyable experience. Moreover, that energy that started off slow eventually culminated and blossomed into something beautiful, something that made the trip to Baltimore worthwhile. And by the time the show ended and the band was exiting the stage, each one the members had a smile on their face, because they knew they did what they came to do, and did it well, ending their spring tour in high spirits, and on a good note.
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