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Flying Lotus at Commodore Ballroom

Friday 05th, December 2014 / 22:34
By Genevieve Michaels

November 19, 2014

Flying Lotus at Commodore Ballroom Photo: Caitlin Shaw

Flying Lotus at Commodore Ballroom
Photo: Caitlin Shaw

VANCOUVER — Flying Lotus’s latest album, You’re Dead!, was everywhere this year. Backed by an impressive marketing push, the concept and art behind the album were almost as well promoted as the music itself. That, however, doesn’t make You’re Dead! a bad album, and the tour, which had been billed as futuristic and performance-focused, didn’t disappoint.

The technique used to create the concert’s trippy visuals was, actually, fairly simple. There was a full-wall screen set up behind the artist and a thin, transparent one between him and the crowd. Different visuals were projected onto each screen, making Steven Ellison appear integrated into the video, wearing light-up goggles that made his eyes glow like a cartoon character’s. At different points of the night, he’d be whizzing through a technicolour starfield, playing from the top of a Mayan pyramid, or hovering in the centre of a glowing blue orb.

As the musician has been quoted as saying that You’re Dead! should be listened to all in one sitting, I was curious as to whether the concert would consist of simply playing all of the songs out in sequence. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. FlyLo delivered an energizing mix of the album’s jazz-meets-IDM-meets-rap, classics like “Parisian Goldfish,” and total surprises, such as the theme from the video game Final Fantasy VII.

While it was certainly interesting, having the performer separated from the audience by a screen was initially disconcerting, making the experience almost more akin to watching a movie than a live show. However, Ellison didn’t hide behind the screen all night, eventually ditching his glowing goggles and coming out in front of the screen to high-five all the screaming front-row fans.

After the show was seemingly over, the crowd refused to die down, and Flying Lotus came back for a satisfying encore that included personal favourite “RobertaFlack.” The visuals came back in full force and the artist was joined onstage by a couple of mysterious, vodka-chugging dancers.

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