LA native Steven Ellison, also known as Flying Lotus, is the modest multi-instrumentalist, film director, music producer, Grammy-nominee, and globally badass creative you’ve already heard of. It’s not uncommon for FlyLo to release multiple large projects in a year. In 2017 alone, he directed his first surreal horror comedy film, KUSO, featuring comedian Zach Fox and David Firth aka Salad Fingers, and produced Thundercat‘s critically-acclaimed album, Drunk, making it very difficult to judge his artistry as anything other than prolific.
Immediately following glowing reactions from his festival performance this summer in Los Angeles at FYF, FlyLo set out to share his multidimensional experience in a North American 3D Tour. The Roseland Theater hosted the last day of tour one night before Thanksgiving with opening support from Seven Davis Jr & Tierra Whack.
In a darkened concert hall lit only by his vibrant Brainfeeder logo projected onstage, FlyLo approached his glittering mass of a platform with the widest grin, teasing us all with the unexpected.
Trippy visuals danced on the screen as I scrambled to put on my 3D glasses handed to me before entering the concert hall. The crowd was anxious and packed. Barely having any room to move, guests stared in awe as FlyLo designed the atmosphere while coordinating well-known and loved tracks from Los Angeles and Cosmogramma. Listening carefully, I found the influence of dreamy jazz, perhaps in tribute to his great aunt, Alice Coltrane, coming through. “Meditation Medication”, a deep vibration threaded together with musical samples from the early 70s dystopian animation La Planète sauvage, poured through the room, allowing everyone to get sweatier and closer.
Covering popular tracks such as “Friendzone”, “The Killing Joke”, and “Wesley’s Theory” from the Brainfeeder posse and frequent collaborators, it was blatant just how proud he was of his friends. As he steered the night to its inevitable end, FlyLo paused to acknowledge all the creatives in attendance, bringing to attention the hard work it truly takes to make any form of art.
The production staff and supporting acts danced on stage to celebrate the tour’s end during the last song of the night, “Never Catch Me” from You’re Dead. Departing with both exhaustion and gratitude, Flying Lotus clearly defined what it’s like to experience 3D when you’re already living in 3D.