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When Concerts Blow Your Mind: Flying Lotus live at the Midland Theatre

When was the last time a concert blew your mind? Did you lose track of time while your jaw dropped to your feet? This kind of response is rare, and it takes a special show to cause this.

Flying Lotus took over the Midland Theatre on 11/16 with his incredible 3D show. In the space of the venue, he ascended to supersonic levels.

A Flying Lotus show is something to marvel at. There are few artists who create sounds so complex and challenging as FlyLo. His beats, which can span from hip-hop to freeform jazz to G-funk, incorporate some of the most eclectic sounds imaginable. They take so many turns, they could be mistaken for a race down the Autobahn.

FlyLo opened with some of his more ethereal, jazz-based jams, “Getting There” and “Computer Face/ Pure Being.” These songs were a good introduction to the weirdness that was going to become the night. Behind a large, asteroid-looking DJ table, a wildly braid-haired Steven Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, fiddled with controls and laid down the intense tracks. Behind him, a screen projected one of the wildest light shows I’ve ever seen.

The entire show was in 3D. What does that mean, exactly? After all, everything in life is 3D.

Well, every attendee at the show was given 3D glasses to effectively perceive the vision FlyLo was trying to portray. On the screen, colors and shapes flashed vividly, puzzles and landscapes became marbled and warped as they cascaded into each other. All of these visions erupted out of the screen and crawled toward the audience.

As the show progressed, FlyLo was handed a red solo cup, and the show took another, darker turn. It was time for Flying Lotus’ alter-ego, Captain Murphy, to arise. As the beat for “The Killing Joke” eerily crept in, like a demented lullaby, FlyLo grabbed the microphone and rapped every bar of the menacing verse.

The moment of the night occurred when Flying Lotus played his dark, spacious Earl Sweatshirt featuring “Between Friends” from the Adult Swim singles series. The beat is deadly and the crowd vibes to it in a major way. As FlyLo played Kendrick Lamar “Wesley’s Theory” followed by fellow BrainFeeder label artist, Thundercat’s “Friend Zone,” the show reached it’s climax.

Finally, FlyLo unleashed his ace in the hole, “Never Catch Me” featuring an unstoppable Kendrick verse and a blitzing bass solo.

During the show, cosmic beats collided with bombastic weirdness in a perfect space. The 3D imagery was perfectly conceptualized and completed. The beats thrown down were filthy and unexpected. The show was magnificent and bizarre.

There is no other way to watch a Flying Lotus show than with your mouth slack jawed and your mind blown.




Charles Bradley live at the House of Vans- Chicago, IL / July 13, 2017

Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires played a lively show at the House of Vans on July 13th with support from The Cool Kids. The man, the myth, the soul-funk legend blew the doors off the venue with his soulful and dynamic sound.

Bradley and his band electrified the crowd with a robust performance. Each song Bradley played sounded like Apollo Creed’s entrance in Rocky 4. Electrifying brass and deep, funky bass ruminated through the intimate venue as Bradley, ever the showman, sauntered through the show like James Brown in his prime.

His voice is so mighty, when Bradley sings, it forces the full attention of everybody in the room. His cool, effortless swagger and flashy sequined jumpsuit catches the spotlight and make his appearance impossible to turn away from.

During “Love Bug Blues,” Bradley belted out “I’m filled with desire / can’t stop the fire” with a passion unlike any other singer can. When he sings, the sound of a man with a truly heavy heart and a troubled soul comes out. Together with his band, the fiery sound of guitars, bass, and horns covers every inch of the room like dark red velvet.

As he charged into “It Ain’t a Sin” the crowd was grooving and moving their feet. Each song pounded out of the speakers and caught a vibe. The closing song, “Changes” brought the house down and got the crowd chanting his name to bring the legendary Charles Bradley back to the stage.

Bradley’s live set is an energized, swaggering show filled with impassioned funk and R&B tunes. For a man who just recently dominated cancer, dominating a live concert is something like a day at the office.

Chicago I love you, you’re not bringing me down: 2017 Pitchfork Festival Review


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This July 14-16 the Pitchfork Music Festival took place in Union Park in Chicago and featured performances from artists like LCD Soundsystem, A Tribe Called Quest, Solange, and more. Over these three days, Chicago showed me exactly what it is has to offer, which is great music, better people, and some of the finest pizza on the continent. So let’s dive in.

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