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Flying Lotus gives exclusive preview in Vancouver (Live) [Review]

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Vancouver, BC – Last Thursday night jazz fiends, hip-hop heads, and Vancity’s infamous hipsters rejoiced under one roof when experimental producer/rapper Flying Lotus made a tour stop at The Vogue to promote his latest release Until the Quiet Comes. Presented by Timbre Concerts and Sceneinthedark, the Los Angeles native along with his Brainfeeder companions, upped the standards of a live performance for every individual who had the opportunity to witness the experience.

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Using two turntables, a mixer, and a sample controller, FlyLo’s protege, Teebs, set the mood for the evening with his electro-jazz beats and dusky backdrop. Halfway through his set, Flying Lotus himself made a surprise appearance to grace Teebs with the infamous Adventure Time hat. The gesture got the crowd thrilled and ready for the next act – the funky jazz stylings of Thundercat. He spent time interacting with the crowd before he kicked off the set with “Daylight”. Accompanied by a pianist and drummer, the bassist’s soulful voice and skilled picking enchanted the crowd as he crooned through each track from his debut album, The Golden Age of the Apocalypse, in order. A cheeky grin of excitement was exchanged every time the climax of each shred was approaching; the energy and chemistry between the trio was unmatched.

Around 11 o’clock FlyLo finally stepped onto stage and was greeted with gifts from fans. After conversing with the crowd, he stated, “Captain Murray couldn’t be here tonight, unfortunately” before jumping between two transparent scrims and delving into the set. Starting with “See Thru To U”, the 3D-type visuals were outstanding-  the kaleidoscopic images, animated figures, and astrological illustrations were enough to send even the most sober attendees on a psychadelic trip. Obviously months of diligent planning was spent on the visual display, but the beatsmith’s actual setlist was somewhat impromptu; between playing tracks from Until the Quiet Comes and remixes to Kendrick (Backstreet Freestyle), Weezy (I Feel Like Dying), and Kanye (Mercy), he often asked the audience on what they wanted to hear after each track.

The Vancity love was so strong that FlyLo surprised even himself by playing material that will never be released. Eventually Captain Murray finally came out and announced to the audience, “Earl Sweatshirt is in the house…just kidding”. Luckily the prank didn’t hurt the audience’s buzz and Captain Murray redeemed himself when he randomly asked the audience to stop recording the concert and threatened to sock them if the following track was posted on Youtube. FlyLo then played an unreleased track he did with Earl Sweatshirt, which boosted the loyalty of every fan as they were now privy to exclusive info. The concert concluded with a highly intoxicated Thundercat and Teebs joining him on stage to perform their collabs.

The progression from Teebs to Thundercat to Flying Lotus was sublime. Each set complimented the other; Teebs emitted a dark and mysterious vibe while Thundercat was bright and energetic, and Flying Lotus was a combination of the two. Although the whole experience felt somewhat like a hallucination, the unprecedented feeling Flying Lotus left the crowd with is definitely unforgettable.

Review by Shaheena Azmatullah for HipHopCanada
Photography by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada

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