LIVE: SXSW 2013, Flying Lotus

by Reginald Duvivier

Experiencing Flying Lotus live is like being in the presence of a master DJ; he plays hits, remixes them, and builds new tracks on the fly. His performances are unadorned (outside of a guest musician or five); it’s usually him on stage with his laptop close to the audience, singing, rapping, and head nodding along to whatever track he’s playing.

For the last night of interactive at the AMOA Arthouse Flying Lotus showed that he could work on a bigger stage. With two gigantic screens, one in front and one behind, the tracks he played morphed into something much larger then what we’ve seen from him in the past. Primitive mp3 player visualizations morphed into complex shapes and cartoons. A recognizable song would cause the crowd to cheer and almost an immediate hush as they got entranced by trippy visuals that seemed to crawl out of his silhouette.

Behind the scenes Flying Lotus focused more on the laptop then usual; presumably preoccupied with queuing up the visuals in addition to the music. Even with the extra barriers he still found time to come out in front of the screen to interact with the crowd… everything from along to songs from his Captain Murphy alter-ego ego or just to give out pounds to those that made it in after braving the long line outside.

It was a perfect bridge between the tech heavy interactive portion of the festival and the more visceral bliss of the music portion of the show. You could sit in awe at the tech wizardry in front of you or just do what you do at any good party; shake your ass and have some fun.