Those lucky enough to get a ticket to the sold-out Flying Lotus show on Friday night can rest assured that they not only got their money’s worth, but witnessed one of the better shows to come through Philly in quit some time.
In the midst of his North American Tour, the Los Angeles based producer hit Philly after performing in Washington DC, and just before he performed in New York City. Tickets to the show, which was the second sold out show of the night at Union Transfer, sold out over a week in advance. With the doors scheduled to open at 1030pm, fans were lined up far down Spring Garden and even around the corner come 10pm.
After a late start letting concert goers inside, the venue was filled to capacity by 1130pm. Thundercat, who is opening most of the shows on Flying Lotus’s tour, was just starting his performance. Thundercat’s debut album, “The Golden Age of Apocalypse”, was produced by Flying Lotus, and he was accompanied on stage by a drummer and pianist.
Thundercat, rocking a hat backwards with three foot feathers sticking out of it, handled the stage with the look of a man in complete control. His talents as a bassist and vocalist were on full display during his opening performance. His music ranged widely from being very chill to very up beat. We knew that even after the opening performance ended, we would see Thundercat again, so we were not too disappointed when the opening act “ended”, especially considering Flying Lotus was about to come on.
After a brief pause to set up the stage, Flying Lotus walked out on stage, went up to the crowd with mic in hand, and said, “y’all sold this motha fucka out….”, which brought loud cheers from the crowd – “and now, we’re gonna burn this motha fucka down to the ground” – this brought even more cheers, as Flying Lotus ran back behind the DJ booth and started his performance.
As he was positioned between two different projector screens, the crowd was only able to see a silhouette of Flying Lotus, except when he came out from the DJ booth for the songs in which he rapped. FlyLo played an energetic set that featured a wide range of music styles, such as trap, hip-hop/rap, and experimental EDM.
The trap influences were easy to detect, but the crowd did not seem to care what song he was playing, enjoying each and every one. Some of our favorites of the night were the Beastie Boys hit, Intergalactic Planetary, as well as a remix of the Kanye West / Good Music song Mercy.
The crowd went especially nuts when FlyLo got on the mic and asked, “Ya’ll know my dude Earl Sweatshirt, right??” – yes, we do, and so did the crowd. FlyLo then dropped Between Friends, came out from behind the booth, and with a cartoon projection of Earl Sweatshirt on the screen behind him, rapped the 2nd verse of the hit song.
Before we knew it, and apparently before FlyLo knew it too, 2AM rolled around. Flying Lotus got on the mic, looked off at the side of the stage, and said, “really, shit, I’m cut off?”. Knowing he had just a few more minutes left, he faced the crowd, asked what every performer asks if they want a good response – “who’s fucked up here tonight?”, and then dropped his last song of the night to a roar of cheers.
For his final two songs of the evening, Flying Lotus brought out Thundercat and played “Bonus”, from Thundercat’s upcoming album, as well as a track the two have collaborated on, “MmmHmm”.
[Photo credit: Steve Garfinkel]
You can view the entire set list and an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):