Article by: Kelly Milionis, Senior Contributing Writer/Interviewer/Reviewer
Photography by: Brian Morgan
Rating: Flying Lotus really deserves 6 stars out of 5 stars for this Metro performance (but I can only give 5 stars out of 5 stars
Flying Lotus, aka Steven Ellison, left an indelible mark on the musical psyche of Chicago Tuesday night during his sold out show at the Metro. FlyLo, as he is affectionately called by his fans, delivered a DJ set filled with raw energy of such intensity, and emotion so very powerful, that it was simply punishingly orgasmic. Ellison continually pummeled concertgoers with overwhelmingly up-tempo bass and drum beats while utilizing a sort of three dimensional giant visual display that showcased his unique presentation and style and left much to the concertgoers imagination; all this from a recognized groundbreaking electronic and hip hop influenced bar-setting young music pioneer.
"Great to see you Chicago in another setting that was not a festival" yelled Ellison from the stage. Indeed, the Metro provided for an intimate opportunity to showcase his distinctive musical genius. And, this show translated perfectly to the smaller venue. For those fans lucky enough to gain entrance, any spot would do. But, there were fans even luckier who found themselves center main floor, tightly bunched up shoulder to shoulder, barely able to breathe, jumping up and down, dancing in unison during the entire set...excruciatingly pleasurable! And, what a sight! So much fun! Ellison covered much ground including mixes off his new release entitled, Until The Quiet Comes.
Expressing every little nuance of a performance or capturing something so unique and so very powerful can be so very different in the eyes of each beholder. Explaining the truest essence of a moment or series of moments that are unforgettable and/or enduring are best stated by those who see, hear and feel those moments directly. So, what better way to describe the Flying Lotus experience by including comments from some diehard fans in attendance:
- Erica Frazier, St. Louis, MO; Favorite Song: all; "FlyLo's set was hypnotizing...was dope!";
-Shamara Coleman, St. Louis, MO; Favorite Song: Massage Situation; "FlyLo's set was very creative and clever in the way he mixed the songs together!";
-Shelby Buggage, St. Louis, MO; Favorite Song: Zodiac Shit; "FlyLo's light show was very good!";
-Pat Mahoney, Chicago, IL; Favorite Song: Astral Plane; "it was amazing, and his show was so amazing that really is all that needs to be said!";
-Miles Jaris, Northbrook, IL; Favorite Song: Tea Leaf Dancers; "one of the best live shows ever!";
-Zlatko Todosijevic, Soundfuse/Chicago; Favorite Song: Frank Ocean, Schoolboy Q, Aesop Rock; "FlyLo's combination of his electronic and hip hop blends was very unique and very strong!";
-Mark Hamidi, New York, NY; Favorite Song: Camel; "FlyLo's show was great and the bass was so heavy and thumping that it was hard to breathe!";
-John Burke, Chicago, IL; Favorite Song: Massage Situation; "you notice the birth of his confidence with his fans in the smaller venue!";
-Max Hoffman, Chicago, IL; Favorite Song: all; "very exciting to see how effortless FlyLo's casual riffing was and the songs were loaded with bass!";
-Bret Dalberger, Madison, WI; Favorite Song: Putty Boy Strut; "entire show was entrancing, especially the way FlyLo incorporated the three dimensional components of staging, visuals and music. FlyLo has definitely revolutionized the concert experience!";
-Jay Dawson, Chicago, IL; Favorite Song: Astral Plane; "trying not to describe the FlyLo show like an Italian sports car...but really exhilarating and powerful!";
-Aaron Trinkaus, Cleveland, OH; Favorite Song: Putty Boy Strut; "came just for the show, great visuals added!";
-Terrence Carson, Cleveland, OH; Favorite Song: DMT Song; "FlyLo's show was so crazy, never experienced anything like this before, best show ever!";
-Kevin McEntee, Cleveland, OH; Favorite Song: Idioteque remix; "FlyLo's show was so good, show was so intense, by far the best show ever!";
-Glenda Ortiz, Elmhurst, IL; Favorite Song: Anything and everything off Cosmogramma; "FlyLo's show was really good, really chill!";
-Chirs Farelli, Elmhurst, IL; Favorite Song: all; "enjoyed the DJ set and the visuals!";
-Tanner Smith, Kalamazoo, MI; Favorite Song: Idioteque remix; "FlyLo's performance was pure euphoria!";
-Brittany Mollot, Philadelphia, PA; Favorite Song: all; "loved the whole experience, great performance!"
Now, it seemed like it was a night Ellison could do no wrong. He is an artist definitely worthy of his critical acclaim and the respect of his peers. Yet, he also has the full respect of his fans and a love that is unquestionable. Ellison pointed out from the stage that he had product to sell and if anyone was interested in visiting with him after the show to receive autographs he would make himself available for as long as it took to see everybody in line. And, this was no ordinary meet and greet, Ellison actually took the time to converse with all of his fans and he often got passed just the normal hello, autograph, picture, goodbye of most meet and greets because he truly cares. And this caring shows in the way he approaches his craft too. In a well-spoken, charming, disarming and unassuming manner, he elaborated briefly on his already amazing career and stated that he really is not in the music business to garner awards...as I departed, I thought it would be nice for him to receive such recognition. Yes, definitely deserved.
Opening Acts: Teebs and Jeremiah Jae