Pnuma / Lotus
Fox Theatre, Boulder CO
By Chris ClarkJuly 01, 2005
Riding high off successful performances at this year’s Wakarusa Festival, Pnuma and Lotus returned to Colorado equipped with enough electronically tinged, booty shaking beats to melt the snow off the top of the Rockies. Last Thursday night, we were fortunate enough to have Boulder’s Fox Theatre play host to these two fresh, young bands for an evening of synthesized dance party fun.
Commencing the night was Memphis-bred Pnuma. Although not a household name, these three (all of whom are still too young to drink legally), will surely be known in no time. After witnessing their explosive hour and a half set at the Campground Stage of Wakarusa I became convinced these cats play well beyond their years. Their sound’s foundation lies in tight, interlocking grooves of gliding bass lines, slick Moog and synthesizer licks and some of the most impressive drum n’ bass drumming I’ve seen. Throughout the duration of Pnuma’s Fox set the energy never faltered, and neither did the musicianship. Keyboardist Ben Hazlegrove’s dexterity and tenacity behind the boards led the band through cohesive time changes and dark, exploratory improvisation capable of getting grandma off her feet. Watching as bassist Alex Botwin and drummer Lane Shaw connected producing a sound littered with smooth funk and dirty electronica made it seem as though we were witnessing veteran musicians linking up and doing what they’d been doing for years. But these kids have only been playing together for five months! More of a tease than anything, Pnuma’s 45 minute set offered those at The Fox a glimpse into what just may be the future of live music. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Arriving to an eager and already sweat-soaked crowd of onlookers, Lotus wasted no time utilizing the energy resonating throughout the room from Pnuma’s performance. Playing to yet another packed room in Colorado, the boys who trace their roots back to summer camp in the Rockies displayed an eclectic mix of old and new Lotus. They’ve been constantly writing new material, reworking older tunes and developing a vibe much richer in depth and texture, and it showed. A sultry and funked-out “Bubonic Tonic” anchored the band’s show, fueling a continued attempt to delve into darker sonic realms. What I took from Lotus’ set was this is a band that’s very adept at what they do and they all genuinely buy into their sound and each other
Once again another great night of music in Boulder.
For more info see pnumalive.com and lotusvibes