flying lotus at terminal 5 for redbull music academy 2013 reviewed
Last night NYC was reminded of the unbelievable potential initiatives like Red Bull’s Music Academy nourishes and encourages. When new participants join, music aficionados know to listen at this point. After all, you never know who can turn out to be the next force to be reckoned with. Flying Lotus, a 2006 RBMA participant himself, has returned to the school this year after taking the world by storm. With his mind-warping catalogue, trail-blazing Brainfeeder imprint, and rapping alter-ego Captain Murphy, FlyLo has taken the world by storm and seduced fans across the globe to fall under the spell of his hypnotic and captivating skills. As part of his return to RBMA as mentor, the artist also slated two NYC shows much to the excitement of adoring fans. Their anxiousness to see the innovator do his thing in person was pulpable last night at Terminal 5. Lines were long, and hearts were pulsing. As soon as doors fully opened, streams of concert-goers flooded Terminal 5, turning the dance floor into a sea of bubbling heads ready to get down.
The night started off with an opener provided by current 2013 RBMA participants en2ak, a Polish duo sure to make their name known if the successes of previous participants like FlyLo and TOKiMONSTA are any indication. Brainfeeder cohort Thunderbass followed, delivering insatiable soul and groove to the crowd and even performing “Heartbreaks and Setbacks” off his new album, Apocalypse. After killer acoustic-turned-electric guitar solos and bombastic drums, the vibe switched to fun electronic pop thanks to the soothing tunes of ultraísta. The lead singer’s melodic and angelic voice was a wonderful palette cleanser of sorts, getting the crowd’s mind and soul prepared for some heavy duty nonsense.
It is clear that the talented blood that runs through Flying Lotus’ veins is no joke (his great granduncle is no other than John Coltrane). The artist’s musical prowess was on full force last night as he delivered a solid two and half hour set filled with ratchet-revealing trap, real ass hip-hop (with even several Captain Murphy appearances!), and his own face-melting tracks. The crowd went nuts when FlyLo dropped monster favorites like “Camel”, “Do the Astral Plane”, and “Melt”, which along with the mind-bending visual companions the artists had set up on stage, created a flat out riot. The crowd’s energy was akin to a powerful storm at sea; bodies were swaying in all directions, colliding into one another with unbelievable power, always staying together as one collective force with an insatiable appetite for more. Flying Lotus himself was floored by the end of his set, giving fans a sincere and heartfelt thank you for what they had both created last night.
To say FlyLo’s show captivated the essence of Red Bull Music Academy would surely be an understatement, and provides insight in the power of harboring genuine musical openness and integrity. The night was one to remember (or forget if you were celebrating Cinco de Mayo last night), but don’t fret if you weren’t able to make it! Tickets are still on sale for the Brainfeeder head’s second show here. Make sure to scoop some up ASAP because this one is not one to be missed!