Novel as it may be, getting handed a pair of 3D glasses at the entrance of a Flying Lotus show isn't much of a surprise.
The Los Angeles producer is nothing if not visually inclined. His compressed, jazzy and experimental electro-hop is so textured you can almost see it. He attended Los Angeles Film School, his 2012 album, Until the Quiet Comes, was accompanied by a short film, and his latest record, Flamagra, was released after a two-year musical sabbatical in which he wrote, directed and scored a feature-length movie.
At Flying Lotus' show at the Roseland on Aug. 10, each member of the audience was given a pair of 3D glasses, like the ones that infested movie theaters about a decade ago. Fans were encouraged to wear the glasses throughout the show so that the geometric abstractions and cartoons that played on a screen behind FlyLo appeared to float around the venue.
The set kicked off with a video of David Lynch performing his "Fire Is Coming" monologue to a group of children wearing dog suits. Then, Flying Lotus walked onstage, dressed in all black with his dreads hiding his face, and played an unrelenting stream of glitchy jibber jabber.
The 3D effects were an appreciated novelty, but they weren't exactly mind-blowing, and the music was still the most forward-thinking part of the show. It was less of a concert and more of a world-class DJ set—he even played a low-frequency remix of "Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)."
The most performative part of the show was when Flying Lotus grabbed the mic and rapped a handful of songs from his short-lived side project Captain Murphy. Mosh pits broke out throughout the audience.
During his encore, he mentioned how "fucking good" he felt. "You know what would make this better? If Thundercat were here." Then, in long, psychedelic garb and six-string bass in hand, Thundercat ambled onstage. The crowd lost it. Thundercat rattled off rapid bass grooves while the two friends jammed. Flying Lotus played an additional encore, which included his hit "Never Catch Me," before leaving the stage for the final time, proving once again he's the off-path musician whose artistry always has a place in Portland.