Summerdance 2015: The Magical Connection Between Lotus and Nelson Ledges
This summer has been filled with outstanding music and intrinsic experiences, from one memorable festival to the next. A number of bands and musicians have really stepped it up this year. Lotus is one of those bands, delivering top-notch sets on most occasions. They've continued to perform at a high level while playing shows across the entire country. The time has come for Lotus to return to Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville, Ohio for their annual headlining slot at Summerdance. Every year Lotus fans from all over the country make the trek to bask in the musical vibrations of their favorite band. It's a gathering that's treasured by all those who have come to know it. The setting is natural and pure; there's a beach to relax on and a quarry to swim in, while woods camping provides shade during the day. It's truly a magnificent place to unwind from the tightened noose of society. The worries of yesterday and anxiousness of tomorrow disappear as Lotus sets the stage with their signature ambience.
Summerdance begins on Friday, September 4th and ends on Monday, September 7th. This year will be especially cool because the New Deal will also be at the ledges, closing out Friday night. Another band that I'm excited to see is Broccoli Samurai, if you haven't seen them, make sure you do. Lotus has always done a good job at setting up younger bands for success by giving them the opportunity to shine. Other acts such as Boombox, Zoogma, and Moon Hooch will play sets during the weekend as well. There is only one stage at Nelson Ledges so the lineup is relatively small,. It makes it laid back and after all, Lotus is the main band that everyone goes to see.
Nelson Ledges is a very interesting place with a mystic feel to it. Lotus has been playing two nights at NLQP for since 2008, the band is comfortable there and they almost always lay down exceptional sets. I have a strong feeling that this years Summerdance will hold some of the best Lotus of the year. If we're lucky, some of the best Lotus of the past five years. After playing stand-out sets at High Sierra, All Good, and Peach - there is no better way to say farewell to summer than four sets of explorative bliss at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park. I interviewed both Luke and Jesse Miller this year about the importance of 2015, both of them agreeably felt that this year has been enormously momentous. It's no secret that Lotus' fan base has been steadily increasing since Mike Greenfield joined the band. More and more music fans have been captured by the magic that Lotus pushes through the speakers; their catalogue exemplifies the wide array of sound and style that they're capable of. While the band has explored new and different sounds since Greenfield joined in 2010, their older material from the early 2000s is what most dedicated Lotus fans are intrigued by and love. I'm one of those fans. Don't get me wrong, I like some of their newer songs but I love most of their older ones. It's those atmospheric songs of explorative and organic sounds that captured my heart, mind, and soul. The integral elements of jazzy guitar, funky bass, spacey synthesizers, earthly keys, tight-knit drums, and rhythmic percussion are what make Lotus stand out to the fans who love them most.
Lotus brings fans on a spiritual journey of existence and life without all the preaching and tie-dye. Summerdance adds to this experience, there is no better place to take that spiritual journey than Nelson Ledges. All five members are talented and soulful, they speak to the crowd through their instruments. Mike Rempel is a perfect example of this, he expresses his thoughts and feelings through his guitar. He plays with an immense amount of feeling, he's not the most technical guitarist but he's one of the absolute best when it comes to emotion. He always shines at Summerdance, he feeds off the positive energy. While Luke Miller is the mind of Lotus, Mike Rempel is the soul. While Jesse Miller is the heart of Lotus, Mike Greenfield and Chuck Morris are the rhythmic backbone. Earlier in the year I asked percussionist Chuck Morris about the details of Summerdance, he replied, " It's not really my game to release info but it should turn out to be the whole ball of wax". I figured that his answer transcribed to, "It's going to be really freakin' awesome".
So here we are, a mere four days away from Summerdance 2015. As the sounds of 'Wooly Mammoth' float through my speakers I am relaxed, I am calmly looking forward to a spectacular weekend of spiritual love and collectiveness - a weekend of musical healing. I am hoping to hear that older atmospheric Lotus that I love, that my friends love, that all die-hard Lotus fans love. My mind is filled with thoughts of synergistic joy brought on by the improvisational instrumentation of Lotus - a natural ecstasy created by the connectedness between the band and crowd. I smile at the thought of the feeling that I've come to know so well. The feeling of being surrounded by unfamiliar faces that are smiling is special, but the feeling of being surrounded by familiar faces that are shining is a spectacle. Summerdance is a special time at a special place and it's here once again. I'll break Summerdance down for those who haven't been one more time - four sets of Lotus in the woods of Ohio on Labor Day weekend, on a beach of a natural quarry that provides swimming and cliff jumping. I can sense the glorious energy already. It's going to be a weekend of vibrant spirits, deep-rooted grooves, and imaginative mind-states. Lotus will leave a lasting impression of inspiration on every soul that's in attendance. Inhale the future and exhale the past - clear your head of negative emotions, and get ready to take full advantage of this beauteous gathering we call Summerdance.
The Ten Songs I'd Like To Hear At Summerdance
3. Moss Shoes
4. Ball of Energy
5. Spiraling Line of Light
7. Did Fatt
8. Umbilical Moonset
10. When H Binds To O