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Thu, 11/29/2012 - 4:51 pm

2012 has been a transformational year for mankind. As I'm lying in bed drifting into sleep to the soundtrack of Jimi Hendrix's, 'Are You Experienced,' it dawns on me how similar the movements of 2012 have been to the concepts behind much of the music that transpired during the Summer of Love. It's about a month before the end of the Mayan Long Count (December 21, 2012) and all across the world enlightened eager souls of all races are reaching out to each other in an effort to connect through music and art and spread their love for humanity across the globe. We are all one, and it would be hard to find a single soul at a Conspirator show that believes otherwise.

I was blessed to experience the jamtronica led by the mad scientists of Conspirator when they played the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia with EOTO on November 24, 2012. EOTO opened the night with a set that had the audience's hearts beating to the rhythm of Jason Hann's bongo solos. The insatiable crowd could not keep up with the hypnotizing duo of Jason Hann and Michael Travis.

"Tumbler" into "Retrograde" started off the Conspirator set that stole my heart and made me feel more free than I have in quite some time at a show. The love and positive vibrations sent from each member of Conspirator to the next was transcendent to every soul in the room. Marc Brownstein grinned like the Cheshire Cat over looking the crowd as "Pow Wow" sent everybody swinging their hips sultrily all the way down to the floor. The emotion behind each chord Michetti played could be seen in every single expression he made on stage and took my soul on a spiritual journey throughout the night. It was impossible not to feel what Chris was experiencing on stage. He loves playing that guitar like a Biscuit's fan loves their "Velvet Red." Marc confirmed his love for their fans by taking multiple pictures of the crowd over the course of the night on his phone. Brownie looked at Chris Michetti so proudly and admiringly during "Feed the Wolf" that you couldn't help but smile while witnessing the synchronicity progressing on stage. There wasn't a frown in the house. As I wove through the crowd dipping behind one person, bouncing with the next, seeing smiles for miles, feeling connected with every single person, I sat down in front of Aron to get a picture. Michael Travis of EOTO quickly joined the boys on stage and left me speechless. Conspirator began to close out their hometown Thanksgiving show with "So Much More" before ending with "Commish."

Conspirator has toured with a variety of impressive drummers such as Mike Greenfield from Lotus, but with the recent addition of KJ Sawka of Pendulum and Chris Michetti on guitar of RAQ, the Conspirator family bond is growing stronger every second. Conspirator has impressively bridged the gap in America from electronic to rock music. They all truly love what each other is creating musically. Chris, KJ, Aron and Brownie were meant to create art together.

Conspirator continues to provide the platform that inspires and pushes their audience to help and love one another and reach new mental and spiritual heights. Going out of their way to create an environment that brings together like-minded individuals in a non-judgemental atmosphere, Conspirator encourages ascension of ones mind and participation in the improvement of your community and the lives of those around us. From voter registration through HeadCount to Hurricane Sandy Benefit shows (with 100% of the proceeds going to help victims of the storm) to installing solar panels on the roofs of elementary schools within Marc and Aron's hometown; these musical pioneers are always lending a helping hand to our infinitely growing community and inspire those of us who might have thought that we can't make a difference from the crowd to step up and make a positive change in our world.

The definition of a conspiracy is 'an agreement to perform together an illegal/wrongful or subversive act.' The magic these men make together is certainly a conspiracy. However it is one with significant, powerful, compassionate and loving intention. Thanks to Marc Brownstein, Aron Magner, KJ Sawka, and Chris Michetti and other unique bands, my generation is finally realizing that we are all artists and we can all change our world for the better.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 3:15 am

Three years ago, my grandma was diagnosed with cancer, fighting through the chemo with a smile on her face and light in her heart. Through her, the story and the power of the Lotus flower began to show itself to me. Deep beneath the dark, the Lotus begins its struggle.  Beckoning towards the surface of the glassy pond, Lotus does not stop until the sunshine meets her.

The first Lotus concert I ever attended was in Pittsburgh at Mr. Smalls four years ago. I began a journey. I was pulling myself out from underneath the dark, and I was being pulled by light. I was in a dark place at the time and wasn’t sure exactly what I had experienced. It felt as if, by the end of the show my soul had begun to release a lot of weight. Lotus took me on a spiritual journey that night and it continues, and deepens and increases in meaning and intention.

In every crowd at a Lotus show, there are people openly expressing their immediate gratitude and love for a band that had changed their lives for the better. I have heard countless stories of fan’s journeys at shows.  From a father passing away, to an abusive relationship, to an escape from an abusive ego, tears stream down their faces as they breathe in the music and exhale peace of mind and gratitude for Jesse, Luke, Mike Greenfield, Rempel and Chuck.  A single metaphorical common thread of sound, tying knots of people together, all experiencing and learning at different levels simultaneously. It’s beautiful.

The December 30th, 2012 show at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, Maryland left nothing for the imagination. Kicking off the evening with Kodiak into Nematode (a Lotus family favorite) alerted the crowd to the immediate degree of the show.  Rempel’s love for yoga and meditation flows through every note of his guitar and into every centered being in the audience.  Their sexy, sophisticated, and organic grooves painted perfect smiles on everyone in the crowd. Everybody was hugging everybody; nobody is not family at a Lotus concert. The synchronicity between lead twins Jesse and Luke, who pour their hearts out into composing every song, was breathtaking. Jesse’s brow shows the dedication of a man who lives, eats and breathes music. I think it goes without saying that it has been refreshing to have Chuck back, and see all the brothers at work. Formerly a doctor of the heart at John’s Hopkins, Mike Greenfield’s connection to the central life beat, is apparent and methodically keeps the crowd pulsing together as one.

When someone asks me to describe Lotus’ music and the word electronic comes out of my mouth most people roll their eyes and think of shapeless beats. However, their compositions have a heart and soul unlike any other instrumental electronic jam band of our generation. After ending the first set with Hammerstrike, Lotus took off into Massif from their new album “Build” to begin an ethereal road-trip down familiar highways. Bellwether soared into the classic tear-jerker Umbilical Moonset and back into Bellwether manifesting a cerebral monologue of hypnotic colors, sounds, memories and vibrations.  The encore of Invincibility of Youth was nothing short of epic. There was only light in the room. Bright shining souls, centered and ready to spread what they just learned to the outside world.

Their brand new album “Build” will be released on February 19, 2013. You can listen to the new song “Massif” on Lotus’ SoundCloud. If you’re ready for a spiritual journey of a lifetime be sure to check out a date or two or ten on Lotus’ 2013 tour. Starting in Burlington the band will travel across the US through Cleveland, Dallas, Asheville, and Atlanta promising to play the best show they can every single night.

Check out more photos from the show.