After an incredible first performance at FYF this summer, Flying Lotus is taking his wild 3D show on the road.
The goal is simple: Provide fans with 3D glasses and give them a show they can only fully experience through their eyes.
“There’s no way you can enjoy the experience with your phone or holding your phone up," he explains. “You have to watch and experience it with your eyes and be present in the moment.”
FlyLo says that no one should “expect to have a familiar response” and describes the shows as “jam sessions” between himself and the visual crew. Each show will be unique and feature new material.
The concept of a 3D tour has been on FlyLo’s mind since meeting up with 3D Live and exploring their latest technology. Blown away by the level of immersion, he knew this would be the direction for his next live show within minutes of his first experience.
“I’ve always been interested in music and visuals and how they relate. So, for me [visuals are] important because when I create music I think visually as well,” FlyLo says. If his boundary-pushing 2016 film, Kuso, is any indication, these visuals will be just as forward thinking as his music.
Continue for our full interview with Flying Lotus, in which he explains where the idea came from and how he will execute new, improvisational shows each night with his visual team.
What exactly is a 3D tour?
It’s like going to see a 3D movie, but instead it’s a concert. [Laughs] It’s going to be a fantastic experience. We’ve only done it one time before, and have been perfecting the details since. It’s pretty thrilling, and I can see in the crowd faces of wonderment. That’s what I’ve been striving to do with my show. I want there to be some magic in this experience.
The clips on YouTube make it seem out of this world.
It’s definitely an out of this world experience. [Laughs] You have to step back and have your phone off. There’s no way you can enjoy the experience with your phone or holding your phone up. You have to watch and experience it with your eyes and be present in the moment. That’s what’s so beautiful about it.
if you’ve seen my last show, there’s really nothing coming over for this new one. Everything I’m doing is brand new: visuals, material, experience. I encourage anyone who’s seen me five times to come for the sixth.
How will the fans be able to experience the 3D visuals? Standard glasses or something more involved?
They’re just glasses! We’ll provide all the glasses for folks to wear, and it’ll be very easy.
How did you come up with the idea?
My previous show was almost 3D. It was like watching 3D without glasses, which I thought was interesting for a while. Then we were all trying to figure out the best and most logical step forward. The people that I work with, 3D Live, they invited me to come check out their 3D world. It showed me how immersive this experience could be, and they wanted someone they could get behind. They wanted a new show to build with someone. I feel like I saw what they had for two minutes, and I was like “Yep! I want that.”
How many concepts did you go through before setting your mind to this one?
I saw the 3D stuff and knew almost immediately. I remember seeing stuff last year, I was seeing demos with the technology. I was really inspired after those demos, and it came together.
Takes us behind-the-set, if you will. How does the 3D set comes together?
There have to be dials for everything. There can’t be the same set up. Every stage we play has to have its own preparation on a technical level. I’m also focused on making sure it’s a different experience for people every time we play.
Is there a specific song that you’re excited to put into a 3D world?
No, it’s all exciting to me. There’s so many things I’ve yet to discover. In the next week, or so, I’ll really be able to start dialing these new ideas to the show. I’m playing a lot of new material during the show, so it’ll all be fun for me.
It’s like we’re jamming together. I’ll come out with an idea, and they’ll come back with an idea. We just keep playing off of each other, and that’s the show. Depending on my mood and the music I play, they’ll respond visually.
What impression do you want to leave on the fans?
I want them to hopefully leave and feel like there’s still some magic in this world that they haven’t seen yet.
How important do you think tour visuals are to the overall live experience?
It depends on who you’re watching and where you’re at. Sometimes, you don’t need visuals at all. I’ve always been interested in music and visuals and how they relate. So for me, it’s important because when I create music, I think visually as well. That’s why I’ve gone into film as well, because I don’t just do one and not the other.
Was the new music made with the third dimension in mind?
I don’t try to think about things in terms of making something to play. It’s more like, I’ve made these cool things, now let me figure out how I can work them into the show. It offers me an opportunity to rethink the music. It’s an expression when I create music, not to perform it. It’s to meditate and let ideas breathe, and less about trying to think of the dance floor or the club. I’m just trying to enjoy myself and experiment with sounds.
As an artist, you’re always pushing boundaries of what can be expected. What can fans expect to not expect when they catch a show?
Don’t expect to have a familiar response. If you’ve seen the show before, or if you’ve seen my last show, there’s really nothing coming over for this new one. Everything I’m doing is brand new: visuals, material, experience. I encourage anyone who’s seen me five times to come for the sixth.
Will every show be different?
All the shows will be different. They follow my lead on the visuals. It’s like we’re jamming together. I’ll come out with an idea, and they’ll come back with an idea. We just keep playing off of each other, and that’s the show. Depending on my mood and the music I play, they’ll respond visually.
Where do you go from the 3D tour?
I have to learn this one first and figure it out. I couldn’t possibly be able to imagine what I’ll be able to pull of in three years when it’s time to make a new show.
The tour kicks off with back to back shows with Thundercat on October 14th and October 15th at Red Bull Music Academy Festival Los Angeles. Check out the rest of the dates below. Tickets are available here.
SAT 10/14 LOS ANGELES, CA Hollywood Forever w/ Thundercat
FRI 10/20 BERKELEY, CA Greek Theatre - UC Berkeley w/ Solange
SUN 10/22 BERKELEY, CA Greek Theatre – UC Berkeley w/ Solange
THU 10/26 LAS VEGAS, NV Brooklyn Bowl w/ Gifted & Blessed
FRI 10/27 SAN DIEGO, CA Observatory North Park w/ Gifted & Blessed
SAT 10/28 PHOENIX, AZ The Van Buren w/ Seven Davis Jr
MON 10/30 HOUSTON, TX House of Blues w/ Seven Davis Jr
TUE 10/31 AUSTIN, TX Emo's w/ Seven Davis Jr
WED 11/01 NEW ORLEANS, LA The Joy Theatre w/ Seven Davis Jr
THU 11/02 ATLANTA, GA Tabernacle w/ Seven Davis Jr
FRI 11/03 NORFOLK, VA NorVa w/ Seven Davis Jr
SAT 11/04 PHILADELPHIA, PA Electric Factory w/ Seven Davis Jr
SUN 11/05 WASHINGTON, DC Echostage w/ Seven Davis Jr
MON 11/06 NEW YORK, NY Brooklyn Steel w/ Seven Davis Jr SOLD OUT
TUES 11/07 NEW YORK, NY Brooklyn Steel w/ Seven Davis Jr
THU 11/09 MONTREAL, QC Metropolis w/ Seven Davis Jr
FRI 11/10 TORONTO, ON The Danforth Music Hall w/ Seven Davis Jr SOLD OUT
SAT 11/11 CINCINNATI, OH Madison Theater w/ Seven Davis Jr
SUN 11/12 DETROIT, MI Royal Oak Music Hall w/ Seven Davis Jr
TUE 11/14 CHICAGO, IL The Riviera Theatre w/ Seven Davis Jr
WED 11/15 MINNEAPOLIS, MN First Avenue w/ Seven Davis Jr
THU 11/16 KANSAS CITY, MO Arrest Bank Theatre at the Midland w/ Seven Davis Jr
FRI 11/17 DENVER, CO EXDO w/ Seven Davis Jr
SAT 11/18 SALT LAKE CITY, UT The Depot w/ Seven Davis Jr
MON 11/20 VANCOUVER, BC Vogue Theatre w/ Seven Davis Jr
TUE 11/21 SEATTLE, WA The Paramount Theatre w/ Seven Davis Jr
WED 11/22 PORTLAND, OR Roseland w/ Seven Davis Jr
FRI 11/24 SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Warfield w/ Seven Davis Jr