Flying Lotus brought his Flamagra Tour to Detroit at Royal Oak’s Music Theatre Saturday night. The producer’s axis of hip-hop and electronic sounds took over the venue with a 3D display that let the audience get closer to his fantasia. It was no surprise when his set started with the “Fire Is Coming” video and David Lynch’s words at the end becoming the introduction to his set by declaring the arrival of flames. The 3D-glasses-wearing crowd cheered and laughed in awe at the video as it played on the screen. They welcomed Flying Lotus back to Detroit with a roar as he moved through his catalog with the passion of fire but the lightness of air.
The audience had the fervent appreciation of true followers as he played newer songs like his anderson.paak collaboration “More” and “Actually Virtual” with Shabazz Palaces and tickled their memories of his earlier music. There was an intense singalong for “Never Catch Me” from his 2014 You’re Dead album. He later tested the crowd by performing his friend Thundercat’s “Them Changes” but demanded lyrical participation from the audience. They did not disappoint him when there was a sudden interlude into a serious karaoke space.
FlyLo was happy with the vocal input from the crowd but he also summoned them to move with a quick interpolation of Soulja Boy’s “Crank That.” The initial hype to get people dancing turned into a formal request from him to have space cleared for that purpose. A circle was formed in the pit area and the party continued with folks in the back moving upfront to see the dancers. Flying Lotus joined the people in the pit several times as he rapped and acknowledged some of the fans individually. At one point he gave a shout-out to the late J.Dilla whose daughters were in attendance. He also mentioned the “family section” of kinfolk reminding everyone of his own blood ties to the Motor City.
As the show seemed to end the fans demanded an encore and Flying Lotus was generous enough to give two and would have gladly done three if permitted more time. When the show was over he waved goodbye as the smoke machines calmed and everybody walked out with a glow.