The standard play when you go to a concert is to snake your way through the crowd in an attempt to get as close to the front as possible. Or, if a mosh pit threatens to break out, as close as you dare.
So that's exactly what I did upon arrival at Auckland's Town Hall last night, winding my way through the horde to settle into what I evaluated to be a prime spot up close and slightly right of center. This, I would later discover, was absolutely wrong.
It was only when Flying Lotus' relentless levels of sub bass forced a retreat to the back of the room that I realised I'd spent half the night in exactly the wrong place. That's because all of the visuals being projected onto the gigantic screen behind him were in 3D.
In my initial position the 3D had looked cool, with psychedelic worm tunnels opening up in front of me before disintegrating and sending flying bits of debris over my head. Pretty neat.
But at the back of the great hall the depth of field became cavernous and all of the pop out elements became wildly more impressive. A disembodied red skull that circled over our heads before diving down at the crowd was particularly striking, the geeky cool of a rotating Star Destroyer was pretty nifty but most impressive was the way the fabric of the universe would occasionally tear apart in kaleidoscopic fashion with FlyLo at its violently trippy center.
And holy smokes was it loud. FLyLo most definitely brought the bass, the sub regularly shaking you to your very core. At times is was so huge it was bordering on ridiculous.
Even though Flying Lotus is one of my favourite artists - my most played of last year according to Spotify - I can only name a couple of songs. So I can't tell you what he played, or didn't. I can say there was an emphasis on his latest, Flamagra, including the dark single Black Balloons, his rap alias Captain Murphy made an appearance, and he reworked tracks - or dropped elements of tracks - from a fair chunk of his discography, including Los Angeles, You're Dead! and Cosmogramma.
The Twin Peaks theme floated in at one point and the show opened with a brilliantly weird short that showed kids dressed as wolf cubs in a small shack listening to a fang toothed, elder wolf who suddenly threw his mouth open to reveal the face of filmmaker David Lynch inside, who then began reciting his Flamagra monologue, Fire is Coming.
And if all that wasn't surreal enough for you FlyLo even dropped Soulja Boy's 2007 rap hit Crank That into the mix...
So it's fair to say that Flying Lotus 3D was completely unlike any gig I've ever been too, and certainly the first where I've worn 3D glasses. It was a true audio/visual experience that was indeed mesmerising and often mind blowing.
By bringing the same restless experimentation, innovation and artistry of his music to the live arena Flying Lotus' trippy jounrey into the third dimension is set to change the game, and potential, of what live gigs can be.