As sweaty bodies slowly started to fist-pump in unison, the music began its steady crescendo, keeping an intense beat and double-time energy that rattled the rib cage. As it reached the peak, glow sticks hurtled through the air and rained down on the sold-out crowd gathered at The Venue. Suddenly, the beat warped and the sound got filthy. The bass is so thick and swampy, the audience swayed in slow motion.
On stage, behind a curtain of long curly brown hair, we met with Bassnectar, an international drum, bass and dubstep DJ. As he writhed behind the turntable, five massive screens accompanied a Technicolor and strobe light show. In the middle of the grungy mass, a kid on crutches wrapped with glowsticks shrugged his shoulder to the beat, while a girl in a sundress and wedges danced around with a girl in high tops and a sparkly blouse.
Last night was the second night of Bassnectar’s tour and the energy in the room felt as if was going to combust at any moment. “I wanted to make weapons to assault you with live,” he said.
When laying tracks for his new EP, Wild Style, Bassnectar said he wanted to provide a complete journey for the listener and build a community through music. The self-professed geek has a shy demeanor behind his big stage façade. Showing his desire to make a difference in the world, he donated $1 of each ticket sold throughout his tour to three net netruality and media watchdog websites.
As the set raced toward its end, Bassnectar took to the mic and shouted to the throbbing crowd, “It was a beautiful night.” And it was.
—Victoria Phillips. Photos by Sam Schecter Photography from the recent Electric Zoo Festival.
Stay tuned for a video interview and clips from the show.