Sunday, October 4, 2009

Bassnectar Last Night

Wow, so, I was at the Bassnectar show at La Zona Rosa last night. May I say, holy effing shhh that guy is not messing around. For those of you who don't know, or couldn't guess from the name, Bassnectar is a DJ who spins glitchy, bass-HEAVY jams. He has the reputation as being Mr. San Francisco DJ and he's also known to play several sets throughout, pretty much, every Burning Man Festival. I had the chance to catch Bass at SXSW this year, but that was a small, very exclusive, private event, which is not the ideal setting for Bassnectar. Ideally the best place to listen to Bassnectar would probably be in an underground, post-apocalyptic, cave-rave ala the Matrix (Reloaded?). However a packed to the gills, sweat dripping down the walls La Zona Rosa was definitely a good substitution in lieu of said post-apocalyptic rave scenario last night.

Bassnectar - Art of Revolution Tour Snippet video via YouTube

Free Mp3 from Bassnectar's latest LP, Cozza Frenzy available courtesy of, thanks.

Free Mp3 ---> Bassnectar - Cozza Frenzy

Read the rest of the review after the break...

I've been to a lot of shows at La Zona in the past, including some ACL after-shows last year but I have never seen the place packed in and totally sold-out like it was last night. For those of you have have never been, La Zona is basically a big warehouse, about the size of a small airplane hanger. From every edge of the place all you could see was sweaty people drinking and dancing. All along the edges of the crowd were the people who need a 3-6ft radius to really get their groove on and they were in top form.

German Dude Cosby Sweater - Example of the 3-6ft Dance Radius video via YouTube

One of the most striking things about the show, to me, was the number of people outside the venue scrambling to try and get last minute tickets and/or sneaky admission. There were at least 2 dozen people skulking around the block looking increasingly panicked about their ever slimming chances of getting inside. Only about a dozen ended up hanging around outside to try and listen. Lucky for me I planned ahead and I'm people who know people who are friends with people who hang out with people who played last night.

I did panic a bit on my way to the venue though. I was on the bus almost to the venue I did a last minute pocket check and realized I had forgotten my ear protection. I figured I'd just get some at Waterloo Records along my journey but ACL Festival caused a ridiculous human jam between my apartment and the record shop and, consequently, Waterloo was closed by the time I got there. So, I had resigned my Sunday to ringing-ear-syndrome but alas what did I find at the merch booth? FREE EARPLUGS! Take note artists and promoters, those of us who are serious about this shhh want to be able to hear it for a long time so if you're not giving away ear protection, at least sell it. Also, we want to be able to live to see another show, which is why we took the bus rather than driving. This blog post has a lesson in it.

Most people at the show last night were not utilizing the earplugs, which I find a bit appalling. Bassnectar was one of the most intensely loud experiences of my entire life. When you paid for your beer, you could feel your dollar vibrating in your hand. The hat I was wearing felt like a massage cap and the wooden platform floor I was standing on was buzzing and bouncing to the beat. In all honesty it's that physical sensation of feeling the beat that makes the show such an amazingly intense experience. However, it's not like I couldn't effing hear it with earplugs in. Is that what people think? Like they're not going to hear the billion decibel song cause they have pieces of foam in their ears? C'mon!

Bassnectar - Lightning In a Bottle video via YouTube

When he came out, Bass told the crowd he had two hours and he was gonna take us deep. He lived up to his promises and spun until the very last possible moment. He closed with his brand new remix of, Bloggy-approved artist, Fever Ray's When I Grow Up. That was the first time he had played that song for an audience and it's one that I was hoping to hear. It should be noted, that the crowd stayed and danced until the very last note too. Generally, you have lame-o's (like me) who leave a show a few minutes early to beat traffic/foot traffic/catch the bus but even after a long, wet 2nd day of ACL Festival the crowd couldn't walk away from Bassnectar. I, myself, had even planned to take the 1:40am bus but decided to stay at the show until 2, even though that meant I had to sit at the bus stop for 40minutes. It was so worth it, besides I have Harry Potter in audiobook form on my iPod, makes the time magically fly away. Expecto Patronum y'all.

All in all, the long and short of it, to summarize, in conclusion, if Bassnectar is coming to YOUR town just get an effing ticket already. Don't assume you're like the only kid in town who knows what's up. Unless you live in a rural community in which case you probably are the only kid in town who knows what's up, which is cool in its own right. Hang in there rural indie you'll get to the city someday soon.

the Jam - In The City video via YouTube

"Are you ready for the city? Is the city ready for you? Don't you know you have to choose?"

the Futureheads - The City is Here For You To Use video via YouTube