Posted by: Necci – May 09, 2012
This show was an experience--like a Grateful Dead show. I talked to people from all over the East Coast, part of a larger community of fans who traveled great distances to see the Richmond Bassnectar set. It was a massive event - bright lights, visuals, and hard to define amounts of amplified bass, with an array of additional speakers and subs.
To say it was overwhelming on any front is to miss the point that this is the current state of the art in live electronic music experiences. Comparing this show with that of Shpongle or almost any other touring act in the scene, you'll see that they all have some sort of variation on sound and vision, exploding far beyond the Pink Floyd or amphitheater band shows of the last several decades. The entire presentation has mutated greatly to reach this point, and showgoers enjoyed it all, as far as I could tell.
If anything, Bassnectar's show indicated that he had an eye forward to coming developments in live presentations of electronic music. One major thing that struck me was the presence of Bassnectar's Ambassadors, who run around the crowd and provide water, hydration, and human engagement to the raging bass heads. This positive human interaction, while everyone is generating so much energy--dancing, moving, and all that comes with a show--was refreshing to see. Fans being treated well and catered to while in such extreme circumstances is not the norm--and maybe it should be.
The music of the night was intensely varied and rich, from Mr. Projectile and Vibesquard's excellent opening sets to Mr. Lorin Ashton's major session. The Bassnectar team had to be huge, with technicians and road crew as well as the people running around attending to the crowd's vibe, and they all came together to put on a hell of a show.
By Todd Raviotta