Tisk, tisk, Bassnectar. You threw a raging party for your friends while the parents were out of town, and got yourself another noise complaint. Last year the globally renowned DJ was more or less kicked you out of Morrison (read: Red Rocks) due to continual noise violations, and now Commerce City – the neighbors down the street – are saying last weekend’s “house party” felt like a seismic event. It seems that things are not getting easier for the artist despite the new venue, but as the Beastie Boys once said, “You’ve got to fight…for the right…to PAAAAR-TAY!”
July 29th and 30th, Lorin Ashton (known more commonly as Bassnectar) hosted his biggest event to date at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, with attendance over 25,000. The DJ and producer from Santa Cruz had never put on a festival of this caliber, but thanks to the impressive turnout and stellar lineup, we’re sure to see Bass Center return to Denver next year. The event was a unique two day experience featuring two camping villages, food trucks, and extended sets from Bassnectar himself, the weekend lineup also features heavy-hitters Wu-Tang Clan, Flux Pavilion Lupe Fiasco, Porter Robinson, Flying Lotus, AlunaGeorge amongst others.
We arrived on Saturday evening just as Porter Robinson was getting on stage. His set was backlit by different scenes from anime shows, creating a trance-pop vibe that made you feel like you were rising to the skies – only to be dropped down into a crazy real life version of “Dance Dance Revolution.” This American DJ has been making quite a stir in the electronic scene with multiple hits on the Billboard charts since 2010. His album Worlds, released in 2014, is still a force to be reckoned with in the world of electro-house and synth-pop.
The vibe flipped 180 degrees once Wu-Tang took over the stage. All members except Raekwon and Method Man were in attendance, bringing the audience back to the 90’s by playing songs like “C.R.E.A.M.” and their Beatles vs. Wu-Tang mashup “Release Yo Delf.” They took time to pay their respects to fallen artists by rapping parts of “California Love” by Tupac, singing bits of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as an ode to Kurt Cobain, and finally their friend and former member, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, by singing “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.” The energy and crowd participation during those songs was absolutely incredible! Oh baby, we like it RAW!
Despite the festival’s massive lineup, the headliner was still absolutely the focus of attention. The roar from the crowd as Bassnectar walked on stage was mind boggling. Hearing that many people screaming that loud all at once is something we’ll never forget. Then the bass hit us hard as he opened up with the song “TKO” off his new album Unlimited, the venue rumbling as the words “Hit’m with the heavyweight - make, make the room shake!” poured from the 808’s.
There’s something about a Bassnectar performance that you just don't experience at any other show. The bass tones he produces are so much lower and deeper than anything else; It rattles your innards to the point where your heart almost skips a beat. This bass is so low that neighboring residents living almost four miles away reported that they could hear the music from inside their houses, and that their walls and windows were shaking throughout the night. Talk about being entirely next-level loud! Saturday night’s performance included mashups from a variety of artists like Jimi Hendrix, Missy Elliot, The Weeknd, and Bruno Mars. He even busted out some crazy pyrotechnics with huge flame throwers shooting out atop of the stage as well as right in front between him and the crowd. The end of the night featured the tune of The Doors song “The End”, and was accompanied by fireworks. From beginning to end, Bass Center 2016 was a truly a magical experience. As long as the neighbors don’t complain too much, we can’t wait to see what the notorious bass god has in store for us next year.
Written by Andrew Rios and Kellie Affolder