Concert Review: Bassnectar @ Stage AE, 11/5/12
By Ben Clancy
Stage AE has always proven to host amazing concerts, and this one was no exception. Having been sold out for weeks, there was still a line outside when I arrived at 8:40, even though the doors opened at 7. I missed Gladkill (busing to Stage AE is always a hassle, I should’ve known to plan this out beforehand), but I arrived in time to see half of Gramatik’s set, a DJ that started out in Slovenia and worked his way onto US & European radios. Gramatik’s signed to the Pretty Lights Music label, whose artists all gladly give away their music for free, something that I really love about them. His combinations of guitar riffs, synth pads, and those wub-wub bass lines that have made dubstep so popular really did a number in working the crowd up for the opening act.
And what a crowd it was! If you’ve never been inside Stage AE, it doesn’t seem like there’s a huge dance floor, but around the bar there’s at least double the standing room, and the whole place was packed. From the casual onlookers and the head-nodders in the back to the mass of bodies jumping and dancing at the stage, everyone was moving by the time Bassnectar, aka Lorin Ashton, even stepped foot on the stage. As soon as they saw that wild head of hair, people started screaming. He barely had time to walk over to his computer before the crowd was chanting, but he jumped into one of his tracks from his new Freestyle EP and for the rest of the night, he didn’t slow down for a minute. The whole set was a continuous blaze of drum kits and bass that rattled your whole ribcage. Now, I’m a HUGE Bassnectar fan, and to me this was literally every single one of his best tracks mixed back to back. No amount of blurry iPhone photos can capture his lightshows, any video taken at the concert has heavy distortion and static; there’s no way to capture the pure energy of a Bassnectar shows. He’s long been one of the most respected names in the EDM scene, and his shows continue to prove why.