Pre-note: when you see any #’s it means how many times I have gotten chills while writing this.
MORRISON, CO – As of Friday afternoon (June 1st), I had seen Lorin Ashton take the stage as Bassnectar and demolish every performance 7 times (1). His performances at Red Rocks this weekend not only made every other Nectar experience of mine seem like a side note, and blow every other concert I had attended out of the water, but it was also the second best night of my entire life (Mine Burn in Telluride still holds number one, ask me sometime and I will fully recount that night). Take a jump and see what this magical night was all about!
Getting to Red Rocks at 5:00 – 4 hours before Diplo took the stage, the Colorado Jam Squad began the evening in the parking lot; crushing drinks, crushing games and getting our bodies limber for the approaching night. Right around 8:45 thirty of us began the short walk to the venue to watch Diplo warm us up for what was to come. To say that he was the opener would be utter disrespect, given the set that he laid down for the growing crowd of 10,000. Dropping incredible bangers from ‘Express Yourself’ to ‘Go’ and various other Jungle/Moombahton tracks got the crowd shaking with anticipation for Bassnectar to pop on the stage. Impressively, he also managed to keep us rather level-headed by mixing in some smoother tracks like this Spring’s Major Lazer release of ‘Get Free’ (2).
All of our hearts were now racing as an interim DJ took the tables while Lorin’s MASSIVE production was put into place!
“Is everybody in…..Is everybody in….Is everybody in….the ceremony is about to begin…..” (3) came over the massive stacks of speakers as the flowing hair of the one true amBASSador came into view. In similar fashion to Snowball a few months ago, Bassnectar led straight into ‘Wildstyle Method’, which was barely heard initially with the crowd going absolutely HAM! (4)
The first 30-45 minutes of the journey was more or less an extended version of “Fun With Synthesizers” (not actually, but it was very similar), being mixed throughout the tracks off of his latest release: Vava Voom: “Butterfly”, “Ping Pong” (5), “Ugly”, “Laughter Crescendo”, “Empathy”, “Vava Voom”, “Do it Like This” and “Nothing Has Been Broken” were all clearly heard in this intro section of a phenomenal set. Take a peak below at the first 22 minutes of the show!
While I would have been totally content with this whole experience as a blind man, the visuals that literally consumed the stage(6) set the entire night on another level! I’m going to get further into this aspect a bit lower, but during “Nothing Has Been Broken” was when I first noticed the astounding production level; there was a projection of a ballerina, being glitched to the timing of the song, and having her limbs and hair trail to her previous location (if you know anything about 4 dimensions, that’s the best description I can provide).
As the set progressed, the full darkness of night took hold and the nearly full moon made the event absolutely perfect. The next hour and a half was one of true aural-visual pleasure, playing classic bangers and absolute throwbacks that brought the crowd into a total frenzy! “Down Like Animals”, “Boombox”, “Timestretch”(7), “Cozza Frenzy”(8), “Land of Lupes”, “Red Step”, “Voodoo, “Upside Down”(9), “Here We Go”, “Bass-Head”, “Magical World”(10), “The 808 Track”, “Underwater” (or “Falling”), “Hot Right Now”, “Pop its like its Hot (Remix)”, “Where is My Mind (remix)” (11) and “Watch The Lights Go” are just a handful of the tracks that I can fully remember. However, there was one track that threw me into a tizzy(12) and completely blew me away(13), this memory of Red Rocks that I will never forget (14) was right after Lorin picked up the mic saying that he “was going to skip this tune for Red Rocks, but then [he] got over 500 requests for it. SO here youuu GOoooo!”(15)
The low bass reverberated through my being (16) as I was overcome with an emotion that is only comparable to a Buddhist enlightenment(17). “Hippity Hoppity, Hippity Hoppity”(18) the visual projections take over and my emotions from the last 3 months come to a peak as tears(19) begin to stream down my face. “Ah yes they are Pink Elephants!” Watching the video today, I see that the unforgettable tune lasted a mere two-ish minutes, but the overwhelming nature of the experience(20) has my memory believing it to be at least 10 before “808 Track” took over.
Throughout the two plus hours of stage time, this beautiful human being thanked us numerous times and this is one of the things that sets Bassnectar above everyone else in my mind. He is so respectful of his fans, and when something goes wrong, it seems as if he feels personally responsible for the most minor lapses in happiness. While there are many shows that I have been to and absolutely adored, the amount of pleasure that Lorin displays on stage creates a concert experience that is exponentially more memorable and enjoyable. Yes, he brings joy to everyone who is exposed to his music, but on an entirely different level, Lorin’s outlook on life is one to be absolutely respected and desired(21).
With the emotion with which I wrote this piece, it should be apparent the power Bassnectar has over the crowd he performs for. With 8 servings of Nectar notched on my belt, many people know that I will travel great distances to see him live. However, if you have never experienced a night with Lorin, it is my top recommendation to you all. It doesn’t matter if “dubstep” or bass heavy tracks are not your cup of tea, these are life changing nights that all connoisseurs of music should embrace. As a strict house-junky for many years, the tunes of Bassnectar turned me over to the heavier side of Bass during his early career, and I will not be surprised if the same happens to you. Count your blessings, enjoy the music, have a wonderful summer and be sure to always keep “Spreading The Jams.”
Tags: amBASSadors, Bassnectar, Bassnectar intro, Bassnectar June 2012, Bassnectar Red Rocks, Bassnectar Tracklist, Bassnectar Video, Bassnecter live at Red Rocks, Best Production, Diplo 2012, Diplo live at Red Rocks, Elephants on Parade, Express Yourself, Go, Go PRo, Lorin Ashton, Red Rocks Amphitheater, Snowball Music Festival, Timestretch, Vava Voom Recap, Vava Voom Tour, Voodoo