Bassnectar, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN – 12/31
Photo by Ellis Jones
Lorin Ashton, better known as D.J. extraordinaire Bassnectar, celebrated the New Year with a sold-out performance at the Bridgestone Arena. The venue located in downtown Nashville usually houses the National Hockey League’s hometown Predators. On this evening it was transformed into a monumental house party. In authentic fashion the show was general admission which led to the festivities starting early for many. Thousands of colorfully dressed bass heads were already snaked around the arena at five in hopes of securing a coveted floor wrist band or the seat of their choice. The doors did not open for three hours and the atmosphere was already electric.
The ambiance upon arriving inside the massive venue was galvanizing. Bassnectar spared no expense, bringing with him the largest sound system ever assembled in this arena. Behind the stage were gigantic high definition screens projecting vibrant images. Lasers were also strategically placed throughout the dark hall, giving this vast space an intimate feel. The sold out crowd was already on their feet and dancing before the first act even started as the house music thumped.
D.J. Mux Mool was first to take advantage of all the wonderful toys with an effective and well received short set. He did not rely on the sub bass like most electronic musicians, which gave his tracks an old school feel. As he exited the stage the house lights never came on and the music never stopped. The well-choreographed evening was not giving the enthusiastic crowd a chance to stop dancing. Break Science featuring Chali2na was an ideal act to precede the master of ceremonies. The DJ/drummer duo tore up the building. Adam Deitch as always kept a groovy beat behind his simple drum kit as Borahm Lee dictated the fun behind his table. The presence of Chali2na’s vocals kept the music in a mostly hip hop direction. Their fiery set had the party reeling and the bass was yet to come.
A little past ten, Bassnectar attacked the stage like a man possessed. The three hour set that followed was an electronic musical journey. Every genre of music was at his disposal and he crafted them together masterfully. The bass exploded off the stage like volcanic eruptions shaking souls into fresh directions. The diverse crowd was treated to a fresh marathon set that including extended versions of “Boom Box’ and “Pink Elephants”. Always the master of timing he knew when to push the music forward and when to reel it in. The responsive crowd always danced accordingly. Shortly before midnight, his remix of The Beatles, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was a perfect example why his music transcends the usual electronic music experience. He owned the energy in the room by slowing down the lyrics before exploding into the chorus with the heart attack inducing sub bass.
Midnight did not bring a cover of “Old Lang Syne”; instead, an electric parade danced among and through the crowd. As balloons fell from above there was little time to kiss your significant other as the music brought in the New Year. Over the next hour everyone moved in a tribal-like fashion to one hypnotic beat after another. Bassnectar closed the passionate set with words of inspiration before the remix “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heep. The arena full of lit lighters and glow sticks was a fitting end to a magical night.
It is impressive how big the electronic music scene has grown in a relatively short time. On this New Year’s Eve in a city known for country music, bass reigned supreme as thousands dubstep into the new year.