World-renowned DJ and record producer Lorin Ashton, better known as Bassnectar, brought his Noise vs Beauty tour to the Main Street Armory in Rochester on Oct. 3. Bassnectar dropped his tenth album Noise vs. Beauty on June 24. I attended the concert; it was my first experience with this type of music in a rave setting. For those familiar with Bassnectar, you know that his music is only a fraction of the entire experience. I’ve never particularly enjoyed his music, but many of his fans regard him as a god.
Upon arrival, the scene was chaotic. Security was tight and the line was massive and moving slowly. Much to my surprise, there was already a girl on a stretcher to my left receiving medical attention.
We proceeded into the venue and I was immediately greeted by the overwhelming energy of 6,500 people bumping to openers Kill Paris and Son of Kick. The lights finally went down and the screams of the crowd grew louder. The real anticipation was growing for the bass-dropping, powerful, electronic-heavy beats that Bassnectar is known for.
Bassnectar wasted no time. He threw the beat right at the crowd and they went insane. Between the lights, music and people, it was sensory overload. Bassnectar played the crowd like an instrument––everyone was in tune very quickly. The crowd moved as a single entity; the vast majority knew the music instinctively and flowed with it to the point of perfection.
About an hour in, Bassnectar dropped “F.U.N.,” an interesting song with a piano instrumental intro. The slow, soft intro continued as I watched a man with LED finger-tipped gloves hypnotize a girl with an LED hoola-hoop for what seemed like an eternity. Then out of seemingly nowhere, Bassnectar dropped the bass and everyone snapped right back. As if on cue, clothes immediately started flying off left and right.
After that brief lull, Bassnectar never stopped. He kept the concert at an inhumane level of energy for two and a half hours, playing crowd favorites such as “Loco Ono,” “Lost in the Crowd” and “Noise.” The concert raged with its high energy, intense lights and community-mob mentality. Faces absolutely melted.
I needed a breather toward the end and returned to the balcony, which was, by this time, over capacity. It was right then and there, as I was looking over the mob grooving hard to Bassnectar, that I got it––I now understand why people go crazy for this type of musical vibe.
Bassnectar is the epitome of the digital age performer. The light show––which is perfectly synched with his electronic dance music––felt oddly familiar despite it being my first time at this kind of concert. He knows exactly the crowd he is playing to, and he knows exactly how to play that crowd.u