..and Seattle slays Bassnectar! Neumos on Capitol Hill last Friday night was the straight atomic bomb action, the dirtiest, stickiest, sweatiest show I’ve seen there since Edit and OOah slammed down back in December. The Seattle music phreaks were out and pumped from the early evening despite the cold ticket line that wrapped way around the corner of Pike, and the energy just grew and grew from there to detonation level: minds blown.
Local homeboy Nordic Soul started the show followed by abstract technoist Lusine who really warmed up the crowd with his minimal beats, to say the least. His throbbing set was the perfect opener and had everyone already bumping up and down on the dance floor. The non-profit Seattle art crew Artifakt provided the live painting, and artist Roman produced a visual display throughout the show, an awesome addition to the creative energy in the room. The painter was clearly boiling over with talent; however the crowd was not at all into the finished rendition of the Seattle skyline. We are not shopping tourists at the Fremont market; we are Seattle and we see the real deal every day. A more abstract piece would have been better appreciated by the most abstract crowd.
By the time Lorin (Bassnectar) stepped up to the decks at midnight the room was already sweaty, and from the first beat he dropped the audience went berserk: yelling, jumping, dancing like maniacs, and taking off clothes. From the front of the floor all the way to the back Neumo’s was packed, even the balcony was shaking with movers, and the positive energy just popped off the walls all night. People weren’t bobbing heads and tapping feet; they were going wild. The club was oversold of course, sweat was flying everywhere and Bassnectar gave the whompiest, sickest beats ever for almost two hours. His original mixes and wide-minded take on electronica strike hard the hearts of music lovers who too often get stuck with deejay mimics and uninspired repeat beats. Bassnectar’s thick thick bass, tempo changes and kaleidoscopic combination of music from reggae to rock created a wicked insane vibe on the dance floor, and the crowd of hard core fans tore Neumo’s down. The show even extended way outside where the unlucky fools who couldn’t get tickets were getting down anyway in the middle of the street, Capitol Hill cops be damned.
Bassnectar was obviously as blown away by the experience as we were, dancing and sweating so much during his set that he had to use a bath towel to mop off himself and his equipment. He even stopped the beats a couple of times to tell Seattle how much we rock. Maybe he is used to the San Francisco fans who are just a little bit spoiled by all the kicking electronic music in that city (oh look, another Glitch Mob show, mmm). San Fran may have a giant freaking scene compared to Seattle, but the energy and passion at Neumos on Friday night matched any crazy party on the West Coast. Everyone in the room needed a bath towel that night, I needed two, and no one left the show without a smile and a soul rejuvenated by the music and dance experience that is Bassnectar.
It is always so inspiring to be a part of the energy exchange between an explosive deejay and a psyched crowd; the positive vibe flow bounces back and forth from the artist to the audience until it reaches a ridiculous level. Your brain melts, your body turns to jello, and your soul flies off into outer space. This is why we dance, this is why we love music, this why we crawl the streets of Seattle in search of electric artists who give it. And Bassnectar gave it.
At the raging afterparties everyone was so stoked about the show that they were almost at a loss for words. By Saturday there were already MySpace comments about having Bassnectar’s babies, and more than one person was seriously considering hopping a flight to Hawaii to catch his next show. Seattle was massacred, slaughtered on the dance floor, killed with the beats, and brought back to life by the music. If you missed the show though, wipe away your tears. Lorin was so stoked by the Seattle response that he will no doubt be back to our town; only next time we’re burnin’ down the Showbox. I will be there on the dance floor, and next time I will bring a towel.