February 27th, 2011 at 8:43 pm
A Bassnectar concert is not one best observed from the sidelines.
At least, that’s what I took away from the set by Bassnectar - real name Lorin Ashton – on Friday night (Feb. 25) at Fayetteville Town Center. He sold out that venue, just like he has with several of the shows leading up to his return performance in this part of the country. He is indeed one of the hottest electronica acts on the touring circuit right now.
He was featured at Wakarusa last year, and he’ll be there again for the 2011 version of the festival, which will take place in early June at Mulberry Mountain in Franklin County. None of that tempered the enthusiasm for this show, and the promoters could have sold many more tickets. Demand was high enough to prompt one would-be concertgoer to offer his tickets (face value $27) for $80 on the Facebook event page designated for the concert.
This was a show for the Facebook generation, and if there were many people over 30 there, they were running merch tables, serving as security or, in the event of at least one mother is saw twiddling her thumbs in the corner of the venue, serving as a chaperone.
As for Bassnectar, he spent the evening working at a quick pace, bounding between the two computers he’d brought on stage with him. His sounds are best described as electronica, but that’s a broad term and doesn’t tell the whole story. He spent the night mixing songs that were recognized (like a bit from Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer”) with those that were less recognizable. With these songs sped up and slowed down at his whim, I had the feel constant feeling that I should know a song but couldn’t quite place it.
All of this, of course, was augmented with the night’s two prominent themes: bass, and lots of it, and lights, which were also present in large quantity. As Bassnectar shifted the tempo of his tunes, the video screen behind him shifted along with them, scrolling up images of flying creatures and patterns of bright colors.
But that didn’t make the show. The crowd did.
It was a young crowd, and they were enthusiastic for all of it that I watched (although it should be noted I left the concert about an hour into its run). With many of them dressed in strange outfits (I saw a wizard and a Luigi character, for instance) and toting around glow sticks, the exuberance of the crowd was hard to deny but difficult to replicate from the rear of the venue while trying to take notes and carrying a heavy camera bag. In short, I wasn’t much into it, but I was the only one.
Except for maybe the mom in the corner.