This was the word scrawled across T-shirts and on the lips of the young crowd that had shivered in line waiting to see Bassnectar on Friday night.
The temperature hovered at about 0 degrees in Vancouver in front of the all-ages show at the P.N.E. Forum. Girls in booty shorts complained about the long will-call line that preceded the even longer line of fans waiting to get in. Young men in shark costumes took swigs of Absolut vodka – away from the eyes of security guards – and grieved their missing of excellent openers R/D and Bonobo.
After a long wait and a hearty frisk from a female security guard, I was swept away with the dancing, bumping, swaying crowd. The youthful mass seemed to meld together in the concrete venue usually reserved for sports events and recently featuring some of the most fun electronic/pop acts currently touring.
Bassnectar, with his long hair, and bass-heavy, wobble filled remixes, is a veteran to the electronic music scene, which has recently enjoyed conspicuous visibility on MTV. Underage girls in fishnets and spirit hoods (you know – those fuzzy hats modeled after animals) partied alongside tattooed men with dreadlocks, as Bassnectar reeled into his set, full tilt.
Say what you will about dubstep as a genre, after Bassnectar is through with a track, it doesn’t sound anything like the original. His bassed out remixes of Nirvana – played alongside the deliciously disorienting Cozza Frenzy riled the crowd up with an excitement their older siblings’ record collection never could.
I say d’ya like bass, you say hell – mother fucking – yeh A disembodied voice declared over one remix.
“Dya like bass?” Bassnectar echoed. The crowd in the forum had grown large enough that any coherent answer was lost in a bellowing cheer.
Bassnectar spun into another remix. Concert goers eager to hear one specific song or album must have been disappointed, as Bassnectar didn’t feature much off his this year’s ‘Divergent Spectrum’ or his 2009 album, seeming content to play, well, whatever the hell he liked.
Psychedelic images of what must have been a female skeleton gyrated on the large screen behind Bassnectar, as he sampled the vocal track ‘we can get together’ from B-52’s 1989 hit ‘Love Shack.’ At the ripe-old age of 21, I felt well above the median age of the crowd that averaged at what have must have been about eighteen. Still, most of the crowd was old enough to recognize Blur’s ‘Song 2’ guitar riff underneath a sampling of ‘Don’t call me Baby’ by Madison Avenue. It was pure mayhem as the dancers did their thing during the dubbed out remix.
As 2011 winds down to a close, Bassnectar’s tour still has a hell of a lot of energy. Although P.N.E.’s crowd management and location took away from the show here in Vancouver (lengthy lines into the venue/long waits for busses into either downtown Van or the suburbs) concert goers are promised a wicked show at Montreal’s Metropolis on the 25th or in Nashville on New Years Eve. This set is physical, hard, and generally mind blowing. For listeners who are inclined to ‘savour’ the album and are put off by droves of scantily clad, bizarrely costumed youth intent on grinding their bodies and blowing out their eardrums…. you might want to stay away from this one.