Show Review + 2 mp3s: Bassnectar in Colorado

Red Rocks, Morrison Colorado – June, 18

There is truly no other live music venue like Red Rocks. Situated 15 miles west of Downtown Denver, it is worthy of the plane fair from San Francisco to see a show, especially if you’re going to see Bassnectar. Red Rocks, a natural amphitheater, has beautiful sound, a stunning view of the Colorado front range, and the seating is set up so even when Bassnectar sells the venue out (a month before the show), there is plenty of room to dance, or, in my case, sit so I can catch my breath in the thin Colorado air.

Beats Antique finished their opening set just past 9:10. It was 80 degrees and the sun was setting – a perfect scene. We walked up to the top of the amphitheater thinking that we should watch Bassnectar kill it to the setting sun, turning our “perfect scene” into the super rave of the decade. I stated getting nervous because all the signs outside of the venue state, music goes until 11. Anyone familiar with Bassnectar’s live shows knows that 1 hour and 45 minutes is hardly enough time for him to really get on a roll. Bassnectar steps out, the sun is setting, the bass assault begins. To our surprise the sound was much better in the VIP section. We grabbed new beers and headed down.

The VIP section of the show was simply a roped off area 11 rows from center stage. It allowed you more room to dance, plus you can’t beat the view or the sound when you’re that close. Bassnectar ended up playing for almost 3 hours, giving him the time and the energy to unleash remix, after remix, after remix. Bassnectar’s music sits in a category all to himself; although always full of energy, most of his music rarely moves past 120 BPM. He juxtaposes hip-hop, drum n’ bass, dubstep, and rock n’ roll, I’ve heard his style referred to as “electro-metal”. Whatever adjective you want to attach to his style the one thing that’s apparent is that although his mixes blast out at you, you can tell he’s having as much fun as the crowd is. He commented twice how he wishes we could see what it’s like to watch 10,000 fanning hands as you crush the most awesome venue in The US.

Here’s a taste of electro-metal:
Metallica, “Seek & Destroy (Bassnectar Remix) (play/download mp3)

And there’s a single from his new album. Too bad you weren’t at the show to hear the 15 minute live version.
Upside Down (Radio Edit) (play/download mp3)

Live show review: Pantraid @ 1015 – San Francisco

Pantyraid @ 1015, 4/22/11

Pantyraid (Marty Party and Ooah, of Glitch Mob fame) exploded on the bass music scene with their ’09 hit, “Beba.” Show me one dubstep/glitch-hop/bass music mix released during the spring/summer of 2009 that didn’t include their breakout hit. So it wasn’t a shock to me they opened their set Friday night at 1015 with the original of “Beda.” And this may explain why 1015 was over sold that night — we were packed in their asshole-to-elbows that night, seriously.

Never mind that it was almost hard to breath in there. Pantyraid blessed the crowd with exactly what we came to expect, epic basslines that rained on the crowd like a shower from the bass gods. A lot of their set was dedicated to their new EP released this week, Superior. A 4-song bass music blast that balances Ooah’s glitch-hop roots with Marty Party’s abrasive breaks touch.

A lot of people think 1015 Folsom is a shit club. I have to call bull-shit on that. Last Friday was one of the best shows I’ve seen in my 11 years of attendance there. No other spot in San Francisco can support the pulsating basslines of Pantyraid, and no other club can accentuate the booming rhythms that this team produced that night with lasers and lights. 1015 is my choice for seeing bass music in The City. And Pantraid’s new EP is my choice for EP of the year (so far).

Visit Pantyraid’s website to hear Superior and get more intel.

In case you’ve been living in a cave in Afghanistan for the last 2 years, here’s Pantyraid’s Beba (original) (play/download mp3)

Jack Beats/Star Eyes @ Mighty, SF: Show review + mp3

Thursday night in San Francisco can sometimes be a tricky night as far as night club attendance goes. Sometimes the show is sold out. Sometimes not so much — which was the case for the Jack Beats show. The English duo maybe famous in DJ and music aficionado circles, but they haven’t quite hit the wider dance music radar, like, say iLL. gates has done. And although Star Eyes was one of the leaders in the SF drum n’ bass scene in the late 1990s, her current label, Trouble & Bass, has fallen into the same micro-niche status as Jack Beats has. But just because these three players aren’t famous, doesn’t mean they don’t kill it live.

Star Eyes has made a name for herself the last ten years as one of the most versatile DJs in the bass music scene. Her press release says, “Star Eyes is known for throwing down raw, dirty underground bass tracks, from grime bangers to ghetto house, Miami bass classics to speaker-rattling dubstep stormers.” Usually I think these self inflating sentences are bull-shit. But in the case of Star Eyes, it’s true.

It’s always hard opening for the headliners. You have to surrender to the fact that the crowd came to hear them, not necessarily you. And the fact that Jack Beats has such a distinguishable sound, Star Eyes eventually had to turn her low-end thumping breaks to the more electro happy, bassline-poppy breaks that Jack Beats are known for, but not before the crowd was happy-n-sweaty dancing to her grime bangers.

It took the crowd that night about 2.3 seconds to explode once the DJ/production team stepped on stage and dropped their first bassline. It was clear from the beginning that the mostly 21 to 24 year-old audience came to hear one thing: that famous JB sound. The two moved easily from raw breaks, to bassline slapping house, and the people couldn’t get enough. Although Mighty was far from sold out, the energy that they created through their music was enough to rock The Fillmore at full capacity. It was easy to see why people who tend to listen to artists who are creatively ahead of the curve came out enthusiastically to support this electro-house dream team.

Here’s a little of that famous Jack Beats sound with Star Eye’s label mate AC Slater’s track: Jack Got Jacked (Jack Beats Remix/Thrills Dubstep Refix) (play/download mp3)