I’ve been to a lot of concerts in my 32 years — from mainstream acts at large amphitheaters to underground basement shows and everything in between. But what I witnessed at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium last Friday night was the BEST SHOW I’ve ever seen. It may sound like hyperbole, but Bassnectar was that good. Blew my mind and ear drums.
Because of my broken arm, my brother and I sat in the balcony seats, avoiding the sea of fans below. It turned out to be a wise choice, as we had a perfect view of the entire venue.
When the curtain dropped, Bassnectar mixed Beastie Boys “Intergalactic” with my all-time favorite “Wildstyle Method.” It was an appropriate tribute to Beastie Boy MCA, who’d died that day. It was also a testament to Bassnectar’s skill, as he put that together at the last minute.
My brother and I, as well as the 4.000 attendees, were on our feet dancing the entire time. It was an amazing sight to see so many different types of people — young ravers, old hippies and average Joes, all sharing a joyous experience.
Bassnectar seamlessly transitioned through his extensive 12-year catalogue of music — dubstep, hip-hop, break beats, drum and bass, classic rock and even punk. Bassnectar — Lorin Ashton — was surrounded by LED screens with constantly changing images. The light show in itself was hypnotic.
Naysayers think, “It’s just a guy on stage pressing buttons.” In actuality, Lorin Ashton is an extremely talented musician/producer/DJ/performer. Besides his excellent mixing skills and transitions, he knew just when to mellow us out and amp us up again.
As the show progressed, the bass hit harder, until you could feel it rumbling through your entire body. The music alternated from grimy and ugly, to ethereal and pretty.
As the show ended, he took his trademark “family photo” of the crowd.
His legions of fans — Bass Heads — follow him on tour, similar to Dead Heads back in the day. I can dig his ideals of creativity, communication, health, education, safety, interaction and critical thinking. But I’m too old to join in the hippie-dippy lifestyle. One night of Bassnectar is enough for me.