By: Margot Esquandolas
As an avid show goer I was extremely stoked to make my way down to The Pageant for a classic experience hosted by Lorin Ashton, the man, the myth, the legend. Bassnectar was everything I expected and so much more. His shows are more than just a musical endeavor, it’s an entire experience. A Bassnectar show encapsulates all of the senses in a matter of two and a half hours. Having seen almost ten of these original shows I am continually impressed after each performance. I had not seen Lorin play in about a year and a half and could hardly wait to head to Missouri. We decided to call the trip “The Bass Odyssey”. My roommate and I packed up the car and began the five hour drive from Chicago to St. Louis making it just in time for the show. This show was different for me than most shows that I attend. I am normally listening to “jam bands” and rarely make it to an electronic show.
Electronic shows used to be my kind of party but the times have changed for me personally so when we showed up for the opener Koan Sound I attempted to keep an open mind but was mildly unimpressed. He had me grooving for the first few songs and then the music became repetitive and lost my attention. Getting antsy in the crowd for the real to deal to come on I began to check out my surroundings.
The pageant was one of the most intimate settings I have seen Bassnectar play in. With a capacity of 1,000-2,300 the saturday night show was sold out and needless to say the venue was bumpin’. There was a second floor balcony also completely filled with people rigorously dancing to the heavy bass. I appreciated the turnout because Bassnectar’s type of crowd is part of what makes the show an experience. There is always such a diverse group of people. Surrounded by tie dyes, flat bills, stealies, hat pins, candy bracelets and masks, bass head t-shirts, fishnets, bras, mini skirts and glitter.
When Lorin came out the crowd went wild, the lights went low and the bass began to vibrate my entire body while his LED backdrop began to light up. Both abstract and geometric animations were playing on the screens. Forgetting ear plugs was a horrible mistake. The bass was so loud my nose was itching. My best friend and I were standing directly in front of the speaker cabinets holding hands in preparation for what was coming next.
The first half of the show was full of hard style, intense, grimy dubstep. Just what everyone loves. Playing songs from his new mix tape and combining them with classic Nectar songs. One of my favorite songs, Magical World, came on and confetti was dropped on the crowd. I was immediately covered in colorful bits of paper that were sticking to my sweaty body a long with everyone else’s around me. I looked up in pure bliss and took a moment to appreciate my existence. There were balloons floating a top of the crowd bouncing off of rage poles while the lights were illuminating up everyones faces, it was a god damn circus.
The first night of Nectar left us yearning for more. We hung out in STL for the day and adventured around the famous arch. We headed back to the show and were greeted by a different kind of crowd. It was not sold out sunday night so the venue was not as packed as the night before. The crowd was a lot calmer also, not to say it was calm, just calmer. We missed the opener sunday night and got to the show just in time for Lorin to come on. He approached the stage and the excitement took over once again. It was like church, I felt it coming all day. Bass Church is what I like to call it. A Sunday night with a calmer, smaller crowd and heavy slow baselines made the evening a spiritual experience. Bassnectar slowed the grooves down from the night before and ended the show with an awesome mix explaining the power of the third eye. He produced a visual on his backdrop showing where the third eye is and illustrating what it is like to connect with the third eye. We were left starstruck and somehow drove back to Chicago that night after the show. After such an amazing weekend my roommate and I woke up in our own beds like nothing ever happened. We will forever be waiting for Bassnectar to come back to town again.