VibeSquaD and Bassnectar at the Midland

Kansas City has been waiting for the return of Bassnectar since he left the Kanrocksas stage, no matter if you were a fan of electronic music or not, that show was on your mind. It was in that performance that I not only fell in love with Bassnectar, but it also lead me to believe that electronic music is back on top. I know all the hype surrounds names like Skrillex and Deadmau5, but there is something about Lorin Ashton that gives me that lasting feeling. Ashton’s music feels more like a passion than a trend, and you can bet that in five years Bassnectar will be dropping that bass in your face.

Passion can also describe the euphoric VibeSquaD, a Colorado native, Aaron Holstein is never without a smile showing his enjoyment all over his face. It is through this positivity that Holstein controls the crowd, even if you’re unfamiliar with the sound, his own enjoyment of the music spreads like a wild fire. With a crowd drunk on excitement and chemically sustained, it wasn’t hard to get them to move. While the sounds of VibeSquaD filled the bodies of those in attendance, it left me with thoughts of The Chemical Brothers. There is just something about the bass-dropping sounds of VibeSquaD that has yet to forget the roots of the genre, and with Holstein’s background in music studies it comes in as less of a surprise. Holstein has created something that supersedes the label of “DubStep” and his smile is something you won’t soon forget. I highly suggest you catch the man live and if you haven’t heard his latest release Orphan Alien pt.1, I suggest you do.

After an enthused performance by VibeSquaD it was time for Bassnectar to take the stage, and the neon infused crowd was about explode with excitement. There is something about the new mesh of electronic fans, you still have the goth electro-punks of the past, and the scantily clad hula hoop girls will always be there, but it is the infusion of college students that have embraced the genre that give if the life it has today. Infused with “molly”, it’s impressive how these new fans have embraced the genre, neon pink and all. While DubStep has grown dramatically over the years, it also blows me away with how the old embrace the new, because when it comes down to it they are all there to have a good time.  What better way to do it than with the sounds of Bassnectar.

Amped off his latest release Vava Voom, Bassnectar took the stage with a performance that quite literately could have torn down the roof. While a swaying upper deck was always looming above nothing could have pulled my eyes off the stage. With an arsenal of lights and sound, Ashton put on a show that exceeded my Kanrocksas expectations. I have to admit I was a little worried that nothing could live up to that bass infused crowd that dominated the Kansas Speedway last year, but my worries were laid to waste as Bassnectar delivered a show spanning his entire career.

With hypnotic video screens he pulled me in and his seizure inducing sounds forced me to move, all of a sudden those dance moves I do when I’m alone sprang free and I was hooked. Songs like “Lights” have never sounded more metioric, only confirming Ashton’s staying power, and from his own reaction you would think he was hearing the song for the first time. At least Bassnectar makes you feel like it is the best show of his life, forcing you to give everything you have to impress him.

With the show blasting from 9:30 to midnight I never saw the crowd let up, this may have been due to the drugs, but I give all the credit to the music. There is just something to Bassnectar that floods every spectrum of music that creates a situation where any crowd response becomes the right reaction. Songs like the hip hop oriented “The Matrix” mesh well with punk rock “Pennywise Tribute”, giving the show a limitless potential. To say I was satisfied with the night is an understatement, though it was disappointing that “Immigraniada (Gogol Bordello Remix)”  was left off the set list, that just gives me more of a reason to see Bassnectar live. Which I plan on doing again soon.

By Ryan Davis

Photos By Angela Davis


About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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