Review by Bill Whiting
Photo By Ceaesar Sebastian
There was an anticipation level inside Covington, Kentucky’s Madison Theater on April 13 that couldn’t be matched. The sold out venue was host to Santa Cruz, California’s Lorin Ashton, aka Bassnectar, and his multimedia circus of improvised beats, rhythms and psychedelic visual stimulation’s. A large screen hung behind the stage which was an elevated platform, replete with turntables and electronic sequencing computers. But, back to that anticipation level. The crowd seemed ready to party, but was largely holding it in for the first hour and a half. Then, when Mr. Ashton hit the stage, taking on the demeanor of a dub master version of Rob Zombie and Zak Wylde put together, the bottled up energy that had boiled up inside was let out of the proverbial bottle. And, the Madison Theater’s patrons went completely berserk, writhing and twisting feverishly in a bump and grind mass movement that rivaled any dance club in the world on a Saturday night. The temperature level rose to the nineties inside, prompting the bartenders to put six back to back rows of ice water along the length of the bar for those in danger of passing out from the intensity. Bassnectar has transformed the world of electronic music and dub step, headlining his own sold out festival inside the confines of the First Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado, and selling out the majority of venues he has appeared at through the fall and winter of 2010-11. A headliner at Bonnaroo and The Electric Forest festivals, Bassnectar is the embodiment of the future of music’s programmed and highly stylized boogie in the here and now. The music hits the backbone, and moves both towards the butt and the mind, energizing a groove based high that takes time to come down from. Featuring some of his 2010 release, Timestretch, Ashton synchronized the amplified attack of his sound towards the overpowering visuals that emphasized a positive viewpoint towards world consciousness. Pounding out the title track while he danced like a maniac onstage, Bassnectar flipped convention on it’s head, offering the packed floor’s denizens a surreal ride to quadrupled speed sampled, triple timed heaven. The effect on the gyrating audience hit a peak on “Bass Head” and did not stop until the house lights came on announcing the end of the show. Bassnectar at the Madison Theater was an experience that will not soon be forgotten by those that attended on that mind bending mid April spring night.