Had the Rapture finally arrived Thursday? No, it was just the out-of-body experience of Bassnectar. The DJ-producer brought three semi-trucks of audio-video equipment to Garden City's Revolution Center, pumping out two hours of low-frequency nirvana powered by 36 subwoofers arranged in refrigerator-size bundles.
If you haven't experienced Bassnectar live, you've never seen — or been body-slammed by — anything like it. The thundering, shuddering bass was so overwhelming that staff had to tape up the lights on the exterior of the building to keep them from falling out. Inside, a framed Collective Soul poster rattled off a wall mid-show and shattered.
The 1,800 fans — gentle, friendly, mostly in their 20s — danced in utter bliss. Neon toys and furry costumes were the norm. (Behold Unicorn Woman in a tutu.) The less clothing, the better. Despite the best intentions of the RevCenter's cranked cooling system, the room was oppressively hot and hazy. Bassnectar staff leaned over the barricade to pour water into the mouths of soaked fans near the front of the stage, who somehow kept grooving.
The man himself didn't talk much. Bassnectar fiddled with buttons in the shadows, letting his eye- and ear-popping sound, lights and video communicate with fans. (Video projections ranged from floating clouds to a self-twisting Rubik's Cube.) Buried underneath his navel-length hair, Bassnectar wound through favorites such as "Bass Head" and "Ping Pong," mixing influences ranging from hip-hop to Pennywise. He had a firm command of set pacing, climax and bowel-rearranging wobbles, but there's no getting around one fact: The bass barrage was fatiguing. That's what fans want.
Anyone who didn't wear earplugs — tons of people — was certifiably insane. I've never experienced the sort of earth-quaking, belly-fat-shaking bass generated at this show. Forget that ringing in your ears; check for internal hemorrhaging this morning.