As a first time Basslights attendee and a DMV (Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia) native, I didn't really know what I was getting into when I made my way to Hampton, Virginia for the annual gathering of Bassheads dubbed Basslights. I had seen Bassnectar at HARD Day of the Dead but it was only a 45 minute set, making my initiation to the Bass Community pretty shortlived. The lineup for the first day of the two-day “Bassmas” celebration started off with Beats Antique, Exmag, Pretty Lights and of course Bassnectar. We got off to an early start, getting to the venue a few hours before the show to take part in the some of the most ridiculous and sought after Hotel shennanigans of the year.
After meeting up with the usual suspects when it comes to the Basshead community, the festival got off to a smooth start with the whole Exmag gang including Branx. The heady electronic collective decided to break it down and bring a clean funk set up to all of the East Coast Bassheads in attendance. I’ve gotten the chance to see Exmag a few times during 2014 but not in front of the 10,000 loyal ravers backing their funk filled tunes. Unfortunately their set got cut short due to technical difficulties but the band had the entire crowd vibing out to their well put together and instrumental heavy performance anyways. After their show, Owen and I grabbed a quick interview with them and got to kick it back stage in the green room.
Next thing I knew, Beats Antique brought in a gypsy filled, rave inspired marching band to the mix. This was was a seriously awe stricken musical experience that grabbed the attention of the entire coliseum while the group layed down some hard hitting beats, carried by Zoe Jakes marching bass drum and full band, creating all the best feels by hand.
As a long time Pretty Lights fan I thought I knew exactly what to expect from the electronic legend's set after seeing him perform more than enough times over the past few years. To my surprise, the sample heavy EDM pioneer hit Basslights with an all out venture through his vast collection of classic tracks that got the Bassheads on the PLM (Pretty Lights Music) side of the festival before Bassnectar took the stage. While Derek threw down his set with no help from a full band, the normal visual experience that you’d get your full dose of at a Pretty Lights show was amplified by the Mothership itself, due to the high ceilings in the coliseum.
Finally, just what the entire 10,000 plus, east coast based Basshead movement was waiting for began. Bassnectar made his appearance with an endless amount of pure, unadulterated BASS tunes. As the venue began to shake, so did each and every individual music lover in attendance which got to the point where if you simply put your hand on your chest to pledge allegiance to the bass community during Lorin's (Bassnectar) set, your entire body would be shaking. My favorite part of Bassnectars set was the fact that your either headbanging to some of the heaviest songs you could of even fathomed or just vibing out to the melodies created. This made Basslights a memorable experience for first time festival goers, general Electronic music lovers, and seasoned Bassheads alike.
Check out the full Day 1 gallery here.
Photos by Owen J.
Article written by Alex Dixon
Posted on Dec. 30, 2014