Concert review: Bassnectar at Jannus Live, St. Petersburg

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click to enlarge Concert review: Bassnectar at Jannus Live, St. Petersburg - Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson
Concert review: Bassnectar at Jannus Live, St. Petersburg

What happened in the past year? Electronic dance music is at a juncture where Korn and dustup poster boy Skrillex have an amazingly terrible hybrid of a single on the airwaves, Diplo's producing tracks for the likes of Chris Brown and Beyonce, and Bassnectar sells out Jannus Live … on a Sunday night. [Text by Andrew, photos by Mike.]

In a live setting, the appeal is immediate. The 'Nectar's bass drops started within minutes of me walking in and I felt them deep in my chest, vibrating all the way to Jannus' far-back bar like a tingly sonic earthquake. LCD screens lining the booth and stage pumped out a stream of enough tripped-out visuals to sweep anyone dosed on enough hallucinogens (surely, a few) into the astral realm. Between this and the dozens packed together tight and decked out in glowing party favors (finger lights, brah), it was easy to forget I'm supposed to give a detailed report of the actual performance, or maybe this whole thing is part of Bassnectar's 'performance' in an indirect kind of way.

As a presence, he does all a DJ can really do behind a massive board of knobs and screens. From far away, nestled in a comfy pit of writhing, sweaty skin (self included), Bassnectar looked pretty amped to be there. He could've easily played the "nose deep in my instrumentation, let the tunes grab the attention" bit, but the exuberance he showed went a long way, hair-flailing, fist raising, and all.

Composition-wise, he made sure there was never a lull. 'Nectar pumped out a rabid animal of a set venturing to all corners of the spectrum, from breakneck and frenetic to mollasses-slow and dubby. The tasteful use of vocal sampling was an intriguing touch too - "Basshead" mashed with Jay-Z's "Izzo," a fantastic remix of Eliie Goulding's "Lights" and T.I.'s "What You Know" thrown somewhere in there.

Yeah, maybe Bassnectar, or any EDM forerunner for that matter, isn't some fret-blazing virtuoso or a timeless musical poet, but what the fuck ever. He creates music that moves; maybe not in some deep, spiritual way, but it moves. Call it junk, audible candy, whatever. The sugar rush is fun. Now I'm hungry.

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