REVIEW: Bassnectar – May 3 – The Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO

The Scene: The energetic group of ex-ravers, hipsters, and hippies and curious music fans by that gathered together at The Bluebird on Thursday night was quite the eccentric mix. There were loads of hip hats, wild piercings, barely clad dancers and even a full length glow in the dark fur coat. It was a wild scene with plenty of eye candy that really accentuated the party vibe that the DJs were trying to cultivate on a Thursday night. Props to the crowd for doing their part and stepping up to make this evening a delight. As anyone who has been to any kind of live music event knows, the energy of the crowd makes a huge difference in the vibe in the venue. Bassnectar acknowledged this on a couple of occasions during his set and commended the crowd for coming out on a Thursday night and getting down with him.

Opener: J-Boogie. I knew very little about J-Boogie before walking into The Bluebird the other night, but I did know a decent amount about Soul, Funk, Reggae and World Music and J-Boogie proceeded to school me anyway. His 90 minute DJ set incorporated a tribute to James Brown, a track from Sergio Mendez recent collaboration project with Will.i.am and the Marvin Gaye classic Sexual Healing while keeping the crowd on their toes and dancing.

Clad in white pants, shirt and hat, J-Boogie could have stepped off of the Boogie Nights set minutes before stepping out on stage. He really got the party rolling with the warm crackles of his old vinyl. While J-Boogie didn’t throw down the massive bass or quite the throbbing jungle beats the Bassnectar did, he got everyone to don their dancing shoes and warmed us all up very well. I’d go to a party thrown by this guy any day!

Bassnectar: Bassnectar chose his name wisely, as his music is drenched in some of the deepest most body shaking bass in the business. While he concentrates on throwing down the bass he doesn’t forget to throw a great party. Shortly after he took the stage the right side of the stage was taken over by 15 female dancers who came up out of the crowd to help with the party vibe. The stage was also occupied by several MC’s (including Souleye) who added vocals to Bassnectar’s tracks throughout the evening, and a digital artist who was working on a giant tablet and projecting his every move on a screen above the stage.

It was an aural and visual orgy of sorts with so many stimuli being received that you just had to let yourself go and enjoy it rather than try to understand it. When you let go, you felt your body begin to move to the densely layered beats and suddenly you understood why this guy has risen to the level of popularity that he has. His appeal in the Jamband, Hip-Hop, Electronic music scenes originally confused me but after seeing him live for the first time, it all began to make sense. His genre bending talents appeal to people who respect artists that know how to take control of an audience and make them feel a certain way. Bassnectar has this talent and while I would shy away if you really can’t take loud bass I would recommend the Bassnectar experience to just about anyone else.

Energy: A+
Sound: A-
Musicianship: B+
Stage Presence: A+
Set/Light Show: A

Overall: A

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Who Is Timothy Dwenger

Music has always been a part of my life. It probably all started listening to old Grateful Dead, Peter Paul & Mary, and Simon & Garfunkel records that my parents had, but it wasn't long before they were taking me to concerts like Starship, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Huey Lewis & The News. I got the bug to write about music after reviewing an Eric Clapton concert for a creative writing project in high school but didn't really take it up seriously until 2002. Since then I have published countless articles in The Marquee Magazine and done some work for Jambase.com, SPIN Magazine, and various other outlets. I started Listen Up Denver! as a way to share the music information that is constantly spilling out of my head with people who care. Please enjoy!