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Review: Bassnectar brings dubstep beats to packed Jannus Live in St. Petersburg



St. Petersburg came alive Sunday night at a sold-out Jannus Live when Bassnectar (a.k.a. Lorin Ashton) took the stage and laid out his sick, gut-wrenching dubstep and electronic mixes.

Ashton is a freeform electronic music and dubstep artist, currently touring the country on the Divergent Spectrum Tour and delivering an unforgettable show at every stop. He is known for his insane live performances, a generous mix of in-your-face light shows and music that makes your body quiver.

His music style is an eclectic mix that combines mainstream music with underground dubs, including the famous "wobble" bass associated with the genre. He includes multiple techniques of composition, such as unsuspected shifts in meter and drops into half-timings, plus multiple layers of rappers, singers and assorted vocal samples pitch-shifted and time-stretched. He describes it as "an amalgamation of every sound I've ever heard, mixed with ultra wicked basslines."

Never in my 22 years have I seen Jannus this packed, especially for an electronic show. Tickets were gone two weeks ago. Clumps of people huddled outside, begging for tickets. Inside, bodies were packed together from the stage all the way to the back. Memories of Ultra Music Festival flooded my brain. I saw a penguin, a giant hand, bright colored tutus, and an ocean of glow sticks. Clearly this genre is taking off. Skrillex's show at The Ritz in Ybor (December 16) sold out weeks ago. Ultra Music Festival early bird tickets sold out in a couple hours.

Bassnectar took the stage at Jannus with his super long black hair flowing in the cool breeze. At first glance I would have expected him to be in a metal band. As soon as he started his first song, the crowd went nuts, and this guy did not hold back. The bass shook the foundation of Jannus, and at some points drowned out the rest of the song.

The stage had two tall, skinny LCD screens, one big one in the back, and of course one on the DJ table. Flashes of color and animations swirled in the background, while lasers of strobes dizzied the crowd. He dished out some of his big hits, like Upside Down, his remix of Ellie Goulding's Lights, and The Matrix. Every song had incredible drops that electrified the crowd.

I loved to watch him onstage as he jammed out and gave us a couple "rock on" hand symbols. He mixed elements of rock, rap, and pop. He seamlessly combines different styles of music into one enhanced song. I think that is why electronic music is getting so huge. The combination of genres is bringing lovers of each style together into one group. Rockers and rappers can find common ground in almost any electronic song.

Bassnectar released Divergent Spectrum in August of 2011. Get your copy on iTunes now.

-- Kate Cillian, tbt*

[Last modified: Monday, October 24, 2011 12:58pm]


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