When it comes to electronic dance music, there are two typical camps.
People who get it. And people no longer in their teens and 20s.
Inexplicably, I do enjoy EDM. Not all of it — some of it. Perhaps that means I only get EDM on a superficial level. If some scenester wants to beat me up with that argument, I’ll accept that.
On that note, I was seeking next-level enlightenment — a revelation at the Revolution Center — when DJ-producer Bassnectar performed for about 1,800 fans Oct. 25 in Garden City. It’s the biggest EDM show that has ever visited Idaho.
What I got was more akin to a bowel cleansing.
I’ve been to cranium-crushing concerts. I have held my face inches away from the P.A. during a Slayer show — blissfully, mind you. (And earplugs intact much of the time.)
But Bassnectar’s low-frequency, organs-rearranging dance bonanza was new to me.
Bassnectar doesn’t use the speakers supplied by the concert venue. He brings his own.
The lord of “bass music” rolled into the Revolution Center with three semi-trucks worth of audio-video equipment. Based on sound, all but a wheelbarrow of that went into the dozens of subwoofers arranged in refrigerator-sized war formations.
I absorbed the initial booms while shooting photos in front of the barricade. Pummeled by the beats and wobbles, security staffers next to me looked like they wanted to collapse.
My camera shook.
My liver vibrated.
If you were standing outside the show before it started, you might have noticed that workers had taped an exterior light so it wouldn’t fall right off the building during sound check.
Inside, after Bassnectar’s set started, a framed Collective Soul poster rattled off a wall and shattered.
I crammed my hearing protection further in and marveled at the fans dancing — eyes closed, ears open.
Bassnectar’s audience — young, friendly, sweating profusely in the boiling-hot haze — thrived on the rippling bass. This sort of fatiguing body-slam is what they crave. Sensing the audience’s physical limitations, Bassnectar deftly weaved the intensity up and down throughout the show.
There are plenty of things in life I do not get: Coldplay. Parrotheads. Chick-fil-A. Skiing instead of snowboarding.
I do get Bassnectar. I like a couple of his recorded songs enough to listen to them repeatedly in my free time, particularly an ingenious tune called “Ping Pong.”
But, after this experience, I admit it: While I get Bassnectar, I do not get into Bassnectar — at least not live Bassnectar. At least not until my spleen stops aching.
I know it’s Sunday, but I can imagine somebody in the RevCenter working right now with a cordless screwdriver, retightening every light fixture, wall decoration and toilet-paper holder in the place.
Æ For photos from Bassnectar’s show — including the abused Collective Soul poster (hey, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving band) — check my “Words & Deeds” blog.
Æ The Don Williams show slated for Oct. 29 at the Morrison Center has been postponed until April 19, 2013. Williams, 73, has fallen ill, according to the promoter.
Æ On the way and definitely worth seeing: Mr. Gnome, Nov. 1, Red Room; Titus Andronicus, Nov. 17, Neurolux; The Sword, Dec. 6, Neurolux.
MUSIC ON AXS TV
If you’re a satellite TV subscriber, you probably noticed that the HDNet channel was rebranded as AXS TV in July. This means less mindless “Girls Gone Wild” drivel and more quality music programming.
AXS TV will broadcast a live concert by prog-jam band Umphrey’s McGee on Halloween night. (And by live, I mean it’s actually right-then-live.)
Check your programming guide for other concerts. (I couldn’t help but DVR a concert by The Darkness last week.)
TONIGHT IN ‘THE OTHER STUDIO’
Co-host Tim Johnstone and I will play new music from Taylor Swift, Gary Clark Jr., Titus Andronicus and more, plus celebrate Halloween early.
“The Other Studio” airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.
IN SCENE MAGAZINE NOV. 2
Æ “Wreck-It Ralph” hits theaters.
Æ Patrick Orr gives away some very expensive beer.
Æ Ballet Idaho performs George Balanchine’s full-length “Serenade.”
Michael Deeds’ column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.