Category Archives: Concerts & Music

Bassnectar Electrifies Fans During Back to Back Sold Out Shows at The Factory

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If Bassnectar drops bass in your face then Philadelphia must be two faced. That’s because the god-father of bass music opened the month of May with not one, but two sold out shows on back to back nights at the Electric Factory.

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To his intensely loyal fan-base, Bassnectar is more than just a performer, he is a way of life. Much like Dead-Heads went on tour across the country following the Grateful Dead, Bass-Heads trek far and wide to get as much of Lorin Ashton as their minds, bodies, and wallets will allow.

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The Bassnectar family is a community of people that look out for one another and those in need, evidenced by the two night clothing drive that took place outside of the Electric Factory. Fans were encouraged to donate items which were then provided to the less fortunate members of Philadelphia.

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As further proof of Ashton’s respect for his fans and their well being, all concert-goers were permitted to bring a sealed bottle of water into the show to aid in their hydration. Once inside, water was also for sale but numerous free-bottles were also given away through-out the night by the Bass Ambassadors working at the show.

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Once you factor in that his DJ and production skills are out of this world, his lighting and visuals are are a show in and of themselves, and that he routinely plays for well over two hours per event, it’s easy to see why he was one of the top three ticket selling DJs in 2012 (along with Tiesto and Deadmau5) topping out near a quarter million tickets sold.

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Having seen Bassnectar numerous times, interviewing him at Ultra Music Festival 2012, and being admittedly big fans of his large music catalog, we were excited for the double dip of bass to kick off the month in style.

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The first show, on Wednesday May 1st was sold out weeks before the doors opened to fans at 7pm.

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The opening set of the night was given to Thiftworks. The California based DJ with ties to our area did a nice job of setting the stage the for the rest of the evening. It would be unfair to say that he warmed the crowd up as the audience members were already hot with anticipation before they even set foot inside the venue.

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Up next was Detroit”s Griz who seems to be everywhere these days. We had to chance to catch him at SnowBall Music Festival back in March and were anxious to see him again on our home turf. With the venue already packed, Griz took over around 9pm and showed why he is a heavy-hitter in his own right.

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His soulful, funk-infused bass sounds had the Electric Factory charged up and going hard. He’ll be making the rounds across the U.S. this summer and we highly suggest checking out his set if you have the chance.

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Just after 10pm, with numerous Bassnectar logos already emblazoned on the gigantic digital wall behind the turntables, Bassnectar hit the stage with the image of a huge fluffy puppy on the screen behind him.

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Playing his signature mixture of hip-hop, rock, and just about everything-else infused bass music, Bassnectar took Philadelphia on a journey into the far reaches of euphoria and sanity.

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To say that the Bass-Heads lost their minds for the next two and a half hours would be putting it lightly, very lightly.

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With the Electric Factory so packed that it was nearly impossible to move throughout the balcony, let alone the main floor below, the night became one big, hot, sweaty, head-banging affair.

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Night two, on Thursday, May 2nd, had many similarities to night one but several differences as well. Griz was replaced by Michal Menert, who rocked the mic as well as the decks.

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Night two also had a “Red, White, and Blue” theme and fans came out adorned in patriotic gear and sporting patriotic Bassnectar totems.

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Because Bassnectar has such a strong following, he wouldn’t disrespect his fans by playing the same set two nights in a row. Yes, there are some elements that carry over from one night to another, especially his signature hits, but everything from the track selection to the visuals were unique to each show.

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Once again on night two he played for more than two hours, in which the audience, energized by every single bass drop, returned the vibe ten fold. Even those few people we spoke with who had been dragged to the show by their friends, admitted that by the end of the evening that they were full Bassnectar converts.

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There is just something about the man, his fans, and the way everything comes together at his shows (especially the smaller venue performances as opposed to larger festival ones) to form a magical experience that will make a fan and a believer out of almost anyone.

Don’t take our word for it. When he comes to your town, grab your friends, grab a ticket, and go experience Bassnectar for yourself.

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[photo credit: Steve Garfinkel Photography & D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view a ton of additional photos from both nights below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

 

 

 

 

 

Flying Lotus Has Fans Flying High at Union Transfer

Those lucky enough to get a ticket to the sold-out Flying Lotus show on Friday night can rest assured that they not only got their money’s worth, but witnessed one of the better shows to come through Philly in quit some time.

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In the midst of his North American Tour, the Los Angeles based producer hit Philly after performing in Washington DC, and just before he performed in New York City.  Tickets to the show, which was the second sold out show of the night at Union Transfer, sold out over a week in advance.  With the doors scheduled to open at 1030pm, fans were lined up far down Spring Garden and even around the corner come 10pm.

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After a late start letting concert goers inside, the venue was  filled to capacity by 1130pm.  Thundercat, who is opening most of the shows on Flying Lotus’s tour, was just starting his performance. Thundercat’s debut album, “The Golden Age of Apocalypse”, was produced by Flying Lotus, and he was accompanied on stage by a drummer and pianist.

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Thundercat, rocking a hat backwards with three foot feathers sticking out of it, handled the stage with the look of a man in complete control.  His talents as a bassist and vocalist were on full display during his opening performance.  His music ranged widely from being very chill to very up beat.  We knew that even after the opening performance ended, we would see Thundercat again, so we were not too disappointed when the opening act “ended”, especially considering Flying Lotus was about to come on.

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After a brief pause to set up the stage, Flying Lotus walked out on stage, went up to the crowd with mic in hand, and said, “y’all sold this motha fucka out….”, which brought loud cheers from the crowd – “and now, we’re gonna burn this motha fucka down to the ground” – this brought even more cheers, as Flying Lotus ran back behind the DJ booth and started his performance.

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As he was positioned between two different projector screens, the crowd was only able to see a silhouette of Flying Lotus, except when he came out from the DJ booth for the songs in which he rapped.  FlyLo played an energetic set that featured a wide range of music styles, such as trap, hip-hop/rap, and experimental EDM.

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 The trap influences were easy to detect, but the crowd did not seem to care what song he was playing, enjoying each and every one.  Some of our favorites of the night were the Beastie Boys hit, Intergalactic Planetary, as well as a remix of the Kanye West / Good Music song Mercy.

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The crowd went especially nuts when FlyLo got on the mic and asked, “Ya’ll know my dude Earl Sweatshirt, right??” – yes, we do, and so did the crowd.  FlyLo then dropped Between Friends, came out from behind the booth, and with a cartoon projection of Earl Sweatshirt on the screen behind him, rapped the 2nd verse of the hit song.

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Before we knew it, and apparently before FlyLo knew it too, 2AM rolled around. Flying Lotus got on the mic, looked off at the side of the stage, and said, “really, shit, I’m cut off?”.  Knowing he had just a few more minutes left, he faced the crowd, asked what every performer asks if they want a good response – “who’s fucked up here tonight?”, and then dropped his last song of the night to a roar of cheers.

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For his final two songs of the evening, Flying Lotus brought out Thundercat and played “Bonus”, from Thundercat’s upcoming album, as well as a track the two have collaborated on, “MmmHmm”.

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[Photo credit: Steve Garfinkel]

You can view the entire set list and an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

Jim James Performs for a Sold-Out T-Shirt Clad Crowd at Union Transfer

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The weather was nice and warm in Philly on Saturday, April 27th. Sunny and in the mid-70’s for the better part of the day, many Philadelphians ditched their morning jackets and long pants and spent the day outside enjoying the spring temps in t-shirts, shorts, and skirts.

When evening rolled around, the mercury was running high along with expectations for the sold-out Jim James show at Union Transfer.

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Best known as the front man for critically acclaimed rock band “My Morning Jacket”, James recently released a solo album “Regions of Light and Sound of God” this past February. His tour, which kicked off April 17th in Louisville, KY has been selling out venues left and right, and has at least five upcoming shows in May that are already sold-out as well.

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The doors opened at Union Transfer an hour before the show began so there was already a good sized crowd on hand when opening act “Cold Specks” hit the stage at 9pm.

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Cold Specks, fronted by English songstress Al Spx, has a truly unique sound that incorporates numerous musical elements, not often seen, or heard, together.

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Spx, dressed in a long black cape, looks the part of a goth performer but Cold Specks is much more than a pure goth rock outfit. Despite hailing from the UK, their sound combines the darker goth aspect with touches of southern gospel. The closest thing we can compare it to (for those of you who crave comparison) is PJ Harvey. Their choice of backing instruments is also anything but mundane and included a baritone sax and bass clarinet.

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Spx concluded their set alone on stage, draped in her cape and darkness, she sang a haunting tune that echoed throughout the high ceilings of Union Transfer.

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After a short break for a stage change, Jim James hit the stage with his band to a roar of cheers, opening with “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” , the first track off of his latest CD.

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James energy on stage was undeniably higher than we’d been expecting. He moved about constantly, playing guitar and sax, singing, headbanging, and engaging the audience at every turn.

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By the fourth song, it became clear to us that he was going to play “Regions of Light and Sound of God” in its entirety. When the nine songs from the album were complete, many of which have a Radiohead-like quality to them, James and the band left the stage but quickly returned for a seven song encore that included two “My Morning Jacket” songs and several covers.

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The sold-out crowd that packed the main floor of the venue and the balcony above, loved every minute of it. With warm receptions like that, James should be able to continue to play whenever he sees fit without My Morning Jacket.

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[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view the entire set list and an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

 SET LIST:

State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)

Know Til Now

Dear One

A New Life

Exploding

Of the Mother Again

Actress

All Is Forgiven

God’s Love to Deliver

Encore:

Bermuda Highway

(My Morning Jacket)

Wonderful (The Way I Feel)

(My Morning Jacket)

Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)

(Monsters of Folk cover)

His Master’s Voice

(Monsters of Folk cover)

The Right Place

(Monsters of Folk cover)

Losin Yo Head

(Monsters of Folk cover)

Changing World

(New Multitudes cover)

Fans Get Slightly Stoopid on 420 at Red Rocks

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If we were to try to sum up Red Rock Amphitheater in Colorado in a single word it would simply be “breathtaking”. Our most recent trip to the magnificent outdoor venue took place on April 20th for a sold-out show with Slightly Stoopid (featuring Karl Denson), Cypress Hill, and Tribal Seeds.

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We arrived at the venue fresh from the airport and the genuine personalities of the Denver crowd quickly became apparent. We met locals who
welcomed us into their tailgate, thrilled that we had made this trek to the Rocks. Everyone we came across had the same happy reaction as they tried to describe what we were about to experience that night.

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The climb up the mountain to the Red Rocks entrance is an event in itself. The hike made us acutely aware of our physical prowess and hearing the bass echoing from the amphitheater all the way from the parking lot kept our feet moving.

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We eventually made our way into the venue and explored during Tribal Seed’s late afternoon set. We felt like little kids at Disneyland, adventuring around to see the attractions. There was a great variety of food and drink vendors dispersed throughout the venue to discover. In case you were wondering, the nachos were on point.

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We posted up at different vantage points as we made our way through the crowd. Whether you were watching the band jamming om the stage, the light projections onto the rocks beside you, or turning around to glance at the rising crowd above, every angle offered a remarkable view.

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The view from the top of the venue is equally amazing as the one from the photo pit. From the top, the structure of the amphitheater can be fully visualized, as well as the beautiful Denver skyline behind the stage. The thousands of people surrounding you feel microscopic compared to the canyon rock reaching towards the sky beside you.

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The acoustics in the amphitheater are simply unparalleled. It sounds like you are beside the artists in their studio; the connection to their music was heightened as we were able to literally feel the sound pulsating on us. This is what music is supposed to sound like.

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Cypress Hill still knows how to put on one hell of a live performance. They played back-dropped by a beautiful sunset as the crowd participated in constant sing-alongs to Cypress Hill’s classics. DJ Muggs and Bobo Correa performed a wild scratch and bongo solo that sent crisp echos into the mountains. It was great to get our hip-hop fix as they rapped into nighttime.

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Finally, a smoking skull was projected on the rocks and the Slightly Stoopid crew rolled up on stage in a hot-boxed van. It was, after all, 4/20.

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Miles Doughty screamed “COLORADOOOO” into the mic about 100 times that night, but the first time sent shivers
down our spines as his voice echoed all around us.

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C-Money fist pumped with his trumpet in between songs and the serenading saxophone was continuously harmonizing with the band, keeping our heads bobbing to the rhythm.

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The atmosphere in the crowd was obviously appropriate for the “holiday”, in a state that recently legalized marijuana. A fog of smoke rose constantly from the audience, sitting above everyone’s heads like ghostly halos.

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It was a magical experience all around and one we will not soon forget. For those in Philadelphia looking to get Slightly Stoopid, their “Kicking Up Dust” summer tour will be rolling into Philly on August 10th to play the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing with Atmosphere and The Budos Band. Tickets are on sale now.

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[Photo credit: Mike Martinoli]

You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

The Blockley Plays Witness to The Miracles of Space Jesus

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One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind… just another fucking day on the job for the prodigal son of EDM.

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Space Jesus in the brain child of Philadelphia based producer Jasha Tull. He developed a strong following in the area for with the release of his “Space Jesus” EP in 2011 and his follow up “PLANiTS” had fans from coast to coast drinking the Space Jesus Kool-aid.

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Having already opened for such acts as Zeds Dead, Rusko, Big Gigantic, and a slew of others, it was time for Tull and his flowing locks of Jesus-like hair to take things to new interplanetary heights.

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On Wednesday, April 17th, he kicked off the Space Jesus Live tour at The Blockley in Philadelphia. The show, which has Space Jesus playing with a live bass player and drummer also featured sets from two other members of the Deathwaltz Media roster (Space Jesus’ artist management team), Greenhouse Lounge and Biodiesel.

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The show kicked off at 9pm with an extended set from Greenhouse Lounge. Although there weren’t too many people on hand in the early going, that didn’t stop Greenhouse Lounge from throwing down.

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The electro-funk trio from Florida combines a wide range of musical genres, pulling beats from the world of EDM and infusing it with live guitar, drums, and a smorgasbord of samples.

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Up next was Biodiesel who are quite literally a drum & bass duo who have been on our radar for the past year since we reviewed their “Two-One-Live” album (a live recording also from The Blockley) in April of 2012. Johnny Rabb is a crazy talented drummer and when you add in the live bass stylings of Clay Parnell, you have a the perfect recipe for some sweet ear candy.

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With fans both young and old anxiously awaiting, Space Jesus took the stage for his headlining performance and dropped some sick beats on The Blockley. In addition to his production and DJ skills, Space Jesus was quick to rock the mic to the delight of the crowd.

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With the live band in tow, Space Jesus made believers out of all in attendance. He may not have walked on water, he may not have walked on the moon, but he walked his way into our hearts. Be sure to catch the Space Jesus live tour, coming to a town near you. The next stop will be in Brooklyn, NY on Friday, April 19th.

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[photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view additional photos below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

Bass Nation Invades Soundgarden Hall with Crizzly, Xilent, and Ajapai

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Philly got a full dosage of bass on Friday, April 12th when Crizzly, Xilent, Ajapai, and Des McMahon hit Soundgarden Hall for Bass Nation.  The show featured support from locals Love City DJs and Jack Deezl, and was a great time from the moment the doors opened.

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After Jack Deezl and Love City DJs kicked off the night and warmed up the crowd, Ajapai hit the decks rocking a fedora…this may be a first for any DJ at Soundgarden Hall.

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The Japanese Dubstep maestro, Ajapai, put on an awesome set that, as one could guess, was filled with bass.  The crowd was left begging for more when Xilent came on following Ajapai.

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Rocking shades and blasting bass heavy tunes, Xilent picked up the pace and kept the crowd rocking.  Xilent did not disappoint and his fellow English countrymen would have been proud of his performance.

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The fans at SGH seemed to enjoy Xilent so much that the night could have ended with him.  We were very happy that it didn’t however, because we knew the best had yet to come.  Up next was Texas based Crizzly and his kilt wearing hype man.

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We have covered Crizzly numerous times (most recently at Snowball Music Festival and when he opened for EOTO at the TLA) and knew his set was going to be a blast.

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Crizzly mixed a wide variety of music and played everything from Missy Elliot remixes to a remix of “This is the Way We Ball”

Crizzly “Way We Ball”

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Crizzly’s hype man put on a show of his own. We believe another first happened at Soundgarden this night as he ran through the crowd and onto the balcony with the microphone, handing it off to people as he went by.

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The night got even wilder as people were brought onto the stage, cell phones we borrowed from the audience and used to film, and multiple crowd surfing rides went down.

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Crizzly showed Philly yet again that he is the real deal.  Bass Nation Philly was again the place to be and we can’t wait for the next one on Friday, April 26th at Soundgarden Hall featuring Bro Safari, Roksonix and many more.

Bass Nation Philly Ticket Info: http://bit.ly/YEIpuD

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[Photo credit: Steve Garfinkel Photography]

You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):