Featured photo by: Don Idio
“You can’t describe a Bassnectar event, you just have to experience it for yourself.”
This is a phrase I have heard about Bassnectar and his famous curated events for years. I know the king of bass throws down heavily; my first EDM show was Bassnectar at Red Rocks in 2012 (RIP to an era). I have heard these words spoken about other events and festivals, but they never truly resonated until this last weekend.
Freestyle Sessions turned into a freestyle weekend after the abrupt announcement that the 1st Bank Center would not be reopening their doors after night one. The news was a complete shock to everyone, as the first night was the starting masterpiece to this incredibly hyped up weekend. Panic hit social media as fans questioned and worried about the remainder of the curated event.
Despite receiving, potentially, one of the worst-case scenario news, within 5 hours- yes 5 hours, you read that correctly- the Bassnectar team announced they found a suitable venue, the Denver Coliseum, for the 10,000 attendants. The Freestyle weekend was most definitely not over yet.
“Get ready for a deep sonic journey Sunday night as we come together to celebrate music and our amazing community… Likely no video or lights, we are just gonna go deep deep deep…” No one had any real clue what to expect for Sunday night, just that this was clearly going to be one of the most memorable Bassnectar nights for all in attendance.
The Freestyle Party was exactly that.
The energy outside the Denver Coliseum as the lines piled up was magnetic. Every person in line was in the highest of spirits, still in a surreal disbelief that Bassnectar and his entire team managed to pull off the impossible and unthinkable. When the bass started rumbling from sound check, we all knew we were in for something truly legendary.
To be honest, I’m still gathering my thoughts on what we experienced. As our crew walked into the Coliseum to a low rumble of bass with about ten lasers strobing from the stage, the anticipation was just skyrocketing. The best way to describe the beginning atmosphere of the Denver Coliseum was a deep, bass warehouse party. We were immersed in the dark sounds of Thelem and Phutureprimitive to start off the Freestyle Party. Their heavy, lo-fi style sets were the perfect beginning flow to get the night going ‘‘deep deep deep’. Shades did not disappoint in the slightest either. Shades was definitely my most anticipated opening set, but before we knew it, the lights started to dim and we all knew, yet had no idea, what was happening next.
For the next two and a half hours we were immersed in a melting laser and bass Freestyle show, conducted by Bassnectar. It was an indescribable journey.
In my almost 10 years of attending events and festivals, getting my eardrums blasted (friendly reminder to always use ear protection at shows and festivals), I have never experienced a sound as heavy, yet clear, like Freestyle Party. No matter where you stood in the Coliseum, you could feel the bass in every part of your body. To be honest, I had to catch my breath a handful of times while raging because the bass was so intense; it took my breath away. I’m impressed that the Coliseum was still standing by the time the set ended, because I, most definitely, was not. I have to include this honorable mention of Bassnectar’s sound engineer, Kyle Pace. Clearly Bassnectar keeps earning his title as the king of bass, because the incredible quality and insanely loud levels of bass I heard this past weekend are unlike anything I have witnessed in my life. Still despite the fact that they had less than 24 hours to load out and load in from the 1st Bank Center to the Coliseum.
Also a very important piece of knowledge, Lorin played “Eyes on Fire” x “Timestretch”. That’s all.
I want to dedicate this article to all of Bassnectar’s team. It takes months to plan an event like Freestyle Party, yet they managed to pull off what they did in just 24 hours. Not to mention, about every other venue around the Denver area was booked or couldn’t fit 10,000 bassheads in their doors. Everything from the event efficiency, to the lasers and, most importantly, the brain-rattling bass, was perfect.
The amount of love given to the Bassnectar team was more than deserved and I hope they understand how truly grateful every single one of those 10,000 fans are. I can’t begin to fathom the thousands of steps it took to be able to pull of what they did. The team transcended every expectation and every obstacle they had to face within that 24 hour scramble. Being fully immersed in the Bassnectar community for three straight days was an eye-opening experience. After the rollercoaster of emotions with the 1st Bank Center shutting down after the first night, the fan base energy on Sunday night was absolutely electrifying. Everyone was just so grateful for the efforts of Bassnectar and his team, an appreciation that was felt throughout the entire show from start to finish. Throughout the event, fans were running up to the production booth overwhelmed with gratitude. The connection between the fans and the Bassnectar team is unlike any other fan base I’ve ever experienced. It’s beyond obvious that the Bassnectar team puts their heart and soul into every event to create memories that these fans will never forget; Freestyle Party being a night no one expected, yet seemed like it was just fated to happen.
Needless to say, I haven’t stopped listening to Bassnectar since I flew home from Denver. He is my most anticipated set to see at Electric Forest and I already have plans for Basscenter and 360.