MOKB, A Squared Industries and the Vogue had a lot riding on last night's Bassnectar/Major Lazer tour stop. Expectations were high for the event among the tried-and-true electronic music crowd, and many wondered how a show of this nature would translate to the more casual fans that have been frequenting Indianapolis' larger club events, or how the festival-seasoned acts would translate to the smaller venue.
A sparse stage with two DJ stations awash in blue stage lighting and strategically placed tarps hinted at the spectacle to follow. A short word on the sound system: outrageous. The Vogue's normal sound system for their dance nights more than adequately fills the space. This tour added additional sound, including 12 subwoofers lining the front of the stage. During sound check, the bass could be felt outside on the sidewalk, yet another hint of things to come.
DJ Vadim started the evening to a slowly filling room. A lively mix of half-step, hip hop, mash-ups and dub reggae set the tone for the rest of the evening. The volume began to noticeably increase as Vadim drove forward to the peak of his set, and the dance floor went from sparse to standing room only in what seemed like an instant.
Major Lazer followed up with Wes Diplo arriving on stage nattily dressed in suit and tie. A short speaker workout and the proclamation 'lets fire up the lasers', and Diplo began to work the audio controls, pushing out baile funk, dub reggae and mutant strains of house and breakbeat. The venue lit up with enough laser power to knock out a guided missile - reds, greens, blues and yellows carving swaths through the darkened hall. MC Skerrit Bwoy joined Diplo on stage and, if it can be believed, things got crazier, culminating in a near-pantsless stage-dive from the top of a 10-foot ladder by Skerritt Bwoy and a re-enactment of the ladder-dive stunt from Major Lazer's "Pon De Floor" video. All in all, one of the most entertaining electronica live shows to take place in Indy.
Bassnectar took the stage after a short set change, ready to put the crowd and the insane sound system through their paces. Lights and sound were in "goes-to-eleven" mode. Incredibly, the crowd found a reserve tank of energy and at times it felt like they would take the room apart. The lively set featured material from the recently released "Timestretch EP" and his latest long-player "Cozza Frenzy" as well as unreleased and mashup tracks from the back of his record bag. Highlights included his Pixies "Where Is My Mind?" bootleg, the title cut from "Cozza Frenzy, and the new internet release "Magical World" featuring Nelly Furtado.
Though the show ended at a reasonable 1am, party-goers weren't ready to slow their roll and headed to lively after-parties at the Egyptian hookah bar and The Red Room, both of which were "completely bonkers" according to patrons seen leaving both events.
Kudos to the Vogue, A Squared and MOKB for doing it large.