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After the experience at Allgood, I knew I must see Bassnectar again. As soon as his later tour dates we're announced, we we're thrilled to find out that he was coming to DC. I went with a group of 5 or 6 friends. I accepted to be one of the drivers to get us to the greenbelt metro station. We arrived in DC hours before the show. The walk from the station to the Rock and Roll Hotel was a couple miles, but we decided to eat first. After filling up on a bowl of chili and some handmade pretzels, we set off deep into DC. The historic bulidings quickly faded from view, and boarded up shops and houses appoached us as we neared the venue. We finally found the place a half hour later only to find the doors wouldn't open for another 2 hours, so we killed some time at a bar a couple of blocks down. 20 minutes till doors, we're standing outside, meeting all sorts of interesting people. Never had I been to a show like this before. An underground rave...I was excited. Once insiude, there was a half hour wait or so before the first dj took the stage. We went upstairs and chilled in what would be later, reserved party rooms. We walked around the upstairs bar scene taking everything in. Hopefully we would find some rolls or maybe some molly if lucky. I traveled downstaris to get ready for act one. The room was small, couldn't have been much larger than the average McDonalds minus the kithcen. The first dude up appeared to be 16 y/old. His beats we're cool, but they we'rent anything special, and certainly not danceable. His set ended and I noticed my friends we'rent there by my side anymore. The second act was taking the stage. Beats Antique. This music was much better. Raw urban beats, and a bellydancer on stage halfway through earned respect. She was dressed in a beautiful sequence outfit that jingled. It was sometime around this point of the night that I found it. Finally, I come across another raver who's got the party favors. I bought 7 hits of LSD from this guy, rip off 2 for my friend Mandy, and ate the remaining 5. Towards the end of the second set, the 2 artists threw on masks. One was a polar bear, the other was a mad scientist. I remember thinking, "Damn, this is trippy...". They ended with the crowds approval, but it was time...these people we're rerady to get mind fucked. Bassnectar jumps on stage, his hair knotted back, excited as we we're. He starts slow, but its bumpin. The acid starts to take affect by this point, and I am engaging in whats about to be a wicked awesome show. Like at Allgood, he starts mixing his beats with covers. However instead of the hippie jam covers at Allgood, he interprets his music with 90's alternative and newer hip/hop sensations. Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, and that catchy song titled "Paper Planes" by M.I.A. are just a few that come to mind. I was dancing like I never danced before. The acid, coursing through me, moving me in ways I never thought possible. I remember looking up and having a cliche movie trip moment where everything slowed down, my vision was wavy, and my thoughts we're scrambled. I was lost in the music and I couldn't stop. The changing of time signatures, the thumping of the sub, and the complete randomness of Bassnectar's style had me convinced. I was hungry for more, and more I got. Bassnectar raged on for nearly 3 hours, twisitng me deeper into the scene. He ended on a climatic note. The last minute of the show was insane. The progessivness of his music got heavier an heavier, building up to one great finish. Right before the climax, the 2 djs from Beats Antique come out on stage with another character, all in full costume. The polar bear and mad scientist masks were on and, the additional person was dressed in a chicken outfit. I remember thinking to myself, "This has got be the craziest thing I've ever been a part of". On the beat that pushed us over the top, every person in this place was jumping as high as they could, bouncing off of eachother, falling down and getting right back up. Nobody was even dancing by this point, it was more or less one giant mosh pit. Finally it ended. The floor was slippery from all the spilled drinks, trash was everywhere. I saw a few people throw up from raging out too hard. The empty streets of DC quickly became the scene of what was probably close to 100 people. It was chaotic as all hell. The difference from a hot, sweaty, dance room, to the streets where the temperature dropped to a freezing 30 degrees was alot for my mind to take. Then the group I was with noticed that we only had a half hour to get to the metro station before it closed, and we would be stuck in DC. After what I thought was a fun walk to the metro, we make it to the station just in time to board the last train. We hopped on and to our displeasure noticed about 4 or 5 cops up front. A little sketchy, but then again, this is the DC metro at 3 am. We made it back to the Greenbelt station with no problems. Finally arriving at the parked cars, we noticed that only one of us was sober enough to drive, and she couldnt drive stick. So at a desperate attempt, I drove my car back from Greenbelt, to Reisterstown. Our friend who was sober was to ride shotgun, and let me know if my driving became too dangerous. But lucky for us, I stayed in the lanes, maintained my speed, and got us home in one piece. Never had I ever felty more insecure about driving, but at least we made it back. To end the night, we put on the doors movie and tried to pass out. Of course nobody slept, but I didn't mind. My mind was still disbelieving the greatness of the show we just encountered. Bassnectar just earned him a fan for life.
Thu 8/20/2009 7:44 PM
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