I am not a Basshead.
That being said though, I am not entirely opposed to experiencing new things, so I thought I’d give an all-bass music festival a shot. A friend of mine had an extra ticket (bless his soul) and offered it to me.
When I looked into the history of bass music, I found that it derived from drum and bass roots, and soon grew to include dubstep and other bass-heavy genres. I like drum and bass, and the occasional dubstep song, so I thought it would be interesting to venture out into new territory.
The line to get in was relatively easy. A petite, Asian girl accidentally scratched my arm with her long-ass pink nails as she patted me down, to my amusement.
“Oops! I’m so sorry!” She gasped, flustered.
“No worries,” I grinned back, “I know how lethal girls’ nails can get.”
They didn’t confiscate anything of mine, so that was nice. I’d been to Rawhide quite a few times now though, so I knew what to expect. No lip balm, no gum (unless they were sealed). In the corner of my eye, I could see a girl arguing with security over not being able to bring her face mask in, which I thought was a pity. I wondered why they had a ‘no face masks’ rule this time.
The minute I got into the event, I felt a teensy bit overwhelmed. There seemed to be just swarms of people everywhere. I’m a petite 5’1 girl (5’2 on a big hair day) so I felt like a tiny speck in a sea of ants. Everyone also looked kinda young, and I felt old. I know I look young (Thank them Asian genes), but I’m in my mid-twenties, and everyone around me seemed like 18+.
There was only one stage for Bassrush and it was inside a large warehouse. The minute I stepped in, a wave of heat hit me in the face. It was just SO packed with people. In the photo below, you can see the large amount of people present. It was packed to capacity.
Being of small stature, I had no wish to be in the front, and so, was content to be at the back for a majority of the festival. Every so often though, I would have to go outside to get some fresh air.
Something I love about festivals is people-watching. You get to see the most interesting of outfits. The girls especially—there were butts galore; girls clad in fishnets, pleather, you name it. And the makeup! Honestly, rave makeup gives me life. Lots of glitter, and sparkles everywhere. If I had a dime for every face with glitter, I’d be rich, I thought.
YASS GIRLS, SLAYYY! I thought.
A guy clad in a full-red flesh bodysuit (I mean from head to toe, with no eye, nose or mouth cutouts) had me in awe. How do you not die of sweat and heat inside that suit? I wondered to myself. I shook my head. Some people are truly dedicated when it comes to rave wear, and that, in itself, is truly admirable.
On the grassy lawn outside, lots of people were milling around. There was a food stall, and a drinks bar, while merchandise and another bar were inside the warehouse. I didn’t see many food options: pizza, and chicken tenders were what I recall was on the menu. Being Asian, I did wish there were some Asian food options: perhaps some fried rice or Korean fried chicken? Nonetheless, the smell of food in the air made my tummy growl with hunger, so my friend and I decided to tuck into some delicious chicken tenders and French fries.
There were a lot of people, who I felt, like me, were probably overwhelmed by the amount of people and the heat in the warehouse. Many were laying down on the grass, some just enjoying the snippets of music that wafted out of the warehouse. Guys and girls huddled in little groups on the grass, chatting among themselves. At the back of the warehouse, many were sitting down too as they listened to the music. The air inside felt muggy and sticky.
I’d like to give a massive shoutout to the Relentless Rangers, who were clad in green and were brandishing spray bottles filled with water. They always do such a good job at taking care of the participants at every RB event.
The artists I managed to see were G Jones, NGMTMRE, and Zed’s Dead. G Jones was okay, he seemed very experimental, but I didn’t think he was bad. Some tracks he played were pretty cool, and I liked his use of various sound effects in his tracks. NGHTMRE was next, and he was a little too heavy for my taste. Around me, headbangers around me were clearly in their element as they whipped their hair back and forth (Points to you if you got my Willow Smith song reference).
The sound at the back of the warehouse seemed a bit spotty and a little underwhelming for me, but I also have old lady ears and therefore was thankful for that fact. Pro tip: earplugs save lives. I try to always bring a pair to every show to preserve my hearing in the long run. Can I just say though: the Bassrush production team this year ABSOLUTELY SLAYED IT. The amount of lasers in the room blew my mind, even with my being more or less relatively sober the whole night. I’ve attached some astounding photos below that Tony Cottrell managed to take up on a crane. Production-wise, this event was probably one of the best I’d seen.
And now, on to the highlight of my night: Zed’s Dead. They were amazing! They cleverly and masterfully mixed lots of old songs with new tracks and great dubstep mixes. I was honestly super impressed. When I was fresh in the EDM scene, I’d thought Zedd and Zed’s Dead were the same artist (Idk why lmao) but when I found out how different those artists were, I had quite a shock! Haha. This dynamic duo mixed some classic tracks like Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and even The Beatles’ song ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and many more. They managed to combine the old and the new in a effortless way that would have delighted any headbanger out there. And that, in itself, was true talent.
My take from Basssrush Massive Arizona 2018: In all honesty, you probably won’t find me at another all-bass music festival ever again. That being said, I loved the vibes and enthusiasm in the air. Everyone was so hype and it made me feel like I was part of an electrifying ball of energy. Even the heat and the packed warehouse didn’t dampen any spirits, which I loved and appreciated. Zed’s Dead pleasantly surprised me, while the production quality of the whole show was a stunning display of lasers, lights and dope visuals.
All photos copyright to Tony Cottrell Photography
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About the author:
Singer at Drip Drop Records. Writer/Editor for Rave Hard Radio.
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