Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bass Works @ Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom (7/23/16) [Review]


Review By: Justin D'Amico

Photos By: Stetsen Colt Mathias

Saturday was one of the best concerts I have ever attended. The third annual Bass Works, put on by Rebudz and Reload Productions. This show brought together a huge line-up of hard hitting bass pushers. The ticket included Skism, Must Die!, Virtual Riot, Midnight Tyrannosaurus, Pogman, and also !Tyro. It was sold out and a line wrapped all the way around the building at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom leading up to doors opening. The place was electric all night and every performer came through with the fire.




The Masterpiece Ballroom was quickly filled up as those in line made their way inside. A custom stage setup was built in order to add visual effects to go with the music. The stage included three LED panel sections, two on the sides and one large wall in the center behind the booth. They were all linked together so images and designs could be displayed as a large wide single piece, or separated and used for three different images. On the sides the two LED panel walls were left open in their centers and inside the openings lasers were installed. The lasers created a river of light just above the crowd with the fields set to hit the areas between the main floor and the balcony. The graphics and laser operators did a great job adding a visual ascetic to enhance the booming mixes.


Promptly at eight o'clock !Tyro took the stage and he went right to work. This was not your typical opening set, and !Tyro is not your typical producer, he goes for the jugular every time! Heavy bass and only the most choice wubs will do in a live !Tyro mix. He brought out the homie Detrace for a little cameo, they have been working on new music together so look for another sick collaboration single to come soon. !Tyro dropped a bunch of killer tracks, one I remember in particular was "Spellbound" by Eptic. As he wrapped up his set !Tyro introduced the next performance, a back to back set by P0gman and Midnight Tyrannosaurus.


As soon as Midnight Tyrannosaurus took the mic everyone grinned. He started off by yelling, "Yoooo Denver! I'm Midnight Tyrannosaurus!! Where my DOOM fans at?" He was met with a rather loud cheer, the Denver bass fam loves him lots. This was an explosive back to back set in which P0gman and Midnight Tyrannosaurus really showed out. P0gman brought his grimiest bass and Midnight Tyrannosaurus too, combined they presented a well balance dose of dub. Almost throughout the entire set Midnight Tyrannosuarus was hilarious to watch, he had some of the deepest headbangs in the room. P0gman is much more technical, but he definitely made it fun bouncing around to the bass. There were lots of spin outs at the drop faking out the people, but this was just to fire up the crowd even more for the next drop sometimes it was the same drop a second time. This was a monster back to back set that got the place hyped up for more.


Next up was a personal favorite, Skism. He is one of the founders of possibly the best dubstep label in the world, Never Say Die Records. He started his set with a raunchy remix of "Like A Bitch" by Zomboy, and everybody put their hands up promptly. Skism is known for his exemplary live mix skills, and he showed those skills off at Bass Works. He puts together brilliant double drops, and for an hour he was just flawless in creating fresh transitions. Skism got into some classic songs like "Experts" and he had an amazing double drop using Flux Pavilion's "I Can't Stop" and another hard banger. One of my favorite things that Skism does is build up to the drop of one song only to switch it up right at the drop with an even better drop. His ability to match up tracks is so elite, everything is put together seamlessly blended. Skism was in boss mode, his set was layed down perfectly, never a dull moment. Huge love for Skism and what he does, one of the greats for sure, in my eyes he is a living legend.


More than anyone else performing at Bass Works the most intriguing for sure was Virtual Riot. He is just now on his very first tour of the United States. This was his first time in the Bass Capital and he was very impressive. Virtual Riot creates a huge variety of stunning electronic music, his productions are incredibly crisp and clean. I have been rocking out to his library of music for a few years now and I anticipated a lot from his live set. He met all expectations with a dynamic live mix jolting the room into a frenzy. Virtual Riot has a clever technique in mixing, he will leak in a little tease of the upcoming track as he is either building or winding down the previous drop. It works well and lets you know what to expect for the next drop. Virtual Riot got into some of his ill drum and bass tracks in the middle of his set as well as some awesome nintendo sounding stuff. He made a point to drop a dubstep remix of the Pokemon theme song as part of his outro section, and that made me smile so big! Virtual Riot will be back to Denver performing at Beta on a special Gravity Friday September 2nd. So if you missed Virtual Riot you have one more shot to see him thanks to Reload Productions. Or maybe like me you want to see him again already, follow the link above for tickets.


Closing out the night was Must Die! He got his set started with some booty poppin music, but soon after he switched it up into hard headbanging bass. Must Die! has a number of label affiliations including OWSLA, Never Say Die, Smog, Firepower, Rotten Recordings and more. He has a lot of style in his productions and in the live mixes he puts together. Must Die! has been on the scene for a number of years now, but for me he really took off after his album Death & Magic dropped back in 2014. Some of the music Must Die! makes can be described as two robots arguing, and I love to eavesdrop on a good robot argument. To close the set Must Die! mixed into his remix of the song "Emotional" by Flux Pavilion. What a perfect way to end the night, because it was emotional, lots of feels were shared with good friends.




Once again Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom provided a wonderful setting to get sweaty with the Denver bass family. Rebudz and Reload Productions really overdid themselves with this line-up! The show sold out before the event, and if you ask me I'm surprised it didn't sell out earlier with how much firepower they came with! Stay on top of the Rebudz and Reload Productions social media outlets for future show announcements, I heard there is a doozy coming up! Big love to everyone who made this such a badass show.


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