The long-haired friend of hippies brought the house down, shaking his mane to all manner of deep bass, including dubstep (foundational and bro varieties), some trap styles, d'n'b, hip-hop -- anything, really, that might contain a brown note.
He intro-ed his set with this deep track all about the foundation of sound system culture, and how important it is to play "songs with a message." Honestly, though, we're not sure what message we got from his set, other than bass is awesome.
Our favorite thing about Bassnectar's style is the hip-hop influence. It's rowdy and bossy, just the way we like it. He worked through swaggy hits, including "Freestyle," "Wait for the Drop," and a remix of Miami's own "Hustlin'."
"It's a full moon tonight," the DJ shouted to applause. (He also kept letting us know that it truly was "hot as fuck out here.") He played with the dynamics and tempo range, slowing down and speeding up tracks to meld them together with grace.
After about an hour of raging, the end of Bassnectar's time was coming up.
"I'm not used to these short sets, I only have a few seconds left," he said. "This song is about perhaps where we all come from. I don't know, it's just a theory." Then he dropped a song full of frog ribbits. It was kind of confusing, but it was dope.
He'd played for about an hour, then there was a 30 minute break during which Bessnectar's screens came down and the insanity of the full-on Pretty Lights band was assembled.
The whole stage cleared and filled back up with five raised podiums. Lasers were positioned around the structures to shoot their beams in every direction. And the whole setup topped off by a disco ball, which reflected space bubbles around the crowd like nothing we've ever seen before.
The band took the stage at about 10:30 p.m. when the night sky erupted with ecstatic noise. Pretty Lights main man Derek Vincent Smith stood on the central podium, flanked to the left by his percussion team, Brian Coogan on percussion and Adam Deitch on drums, while to his right stood Borahm Lee on keys, Scott Flynn on trombone, and Eric Bloom on trumpet.
Let us just tell you: Pretty Lights has never sounded so good.