When alligators want to fuck or fight, they roar. Females initiate the call, males follow, and they sometimes gang up by the thousands to throw tones so deep that the entire Everglades shakes. Some of these extreme rumbles occur at the level of infrasound, low-frequency oscillations that you feel more than you hear. It's a phenomenon also produced by avalanches, waterfalls, earthquakes, and Miami bass.
Over the years, Bayfront Park has felt its share. And this weekend, it'll face another tsunami of rumble when Bassnectar and Pretty Lights team up for a two-night stand in downtown. This collaborative concert, called Basslights, is reported to be so deep and heavy that it may crack the park off of the mainland and send a wild island floating off into Biscayne Bay.
Bassnectar, for one, is ready. "I think, musically, bass started happening before any language. Someone figured out that if you stretch a drum tight enough and hit it with the right stick, it makes a note related to something like a mammoth running through the jungle. That's power, and that's the sound you wanna make in your music."
Pretty Lights agrees, saying, "It's motherfuckin' bass, dawg. I'm playin' hard, melt-your-face, brrrruummmppbupup dubstep, fuckin' suboscillators and shit, supersubbed-out shit. Live bass hip-hop, bassed-out trap, or classy step. Whatevs. I got that."
Bassnectar has been smashing shows around the globe almost daily. And he recently dropped a two-side mixtape, Immersive Music, connecting the dots between his favorite influences and latest sounds. He's also got a new single out now, titled "Take You Down."
The road warrior describes Basslights as "a mini-festival," adding, "I got three semitrucks full of sound, video, and light. There's no opener or headliner. We share the stage and both throw down."
Bassnectar's last show in Miami was on the same stage at Ultra 2012. "The Klipsch is such an epic venue," Bassnectar says. "You can see the whole crowd moving upward, and just the sound and feel is so good. I love that place."
Sonic quality is also paramount to Pretty Lights. His latest slab, A Color Map of the Sun, saw the artist assemble a full band, create single-press vinyls of the studio sessions, and sample those records to make the final album. It's a 90-minute journey through the blissed-out mind of a musical madman.
This will be Pretty Lights' first show since dropping Color Map, and he's bringing the band, racks and racks of gear, and a whole new approach to the performance.
"I have a full vintage analog studio on the stage," he explains. "I can fully sculpt the live drums before I send the signal out to my sound guy. I have six analog bass synthesizers that I can switch and arrange on the fly while I crossfade between the band, live production, a track, and its remix. Miami is a bunch of crazy motherfuckers. This is one-of-a-kind hotness."
Indeed, the Basslights show is something special. The artists will not tour the country. This will not happen anywhere else in the world in 2013.
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These two musicians are at the top of their games, share a similar fan base, and cater to a beat-freak community so wholeheartedly devoted that they are shuttling in from as far as Orlando, North Carolina, and even San Diego just to experience Basslights 2.0.
"It's like the perfect bridge of sounds," Bassnectar concludes. "Lights has that cinematic creative musical style, and I go hard and heavy."
Bassnectar and Pretty Lights' Basslights. Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19. Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. The show starts at 6 p.m., and tickets cost $41.75 to $47.75 plus fees via livenation.com. Call 305-358-7550 or visit bayfrontparkmiami.com.