Show Review & Photos: Bassnectar & Ghostland Observatory @ WaMu Theater

Bassnectar & Ghostland Observatory @ WaMu Theater, 5/12
Review by Gabrielle Gribbin & photos by Geoffrey Gribbin

Arriving at WaMu Theater, passersby and concertgoers are seemingly welcomed by fireworks, although the fireworks belonged to the neighboring venue. We let ourselves believe that the light barrage is strictly for us. Each step brings anticipation of what lay inside. Tonight we will be able to escape and to be held in a space with bass guided music.


Stepping into the doors brought the wave of sound and energy these dub shows bring – a sense of community in a way. Everyone surrounding you is here for the same reason you are, to experience and be a part of this sound. As more bodies flood in, one sees the array of ensembles that are worn. From bikinis with long seaweed like tassels to spandex and tutus, simple dresses and casual to comfortable attire, one can dance all night.

Working deeper into the crowd and into night the scenery becomes akin to that of a circus. To my left is a man on stilts, jumping up and down on these spring-loaded things. He seems to have a counterpart, a woman on stilts as well, with twirling light infused ropes. Here you see a man on a unicycle, someone roller-skating, and a woman dressed as a jellyfish. We observe the vessels in our surroundings until the music begins to grow, volume starting as a hum and increasing with each passing second, allowing our heart rates to do the same.

The electric sound starts as a white light strobe with the beat. But now all we can see is red, waiting for something – but we don’t know what. Not until the moment before the drop, a curtain that has been shielding our vision literally drops and the crowd falls into the trance of the night.

The stage is an array of constantly changing shapes and colors. Bassnectar’s podium would be a peach color with blue flashing lights surrounding him, and within thirty seconds the entire venue would look as if we were underwater with an overwhelming amount of blue surrounding each and every one of us.

With each song we get closer to the end, but we are even in anticipation for that. Which song would he grace us with now? “Open Your Eyes” is the song. Now the stage’s projectors lay images of twitching rainbows and strobe images of eyes for our visual pleasure. Now as the frequency gets higher, the ceiling begins to fall, the ceiling that previously held thousands of colorful balloons is now at our fingertips. With the now silencing hush of the music a blasting wave of voices takes its place as now we start to go over every little detail we observed. We rack our minds and recall favorite moments so this memory will be imprinted in our minds for years to come.

This is Bassnectar.


Ghostland Observatory

Atmosphere @ Bassnectar