With a hot wind blowing and the sun still blazing, the masses descended upon the bassPOD for the kick-start of Day One of EDC Las Vegas 2016. When the front gates opened you could hear a roar of approval go up from the crowd as each tribe came pouring into the Speedway and the all-clear was given for the one and only Nightstalker to start dumping a smoking mix of drum & bass floor-killers and half-stepping bonecrushers that had the early crew mobbing to the front, rattling their totems, and raising their arms in praise that they had arrived at the pearly gates of Bassrush heaven.
The Gentlemen’s Club were up next, with 50 Carrot, Coffi, and Solomon going all in on their debut at the bassPOD stage, hitting the crowd with skanking beats and basslines that had everyone sizzling as the sun set and Audio and Teddy Killerz stepped up to the decks. As expected, the drum & bass stalwarts rained heavy metal thunder on the crowd, ripping through beast after beast of brutal breakbeat-driven illness, including some jaw-dropping dubplate business that had all the heads bawling for more.
From here on out it was a proper headbangers ball, as Ookay promised something special and more than delivered with a live saxophonist accompanying his first drop into a smoking hot session rammed with trapalicous bass bombs that had the PK Sound rig working overtime. One of our favorite triple-threats of the night came in the form of 12th Planet, Protohype, and LUMBERJVCK going back-to-back-to-back and whipping the crowd into a heaving frenzy. With the fire literally spitting at each and every move, the bassPOD seemed to reach capacity when the trio started their blitzkrieg and ran the stage for a full 90 minutes.
As 12th Planet himself said with a huge grin after his set, “We gave it 110% out there today, coach.”
Bro Safari was up next as he kicked down the doors with an unstoppable mix of gangsta bizness before Snails dropped in with an equally epic vomit-step session that pushed the crowd to the breaking point. With the water cannons blasting the crowd and the heat still rising up from the desert floor, you’d think the bass heads would need a break but Datsik wasn’t about to go soft on ‘em. Hitting it with drop after drop of absolute filth, the crowd was on the verge of a full-on riot as the anthems came roaring through.
Shifting gears, old-school legends Bad Company proved they still have the magic touch as reworked classics and new-school flavors alike had the old-school drum & bass heads bouncing off the walls with the warehouse vibes that had even those who were just babes when Bad Company was in their prime, gritting their teeth and shuffling it out proper on the dancefloor.
With the ever impressive MC Dino by their side, Matrix and Futurebound manned the controls next and delivered a perfect ending to the night’s festivities. As Dino alternated between his exquisite rapid-fire lyricism and calls for all the drum & bass soldiers to rise up and stay the course until the very end, Matrix and Futurebound brought on the goosebumps with a masterful session of high-energy anthems and feel-good grooves that carried the Bassrush faithful on through to the desert sun roaring over the horizon.
While we might be a little biased, we have to admit it’s always inspiring and uplifting to see so many heads just brocking out to the basslines until the sun comes up. Anyone who’s been able to experience the bassPOD in all its glory knows that there’s just something truly special about all the elements that come together and make this one of the most electrifying stages at the festival. The bass family glows with positive vibes as each of the selectors take that energy from the crowd and craft the night’s narrative into a once-in-a-lifetime experience that had each and every one of us saying, “Goddamn, it’s good to be home.”