Time and time again, the magic of Insomniac’s beloved Beyond Wonderland serves as the definitive festival season kick-off; two days of musical madness, with Day Two tending to get a little bit grimier when Team Bassrush sets up shop to make their presence known.
This trip down the rabbit hole was packed with a full menu of top-tier bass music talent, exclusive experiences, jaw-dropping atmospheres, and unreal art installations. We couldn’t hold back the excitement as we touched down at the San Manuel Amphitheater in the scenic mountain ranges of San Bernardino.
Weaving through lavishly adorned foot traffic with tons of ingeniously cute costumes, sparkling beads, and hilarious totems, the electricity could be felt from all around! (Or was it the cooling mist machines?) Armed with our passports to paradise, a spiraling tunnel of light propelled us to the grand entrance of the Bassrush Outer Realm, where we spotted a flirtatious bunch of Sparkle Bunnies and Leopard Ladies.
The rumbling of the Outer Realm drew us nearer as an ominous eye watched over a sea of bass-thirsty, rage-ready revelers. Not one to disappoint the audiophiles, Bassrush went all out, featuring heavily stacked premium sound via PK Sound’s Trinity rigs and sky-high LED visuals. Opening the stage was none other than LUMBERJVCK, who instantly pushed the limits of the stage with powerful, gut-rattling sub frequencies. Next up, dubstep spaghetti monster Spag Heddy took over, dropping some serious head-banging face-melters that swelled the crowd to an even larger size. As the sun started to dip below of the pristine mountain views, we were treated to an extra special dose of underground sounds from the Critical and friends showcase with your favorites Kasra, Enei, Mefjus, and resident crowd hyper MC Dino.
After being pummeled with high-energy D&B we took a quick break from the action, grabbing a quick bite of an Alice in Wonderland-inspired Eat Me cake and posing for a snap with the Queen of Hearts herself. We arrived back at the Outer Realm just in time to witness a remarkable set from RAM Recordings superstars Calyx & TeeBee, then linked up with Delta Heavy backstage to find out which tunes from his set went over the largest. (“Oscillator” from Paradise Lost and the Mefjus remix of “Sunday Crunk” by Ivy lab for everyone keeping score at home.)
Making his first appearance for Bassrush, TroyBoi threw down his latest banger, “And Wot?,” and gave a commanding, unforgettable performance, and when Bro Safari dropped the bass with Armanni Reign on MC duties, we knew we were in for an utterly ridiculous performance. Some of the nastiest trap and bass combos we’d heard thus far—coupled with the blinding visuals and intense heat of the pyro—had the entire crowd jumping in unison.
Just minutes before he took the stage, NGHTMRE candidly filled us in on his Beyond experience: “I came here last year just to check out the show. I was watching from the crowd for most of it and this year I get to play on the huge bass stage! It’s pretty amazing what can happen in a year, you know?”
Ghastly, the ghost with the most, delivered a heap of exclusives and VIPs that set the tone proper for Datsik. Building off of his predecessor’s immense energy, the Firepower bossman quickly took things to the next level with cuts from his much-anticipated Darkstar EP, proving he still reigns supreme in the dubstep arena. Definitely one for the history books, the Bassrush Experience at Beyond wowed us with sonic carnage and low-end mayhem, and gave us an unforgettable night of adventure under the stars.