Bassnectar blows up the Varsity

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There's no doubt heads are still throbbing from last night's show at the Varsity Theater, when Bassnectar and DJ Vadim took over the place and bombed it with their bass-heavy sets of dubstep, DNB and grimy hip-hop.  Upon entrance to the sold-out venue lined with smiling fans down the block in both directions, it was clear that these young music lovers -- some in tutus, others in tie-dye and still more in ravey gear and wild makeup -- are capturing the spirit of warehouse dance music's halcyon days more than the older scenes that claim them so fervently. These "new" electronic music fans are unjaded, colorful, and more importantly, they have a carefree passion for the music that explodes on the dancefloor.

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Bassnectar / Denis Jeong Plaster for City Pages

The theater had to get things going nearly an hour late because of the monstrous line. DJ Vadim's set started out slow, but picked up with bass-enhanced tracks by Licensed To Ill-era Beastie Boys, MIA, Lil' Wayne and more. Then, an unfamiliar face took the decks (a few people murmuring "Did Bassnectar cut off all his hair?") and proclaimed that the long-locked West Coast king of bassy dance music was "not here yet" and that they were going to be playing some "house music" in the meantime. Groans, of course, echoed throughout the newly-designed Varsity, which was totally packed except for a small section in the back. And then, to everyone's delight, Bassnectar appeared and declared, "April Fools! It's my first time in Minneapolis, how are you all doing tonight!" Cue crowd insanity, which didn't stop until the last bassline of his merciless set shook the walls sometime before 1 a.m. Out of all the jokes that were likely played Thursday on the 500+ people in attendance, this was surely the best one.

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