This story is over 5 years old.


Denver Residents Were Friggin' Pissed at Bassnectar Because They Thought He Was an Earthquake

"I thought it was an earthquake,” said one shellshocked resident. “I looked and realized it was bass."

Young people were at it again on Saturday night in Denver, Colorado, with their loud music, unneighborly behavior, and sweeping ambivalence towards authority. The prime culprit: Californian ne’er-do-well Lorin Ashton and his Bassnectar bass music. The result: bass so tight it felt like a freakin’ earthquake, dude.

The bass music/Act of God was first reported on Sunday by CBS4 Denver, now absolutely my favorite local news station in the United States, who cut away from their coverage of something obviously very not important to talk about a “story developing” near the Dick’s Sporting Goods arena, not far from the Stapleton neighborhood. The anchor, who had the bemused, uncertain look of a man plucked from Central Casting in the 80s, set the scene: “What’s happening over at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is [pause for comic and/or dramatic effect] not music to their ears.”


Damn, son, that’s some good anchoring. Swiftly on, though, because we now have to speak to Stan Bush out in the field, reporting on the noise levels that local residents actually heard/felt/endured/survived. He, too, looks confused, disoriented, a little afraid. Is Bassnectar playing behind him? No, sir. He’s pulled up the station’s SUV which for some reason seems to have some totally rad speakers built into it. Tight! “Imagine standing next to this for several hours,” says Bush, “that’s what some people were saying they heard in Commerce City… for hours [circular hand gestures suggesting length of time passing] and hours.”

That’s a lot of hours. Now he’s ready to get into the meat of the story, though. “What we found out today was that Commerce City never even researched this music before issuing a permit.” (Emphasis mostly Stan Bush’s, he really looked like he meant it when he got to this bit of the sentence and I want to honor that.)

The upshot of the whole thing is that people up to five miles away from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Arena—a name that I will continue to repeat because seriously, America, we all need to work on this shit, it’s undignified—could feel the tremors of awesome from those mad sweet subs.

Joe Quillin, who took his complaint to the City Council, may in the future wish that he had done more research on music that features bass prominently, at least a jot more than the council who didn’t even type in Bassnectar to YouTube. “I thought it was an earthquake,” he said at a council meeting, “I went outside and looked and realized it was bass.” And here’s where this gets meta. Because it’s only a matter of time before some young upstart, who probably needs a wash, captures the audio of that complaint and uses it in a song, right before some sort of drop, I’d imagine. With that song swiftly becoming a hit, this still unwashed upstart will have a show booked for him at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Arena and Quillin, whose concerns are understandable, will have his own recorded voice sent back to him late on a Saturday night. It’ll leave our anchor saying something along the lines of: “A Denver resident stayed up talking to himself on Saturday night [pause for comic/dramatic effect] but not how you might think.”

It’s a slightly sad and irritating situation because Bassnectar needs to play loud music because he’s cool, and the residents of that part of Denver need to sleep because they are grown-ups. How to co-exist peacefully? I suggest that Dick’s Sporting Goods step in and up their soundproofing or maybe cover the whole place in bubble wrap.

Here's Bassnectar's "Reaching Out." If you play this from an SUV with rad speakers, you may not be able to hear news anchors, but otherwise you should be fine.

Follow Noisey on Twitter.