There was a seven-foot-tall ice stalagmite sticking out of the back porch at the Mercy Lounge Saturday night. Almost a foot in diameter, the frosty phallic wall sculpture was a reminder of the stone-cold dickin' Mother Nature had strapped on the midstate. How so little precipitation can shut down an entire region will always be a mystery to us, but we have to say we're glad that the Great Snow Flurry of Twenty-Tennessee didn't stop the city's dubstep massive from scraping the frost off their windshields and rolling out on a gelid Saturday night.
First off, if you didn't get the memo, dubstep--the bastard spawn of dub-reggae bass fetishism and aggro-techno electronics--is where it's at right now. Nashville, it seems, is way into the rumbling half-step riddims, and has been for a while. We've known about it, and we've seen it in action, but only now are we convinced it's an actual thing that's actually happening.
Not just nerdy dance fans are into it, either. The audience seems to cover quite the cross-section of subcultures--hippies, punks, backpackers, yuppies, squirrelly-looking dudes in Hurley sweatshirts who've had a 50-yard stare since JNCOs were almost considered cool and, of course, the dude who goes to great lengths to explain that he's not looking at you, he's looking through you, man. Well, those last two types of dude are inevitable whenever there's loud bleepy music being played, but, other than that, it was a surprisingly diverse crowd.
DJs Bateman, Mage and Jamwerks reminded us early on that maybe we ate a little too much dried fruit to be attending such a bass-heavy evening, but the tunes were loud enough and the hippies stinky enough that nobody noticed our, um, musical accompaniment. Seriously, dried fruit is delicious but should only be consumed in moderation if you're planning to cozy up next to a bass-bin later on in the evening--just a bit of friendly advice from us to you. All three of the opening DJs managed to entice the steadily growing crowd out onto the dance floor, belying Nashville's typical immobility for once, and the crowd seemed awfully grateful.
By the time Karius Vega took the stage our legs were like Jell-O and our brains had been reduced to puddles of wobble bass. Vega's set was a bit more high-energy than his predecessors, upping the tempo a bit and sprinkling more four-on-the-floor beats into the mix--culminating in a beguiling, but pretty rad remix of the Ramone's "Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World." We had to cut out about halfway into Mike Vulcan's set--dried fruit waits for no one, so to speak--but it was easy to tell by the undulating bodies on the dance floor that tonight would not be the last time we heard the big-bottom boom of dubstep in our beloved city.