Pennsylvania deer hunting season doesn’t roll around until the Fall but it was open season on bass at Starlight Ballroom on Thursday, July 18th as Swedish singer/songwriter/producer/DJ Basshunter rolled into Philadelphia for a sold-out show (presented by Contrast).
It was the hottest day of 2013 (to date). With the stifling heat and humidity, it felt like 108 degrees at the peak of the afternoon. Nighttime did little to cool things off as it remained hot and muggy after sunset.
The weather was so miserable that we took our time getting to the venue. Sadly this meant missing an opening set by David Vaux who featured many of his new original tracks from his collaboration with Chris Rivera (aptly titled “Vaux & Rivera“) but we heard from many of the people who caught his performance that it was highly enjoyable.
Up next was another local favorite, Dubsef who dropped the bass and rocked the mic for the better part of the next two hours. Joined on stage by dancers from the Bassbellas (whose silver winged outfits were fantastic) throughout his set, Dubsef had the place rocking out. Despite the show being a sell-out, many fans were slow to show up due to the weather (some didn’t show up at all), waiting until later in the night to catch the headlining performance from Basshunter.
Many fans in attendance (from the newer EDM generation) told us that Basshunter was their introduction into electronic music and the reason that they became such big EDM fans. They gushed when they spoke about getting to see him perform live.
Sometime around midnight, Basshunter hit the stage to a roar of cheers and proceeded to dive right into his high energy vocal performance. With his DJ setting the stage behind him, Basshunter laid down the live vocals to all of his well known (and not so well known) songs.
Amidst CO2 canon blasts, the dancers, and some sweet lasers, Basshunter worked the crowd like a seasoned performer. He engaged fans in a myriad of ways including dedicating songs to specific audience members, changing the lyrics to songs to include the word “Philly” or “Philadelphia”, shaking hands with those in the front row, and using one fan’s cell phone to record several minutes of his performance.
It was a hot, sweaty mess but everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy it thoroughly. When Basshunter left the stage, fans chanted for more and he obliged, returning to perform for several minutes more.
The end of Basshunter’s set did not mark the end of the show. When he was finished, Elevate took over on the decks for a closing set that kept the party going until close to 2am.
[Photos by D. Jacob Miller Photography]
You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):