Freaky Deaky Milwaukee: In Front of the Rail, Part 3

Bass drops were everywhere. It was about 10 AM on the second day of Freaky Deaky. The streets were alive with wooks still woke from the night before, GRiZ Fam still reeling from last night’s set and Bass Fam arriving for night two. We headed to breakfast at BB’s Build-a-Burger/Build-a-Brunch with our laptop, iPad and IDs only to find the place was filled with other concertgoers in Bassnectar sweatshirts, GRiZ hats and a single OWSLA shirt. We went thru our photos from the night before over mimosas, eggs, and waffles. We were ready for night two.

We headed over to the venue around 7 PM to pick up our media credentials and quickly back to the hotel to get ready. The halls were alive with the sound of music: “Colt 45” played at the end of our hallway, followed by a Beatles song. Another room was blasting American Pie with the door closed, and around the corner I could faintly hear some heavy dubstep.

We returned to the Wisconsin Center at 8:30 PM for our second night of coverage. A line of fans dressed in bassdrop hoodies, silk scarves, colorful wigs, onesies, and intricate Halloween costumes had wrapped around the building as fans awaited entry to the Wisconsin Center. While we had missed Arifakts by the time we got through security, we made it in time for Bleep Bloop, as riddim-like dubstep filled the big room. We noticed the Halloween costumes were even more eccentric for night two. Countless Ricks from Rick and Morty were headbanging to Bleep Bloop, as well as Pokemon, mermaids, dinosaurs, stormtroopers and lots of candy kids. The OTB best costume award goes to our favorite, Glitter Rick, a Rick and Morty-inspired persona whose chest was covered entirely of blue glitter.

Freaky Deaky Costumes

Photo Credit: Niki Graham

The room went dark and a hush crept over the headbangers. A girl with blue hair and two buns looking super kawaii was on stage. 8-bit font above her head read “Hi. I’m MIJA“. She switched between melodic remixes of poppy tracks that dropped into soft, techno hits. At one point, I had flashbacks to DDR hearing Hixxy’s “More and More“(2009 Remix) as rows of large smiley faces rotated on the backdrop. MIJA definitely left us wanting more and more and more.

Freaky Deaky Mija

Photo Credit: Nicole Wachnin

The anticipation for Ganja White Night was unbelievable. The Wobble Brothers had brought such incredible energy to Summercamp’s Vibe Tent and North Coast Music Festival this year, fans were extra hyped when the secret “?” on the lineup finally was released. EDM Chicago fans had voted GWN third most excited to see, with 46 votes, just behind Friday headliner GRiZ at 48 votes. The duo brought top-notch sound and didn’t disappoint. Not only did they play their top hits I had listened to over and over on repeat at Grassroots Chicago, including Wobble Master and Bass Ripples they also played their super-trippy hit, Outta Time. GWN also played fan faves The Conductor and LFO Requiem, and my personal, top favorite: Blackberries. They thanked the crowd, danced on the speakers, and left the crowd more than hyped for Nectar, but also dreaming of our next GWN show.

Freaky Deaky Ganja White Night

Photo Credit: Nicole Wachnin

I stood in front of the rail with my Only the Beat media team, armed with two cameras, LED eyelashes and water bottles from security to pass out to dehydrated fans. Three colorful bass drops were frozen on the screens behind the stage.

Freaky Deaky Bassnectar
Photo Credit: Nicole Wachnin

The set break between GWN and Nectar was definitely the longest of the night: a musical soundtrack played a jovial, character-based dialogue, both high-pitched and motivating, similar to the most recent version of Beauty and the Beast’s score. I instantly wanted to dance along, and did, hoping I didn’t look too crazy, and hoping it was a score written by Bassnectar and not just some intermission music.

And then, the long-haired Lorin Ashton of Santa Cruz, California got behind the table. The crowd went wild. Fans cheered and within minutes were banging the rail into the floor. The excitement was unmatched by any other set we had seen over the two nights of Freaky Deaky. He played original music, a mix of old, old jams and a few newer tracks from his most recent album, “Reflective“. He even played a never-before-played-live track, “Hexes”, a song Bassnectar wrote for the Resident Evil soundtrack.

He described producing this score on his own SoundCloud: “I was thrilled to be a part of scoring this, and wanted to make a beat that dropped like a wall of bricks to knock people back in their seats at the movie’s sudden and dramatic end. Chino put together the lyrics in a poem that felt like a slow motion dream, and somehow the two sensations works in tandem: falling backwards in a dream while getting blown back by a wobbling wall of sound.”

We’re so glad you did this, Lorin. Keep dropping the bass for us, and we’ll keep headbangin’.

Freaky Deaky Bassnectar

Photo Credit: Nicole Wachnin

To view more pictures, check out the full Freaky Deaky album posted on our Facebook page! See you next year, Freaks!

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Niki Graham
Hi there! I'm Niki Graham, teacher by day, and bass queen by night! I'm a Purdue Boilermaker from Chicago's North Shore! If I'm not teaching Second Grade or writing for Only the Beat, you might find me working at Grassroots Chicago, interviewing celebrities and creatives for my blog, designing light-up clothes and festival fashion, or walking my Bernese Mountain Dog, Boiler. When I'm not swamped with school and shows, I enjoy playing disc golf, competitive video gaming, cosmetic gaming, beauty blogging, swimming, cooking, and baking. Let's connect! Insta: @nikstagraham
Niki Graham
- 5 days ago
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