Basecamp bring high-level production, sound to The Echo

I’ve been to The Echo many, many times. But Sunday night was the first time I really can recall a headlining act put as much into their stage production as Nashville alt-electro R&B act Basecamp did.

The stage was surrounded by this sort-of PVC pipe looking construction, with a light pink sheet across the front and side of the structure. The sheet reminded me of my little sister’s room when she had one of those canopy bed sets with a light sheet coming down around it. The sheet served a purpose – it allowed them to project different things across the front of it. The PVC pipe structure would also light up intermittently with different colors throughout the gig.

I first saw Basecamp in 2015 at South by Southwest without knowing who they were. I hit up a small showcase at a bar on 6th Street to catch an act I had interest in, and Basecamp was in the midst of playing their set when I walked in. I left the show impressed and saw them on The Echo’s schedule and immediately added them to my calendar.

GRAMMYs fatigue didn’t affect the crowd – it was a packed house by the time Basecamp took the stage and they were all very into the show. Singer Aaron Miller’s vocals are a bit of a reminder of Sam Smith’s – interesting because their downtempo electronic sound has a Disclosure feel to it, and Smith and Disclosure famously worked together on a couple of big-time tracks. He also has a bit of James Blake to him. Their production on a couple tracks also feels like it would fit as the backing to L.A. favorite alt-R&Ber BANKS.

Basecamp’s music takes on that down-tempo heavy bass vibe that’s become quite popular lately for much of their material. Members of Skrillex’s OWSLA label, the trio put out an EP last year called In Stone. They played the EP while also adding songs from 2015’s Greater Than EP. The crowd favorite of the night seemed to be from that record, the lead track “Watch My Back” which had a lot of the crowd singing along.

The song that brought Basecamp to my attention when I caught them live was also a favorite. Their downtempo cover of ‘90s dance act Ace of Base’s “All That She Wants” is one of those perfect covers because it takes a good song and turns it a bit on its head. The downtempo vibe they bring to it is an amazing fit.

One thing that also caught my attention – Basecamp seemed to have the favor of a really beautiful crowd. Everywhere I looked there were attractive people. Not that this means anything really but it was definitely something I noticed in between songs.

Overall, they delivered a really solid show, the end of a tour that began in mid-January. One thing I would say is that they could bring slightly more energy to the show from a stage presence perspective. I’d like to see the singer Miller abandon his spot where he stood for the whole show a bit and maybe approach the front of the stage and make more of a connection with the audience. Other than that, I thought it was a great show and their sound has me thinking they’ll catch on in a major way sooner rather than later.

Photos courtesy of Tim Aarons