Jam band mixes jazz and electronica to come up with gigantic sound
Published: Monday, February 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013 23:02
It was a dedicated crowd of neon-wearers that flocked to Brick Street Sunday night for some live electronic music. Big Gigantic, a familiar face in Oxford, performed a high-energy set to a packed venue of students looking for a break from a night of studying.
Corey Baker, aka Kill Paris, a DJ from Los Angeles, took the stage before Big Gigantic to get the crowd warmed up. Kill Paris’ set was a mix of smooth R&B samples, heavy hip hop beats and crunchy bass. Despite a few lulls, the audience enjoyed Kill Paris, but by the time he was packing up it was clear they were ready for the main event.
It was nearly 11 p.m. when Big Gigantic took the stage and the crowd was considerably larger than when Kill Paris finished.
“The house was packed for a Sunday night,” Junior Jake Menker, who was celebrating his birthday at the concert, said. “It was a beautiful thing. Big Gigantic killed it.”
Dressed in jeans and white t-shirts, the duo ran on only to become silhouettes for the remainder of the show to the hypnotic light show designed to complement their music. Five big screen panels put on the front of the stage for visuals combined with an array of strobes, lasers and a lot of fog helped set the scene for the other planet that Big Gigantic’s music takes you to.
Big Gigantic is the creation of producer and saxophonist Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremey Salken. The band’s genre is known as livetronica, a type of electronic music that combines pre-made dance beats with live instrumentals. In the world of electronic music, where many DJs are being criticized for their live shows being simply a task of pushing play on a laptop, it’s refreshing to see the talent of production paired with Lalli’s live jazz elements and Salken’s hard-hitting drumbeats. And how often do you see a pit of college students screaming, yelling and jumping up and down for a saxophone solo?
Big Gigantic has mastered the art of playing with the audience’s emotion. The duo can build up energy with a blaring drum solo and take it back down with a smooth sax solo, locking in tight harmonies with the back track. The other advantage they have is being able to span several genres of electronic music through their production and still hold their distinctive style through the instruments they play on top. One could hear influences of house music, dubstep, trance and hip hop throughout their set, with a crowd favorite being Lalli’s take on the tenor sax riff from Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” juxtaposed to Aloe Blacc’s catchy “I Need a Dollar.”
BG’s hour and a half set brought the house down leaving the audience wanting more.
Junior Branden Baribeau felt the concert lived up to past performances.
“They are one of the bands that is always better live,” Baribeau said. “I saw them at Bonnaroo last summer and they were just as good [Sunday] as they were there.”
Senior Cameron Holland was unfamiliar with Big Gigantic until attending the concert but walked away a fan.
“I thought it was a relaxed atmosphere with music that had a unique flair,” Holland said. “It was interesting to see such an unusual combination of instruments and mediums used to produce music.”
Brick Street continues its spring lineup Feb. 20 with the country duo Florida Georgia Line and the highly anticipated up-and-coming rapper A$AP Rocky March 20. More information can be found at www.brickstreetbar.com.