FRIDAY 03/11/16 – NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The existence of Big Gigantic is perhaps as great a model of conflict as there has ever been. This is a very good thing. The modest-looking duo from Boulder, Colorado, of Dominic Lalli on the saxophone and Jeremy Salken on the drums, in theory shouldn’t work. Their mashup of electronica, hip-hop, jazz, and soul is a science experiment on paper but a proven formula for artistry in practice.
To set the scene, following Hermitude, Louis The Child, and Callie Reiff before them, the stage went dark during an intermission while the crowd was treated to several classic 90s hip hop hits. The masses, in a venue that looks the size of a shopping mall, sang along word-for-word with just about everything. When Big Gigantic was set to go on, the monitor at the rear flickered and everyone seemingly whipped their heads toward the now centered platform as if they’d been trained. Myself included.
The first pop comes as Lalli, with a wave, emerges from beneath the elaborate light rig, steps up, and takes his place in front of the turntables. Salken then receives his ovation and settles in on the drums. Literally without missing a beat, a wave of bass blasts through the space. I think we were all kind of caught off-guard expecting the customary moment for mic checks, testing, etc. It wasn’t an “Are you ready?!” and more of a “you’d better be.”
“The Little Things” feat. Angela McCluskey was the stand out for me and has been on repeat (listen at their website, below) for me in the days since. The saxophone isn’t supposed to make you dance. Big Band sounds aren’t supposed to appeal to young audiences. Or so I thought.
Big Gigantic’s ignorance (again a very good thing), to this fact, and their ability to blow the lid off of a structure this massive, is where the conflict meets its match.