REVIEW: Big Gigantic at Summerfest
On a surprisingly stacked Tuesday night lineup at Summerfest that featured big draws in A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, CHVRCHES, and Lionel Ritchie, it wasn’t necessarily a given that the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse would host a large crowd for Big Gigantic. However, the Colorado duo were in their own lane, drawing out fans of the less pop-oriented side of EDM. The crowd demanded plenty of loud bass, dirty sax lines, and pulse-pounding drums, and Big Gigantic brought all of that and more Tuesday.
For much of the night, music felt pretty much non-stop, with one song blending well into another, and from the moment Saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken dropped their first beats, the Roadhouse crowd were bouncing steadily on the bleachers. The first half of the show, essentially, felt like a giant jam session. Most of the first 50 or so minutes of the duo’s 90-minute set lived around the 100 BPM range, creating a steady groove with admittedly little deviation. Where this could have felt repetitive, Lalli and Salken found ways to make it feel unique, with some cutting saxophone parts and additive drum fills throughout the show.
In addition to some of the material off of their latest, “Brighter Future”, there were frequent collaborations dropped into the mix, including tracks like “All Of Me” which features Logic and ROZES, and unreleased remixes of Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys (And The Winner Is…)” and Kanye West’s “Get Em’ High”. The backing LED board featured animations of everything from glowing caricatures of the features delivering their lyrics to an avalanche of weed leaves. If you had something extra in your system, the videos were probably an addition to the night. If you couple in the now-standard issue EDM steam cannons, streamers, and confetti, you’ve got a massive party that only lasts an hour and a half.
The show switched tempos more frequently in the latter half, with harder dubstep drops and upbeat shuffle-worthy dance tracks, including the manic “Got The Love”, which sent many a concertgoer flying off of the bleachers. There were a few snafus, including Salken missing the intro of a track but quickly recovering, but none were noticeable enough that they really affected the performance. They also, at about 80 minutes into the set, slowed things down for album closer “Long Time Coming”, which felt like an out of place choice at the time. Things picked up, however, before the close of their set with a few last tracks to party to.
Overall, there was plenty to enjoy from Big Gigantic on Tuesday night. EDM is fickle in the sense that every act has to do something new to be truly different, while still providing the same level of entertainment to the fans. Lalli and Salken managed to make themselves unique with their set at the Roadhouse, keeping things incredibly fun, which is really all that you can ask for as a fan.