Big Gigantic say goodbye to Roseland Ballroom [Event Review/Interview]
On December 30th, Colorado musical duo Big Gigantic were set to begin their two night run at the soon-to-be-closed Roseland Ballroom, as fans, or family, gathered in eager anticipation. Battling the cold, the line to gain entrance into the highly anticipated concert went far down the block, soon to encounter the genre-traversing whirlwind that would be not just a show, but an experience. With Brillz and White Panda leading off the night, the event drew a crowd as diverse as Big Gigantic’s style on their upcoming album The Night is Young. “We had an awesome time,” Dom described, in an excited manner the next day. Blending genres and incorporating both jam and DJ elements in their set, Dom and Jeremy introduced fans to new tracks while also managing to revise the old, making for a masterful and unique set that is so rare in electronic music today.
“It feels like… very Colorado.” While the venue itself gasps for its last breathe, A Big Gigantic Family, or ABGF for short, invaded Roseland on a Tuesday night to replace “PLUR” with positive vibes, and “raving” with grooving. Defying the typical New York concert crowd, ABGF, the group’s most loyal fans, along with the Lil G’s serving as security and wellness purveyors, ensure that everyone from newcomers to sax and drum weathered concert enthusiasts have a genuine Big Gigantic experience. “We’re a big team – a big family, trying to push this thing further.”
Though the crowd awaited Dom and Jeremy’s DJ set eagerly, Brillz served as more than a simple distraction in his opening performance. Embracing the rising urban influence throughout electronic music, fans threw their elbows up to the hard-hitting beats that the young producer mixed together seamlessly. Blending modern hip-hop and driven electronic elements, Brillz’s set was well-received by the crowd. As the set seemed to be approaching an end, the familiar tune of Martin Garrix and Jay Hardway’s “Wizard” blared through the speakers. While the track climbed and fan anticipation built, Brillz, tongue-in-cheek, dropped into HLTR$KLTR and Nth Wonder’s remix, adding the heavy hitting style that appeared throughout Brillz’s set.
It didn’t take long after the previous set came to a close for two White Pandas to approach the decks. Without skipping a beat, the mash-up-turned-original producing duo dove into a more upbeat set, giving the fading dance floor a run for its money. Light-up masks and a minimalist set design set the mood for a more intimate performance, but Dan and Tom provided arena-worthy song selection, to get the crowd energized for the headliners to come.
A few preparations were necessary before Dom and Jeremy took the stage. Unlike many producers outside the mid-tempo genre, the dup takes advantage of live instruments to enhance their set, turning the usual formulaic set into a jam-ridden interactive party. “It’s pretty natural. We’re just players,” Dom suggests, “We want to make it as interactive as we can. So it’s not just going to a show, seeing a show, and you leave. It’s more of just your life”
As Dom approaches the decks with his sax and Jeremy finds his drums, the duo give each other a quick glance before diving into a wide array of well-known, rare, and even unreleased jams. Getting into their own renditions of other artist’s hits, the duo try their hand at Flux Pavillion’s “I Can’t Stop,” juxtaposing grimy bass with Jazz saxophone until the two snap out of their entranced musical zone, in a adventurous genre attitude the group likes to call “pushing out.” The two describe genres as a growing tree, branching off in every direction, and Dom and Jeremy are determined to explore every inch of the tree. “We like to challenge people – challenge their ears.” The heavier dubstep may not be too challenging for the crowd’s ears, but it certainly adds a darker side to the typical jazz-midtempo productions from the two.
What may be more appropriately challenging for loyal fans is the duo’s upcoming single, which sports the album’s name, “The Night Is Young.” Being big fans of Cherub, Dom and Jeremy decided to break their usual sample vocal based style and invited Cherub into the studio. “We worked with singers on this one.” The two seemed excited about finally putting together what they like to think of as a “song.” “It’s this funky house disco track.” The group describes the track as very “their” style, but with genres they have never worked with before and with a world-class vocal line, the track was received incredibly well by the crowd.
After what seemed like just a few tracks, Dom and Jeremy hopped off stage in completion of the first half of their two-night run. Unsurprisingly, the crowd did not move a muscle, and after just a minute, the dup took the stage and jumped into the lead single from The Night is Young, entitled “Touch the Sky.” Dom and Jeremy describe this track as a natural progression from where their music was at the time of recording. Raised vocals and a melodic saxophone line lead the track, but hints of trap, electro, and even hard style work their way into the composition. Serving as a culmination of the night’s tunes, Big Gigantic’s finale showcased the direction of the duo’s upcoming album to release in February.
The Night is Young will be the most adventurous project for the Denver duo. “It’s different tempos,” Dom explains as he describes how Big G’s upcoming music mixes genre elements in tracks at unusual BPMs to create a new sound. This musical experimentation made for a very diverse album, and Dom and Jeremy themselves have a hard time classifying the daring project. “[The tracks are] all just different. I really think they’re all just special, really fresh.”
Shortly after the album’s release, the tireless musicians will hit the road once again for a tour across North America. The group has prepped a new lighting rig to go along with the new production style Big Gigantic has embraced. Beginning February 12th, the tour certainly speaks to Dom and Jeremy’s desire to keep busy and improve their music.
As the night winded down and a newfound Big Gigantic Family dispersed, the electricity could still be felt in the room. Though the duo have much ahead of them in terms of both the short and long term, the same could not be said for Roseland Ballroom. Dom and Jeremy, though, believe they’re giving the venue a proper goodbye. “It’s an honor. It’s an iconic, classic venue, It’s gonna be a cool way to close this thing out.” We certainly agree.
Photo Credit: Live Edits Lab