Big Gigantic, one of todays biggest up-and-coming electronic groups, rocked Water Street Music Hall on Sunday, Feb 17. Despite the freezing temperatures, people lined up and down Water Street dressed in short skirts and t-shirts, waiting for the doors to open.
The hall was mostly empty when the doors first opened but quickly filled as the night arrived. Most people wore comfortable but dressy clothing; some went all out in their dress. Best outfit award goes to an awkward teenager in a full banana costume.
Kill Paris kicked off the evening with his mixes. He has been on tour with Big Gigantic for a while, but this was his final night with the group.
His music was fairly repetitive without a lot of melody but got people up and dancing with some solid beats.
After about 30 minutes, Manic Focus snuck onto the stage and took over. His mixes included a lot more recognizable songs that allowed people to sing along, but he often paused the beats for melodic interludes. This left the crowd awkwardly standing on the dance floor, flooded with bright lights, without a beat to dance to. Some of the beats he overlaid didn’t quite match up either, leaving audience members feeling awkward and unsure of how to move. After a long hour of this, Kill Paris joined him again to conclude the opening act.
Finally, Big Gigantic took the stage to roars and screams from the crowd. Producer and saxophone player Dominic Lalli took his place stage right behind the mixing board, his tenor sax strapped around his neck. Jeremy Salken, the drummer, sat stage left with his drum set. Without a word to the audience, they dove right into their first song.
Even though Water Street was packed, both Lalli and Salken know what it’s like to play to very small crowds.
“I played a gig at the grand opening of a Target once,” said Salken in an interview on Thursday, Feb. 14. “The group I played with was set up in the teenage women’s department.”
Salken and Lalli have been a duo for six years; they were originally roommates in Boulder, Colo. Lalli had the original idea for the group and came up with the name.
“[Lalli] got his computer and started making beats,” Salken explained. “He just kept doing his thing and finally said ‘We should do this.’”
Lalli said his percussion skills were largely self-taught.
“I’ve always been into music,” he said. “I did middle school jazz band and then just played with groups around Boulder: bluegrass, weddings, everything.”
Their performance on Sunday was riveting to say the least. The combination of mixed beats, percussion, and saxophone was uniquely energizing.
Their music woke up the crowd, and everyone moved on the dance floor. Those in the balcony of the hall even started dancing on benches and hanging over the railings. One especially enthusiastic audience member jumped the blockade in front of the stage, although he was quickly escorted out by security.
Their light show was also extremely impressive; they had huge digital screens set up throughout the stage that flashed images of dollar signs and Pac Man in sync with the music. The screens, along with the impressive light show, made their performance even more thrilling.
Now on the third week of their five-week tour, Lalli says he still loves the tour life. “It’s gone from touring out of the back of my Subaru and it progressed from that,” he said. “We’ve got a bus now; we get to sleep as we’re traveling. It’s pretty awesome.”
Sanguinetti is a member of
the class of 2015.