Concert Review: Big Gigantic @ Mr. Smalls, 11/4/12
By Ben Clancy
My buddies and I got to Mr. Small’s at 7:20, 10 minutes before the doors opened. We expected the place to be packed, and since I had never been to Mr. Small’s before, I was expecting a huge crowd. We found 5 kids smoking outside who looked like they just came from play rehearsal, and not another soul in sight. Not a good start. After waiting in the cold for a bit, we walked in to the concert; I noticed how small the concert hall was (compared to somewhere like Stage AE), meaning a small crowd and smaller speakers. Strike two. At around 8, the first opener came on, but never announced his name, he just started playing. The songs were pretty good, but his transitions left something to be desired, and after he was done, I was convinced that this night was going to be a total flop.
Then GRiZ came onstage, and everything changed. The lights started changing, the music got louder, and he picked up the mic and shouted “ARE YOU READY PITTSBURGH?” after waiting for the crowd to scream back, he gave his name and jumped right into his set list, delivering song after song of amazing elecro-funk cut with really original drops. GRiZ was the reason I bought these tickets; though the only music he’s released has been for free on Soundcloud, GRiZ is an up-and-coming artist who takes after acts such as Pretty Lights and the headliner, Big Gigantic. For two of his more popular songs, he actually broke out his saxophone and played live, to the delight of the crowd. After his huge closing song, we had 15 minutes to catch our breath and buy a water bottle before Big Gigantic took over the stage.
With Dominic playing saxophone and mixing on his laptop and Jeremy on drums, BG delivers an unforgettable concert experience. For 2 hours, they kept us dancing and screaming for more, with smooth jazz melodies and amazing bass lines that made every single person in the crowd smile from ear to ear. I was expecting GRiZ to be my favorite, but Big Gigantic performed on a whole different level, another reminder that no matter how talented you are, there’s always something to be said for experience. Big Gigantic has been around for the last 5 years in some of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world, and it’s obvious in their live shows. When the whole thing ended, I was left with a ringing in my ears, a satisfied feeling in my gut, and a 40$ cab ride back to Pitt, because SafeRider doesn’t go out to Millvale.