This past Saturday, after 27 hours of fasting for Yom Kippur, I stuffed my face, changed my clothes, and hopped on NJ Transit to head back to New York. When my train pulled into Penn Station, I stopped just short of full out sprinting into Madison Square Garden and found my spot just as Big Gigantic was beginning their set.
I’m going to try and refrain from expressing the full extent of my love for Big G because I want to devote a full post to them later on. But I will say that this Colorado-based duo, whose music is EDM and funk and jazz and trap and disco and so many other things at the same time, brought their absolute best for their first performance in New York’s most iconic venue (though really, Big G pretty much always brings their best). Like many other artists, they play a mix of their own songs and some remixes, but somehow their song selection always represents exactly what you needed to hear right at that moment, even if you didn’t know it. I’ve seen Big Gigantic perform both as a headliner and, as they were for this show, an opener. So even those people who were at the Garden primarily to see Bassnectar were completely amped up by Big G’s performance because while not everyone may have known their music, the Boulder boys are major crowd-pleasers who play a little something for everyone. Among my favorite non-Big G songs that I heard from them:
– “Tell Me,” by RL Grime
– “Can’t Hold Us,” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
– “Bonfire,” by Knife Party
– “Swing,” by Savage
– “I Need A Dollar,” by Aloe Blacc
I’m particularly a fan of when Big G plays “Bonfire,” because a) I love Knife Party and b) when Dom, Big G’s producer and saxophonist, plays the sax over the song it is just so unbelievably rich and fantastic.
A major highlight of this set, and one that I hadn’t seen in any of their other shows I’ve been to, is when they played, “Shooting Stars,” and asked everyone to hold up their phones. It was magical.
The only unfortunate thing about the cell phone stars is that right before this song began, I had been texting with a nearby friend and trying to meet up, and I wrote her, “I’ll stand in the aisle and wave my cell phone around!” 30 seconds later there were thousands of cell phones in the air and she had responded with, “Oh shit.”
After Big G I made my rounds visiting with some other friends situated around the stadium, and then settled in in a different friend’s section for Bassnectar.
Bassnectar’s performance was 2 full hours of sensory overload. His stage setup involved massive screens, and even made use of the screen in the middle of the Garden that usually displays the basketball info. I got this sweet video of…a small child? (Don’t mind the terrible sound, my phone cannot handle recording bass, much to the probable chagrin of all the friends that I Snapchat concert videos to even though they sound like static garbage).
Visuals aside, Bassnectar’s music is full and loud and absolutely meant to be enjoyed in a massive stadium. I don’t think a single person was sitting down, nor should they have been. It’s so thick you can practically feel it.
You know how sometimes when you go running you manage to zone out for awhile, and you sort of come to a few minutes later and realize that, even though you’ve been running that whole time, you have no recollection of what you saw or heard or thought about? (I don’t, because I don’t run. But I used to, pre-knee injury). I found that this happened to me a few times during Bassnectar’s show. The vibrations from the bass are so strong that it almost lulls you into a kind of trance, and all of a sudden you think, “Oh, hey! What have I been doing for the last 5 minutes? Dancing? Cool.” I would imagine that if there wasn’t music blasting into your ears, the vibrating could actually lull you to sleep the same way that you can supposedly make a crying baby fall asleep by running the dryer and putting the baby on top of it (please do not try this at home, I don’t know anything about babies but I think I maybe I read this in a book once? Seems legit..ish).
The show ended at 1am and as people filtered out to their various afterparties, I think everyone was simultaneously energized and exhausted. It was certainly one for the books.