By: Matthew Thomas
Photos: Susan J. Weiand
Colorado’s Big Gigantic, the livetronica duo of saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken, have been tapped by Chicago’s prog and jam heavyweights Umphrey’s McGee to open their West Coast tour. This pairing gave Big Gigantic a clutch opportunity to hit the legendary Fillmore Theatre in San Francisco, California for a two-night stand.
Displaying their constant evolution, the duo broke out a new track laced with heavy bass that got the crowd (and Lalli) jumping. Those who came to see the band play studio tracks note-for-note were better off grabbing a CD at the merch table. These guys seamlessly improvise, building off the foundation of the original song and branching out into unexplored territories. Working together, they choreograph a dance party, and the incredible chemistry between the two is obvious; offering originals “High & Rising,” “Solitude,” and the drum-riddled, sax-climaxing “Lucid Dreams,” while also exploring and testing remixes of Aloe Blacc’s “I Need a Dollar” and Wiz Khalifa’s "Black and Yellow.” Judging by the blank looks of some crowd members, these songs were unfamiliar, but as Lalli sang along they bopped back to the beat. By the end of the set, even the rail-riders were applauding the performance. Although it was not their usual, guitar-driven music of choice, it was difficult for anyone not to recognize the talent, originality, and effort put forth by the duo from the Rockies. A project less than two years old, this is just the beginning for Big Gigantic; and clearly, we have not seen or heard the last of them.
Umphrey’s McGee showed the respect and admiration they have for their tour mates by bringing Lalli on stage Sunday night. He added saxophone to a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?” One last time, he showed the San Francisco crowd that he can rock with the best of them.
The functionality you are trying to use is for members only. Would you like to sign in?