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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Big Gigantic and Brasstracks win over crowd at Majestic

Big Gigantic and Brasstracks performed back-to-back nights this past Sunday and Monday evening at the Majestic Theatre.

The livetronica drum and jazz combo sold out both nights during their time at the Majestic. Big Gigantic is composed of drummer Jeremy Salken and saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli. To those unfamiliar with Big Gigantic, you may recognize some of their more popular tracks such as their 2016 collab with Griz for “Good Times Roll” and their 2015 hit single, “Get on Up.”

But enough on Big Gigantic for now. The real surprise of the night was Brasstracks. Rarely do I see an opener that is better received than the headliner. Now, do not misinterpret me, Big Gigantic did what they were supposed to do and more, but Brasstracks, a duo that was completely foreign to me, kicked off their set informing the crowd, “It's nothing but a party with us”, and they proved that statement to be true.

Fans of Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book may recognize this group since they were the sole producers on the hit track, “No Problem.” Similar to Big Gigantic, Brasstracks is made up of drummer Conor Rayne and trumpet player Ivan Jackson. The New York duo are fresh off the momentum from both their newly-released Good Love EP and grammy recognition via Coloring Book.

As I shuffled into the second-floor balcony of the Majestic, I was greeted with the harmonic synergy of a drum and trumpet combo that had an infectious sound. As Ivan Jackson switched between the keyboard, live-mixing and playing the trumpet without missing a beat, Conor Rayne provided a flurry of drumming for companionship. In between breaking two drumsticks, Rayne displayed a mastery over drum and bass, rap and funk.

Special guest S’natra appeared to perform “Lemme Put This Cup Down,” a track off the group's latest EP. In the last quarter of their set, Dom from Big G accompanied the group with his saxophone and ignited the crowd as the trifecta of a drumset, trumpet and saxophone created a fusion of electronica not achievable through a computer alone. However, the show was not without its flaws. The production accompanying both performers was generic while visuals were borderline professional, teetering on intermediate. But I caveat this with reminding readers: You do not go to see a group like Big G or Brasstracks for their visuals but rather the live performance.

As the duo transitioned between rap, 90’s classics and modern EDM trap music, they walked off the stage knowing they had won over the crowd.

After a short intermission, Big Gigantic took the stage and, from the view of the balcony, there was not an inch of wiggle room on the ground floor. The pit of fans all trying to edge their way closer to the stage reminded me this was a sold out show–and for good reason.

Kicking off their set with a rendition of Bassnectar’s “Loco Ono” was something special as the drum and saxophone combo made the track into a hit of their own. From there, Big Gigantic did not loosen the reigns until a quarter of the way through the set and after a five-minute saxophone solo that was a hint too long but nonetheless impressive. Fans of all types of EDM would have been satisfied with this set. Be it EDM sub-genres like drum and bass, tropical House, dubstep, trap or of course jamtronica, Big G took the best of each genre and added their own flavor to it. The only real flaws of this saxophone and drum duo occurred halfway through their set when they began to get predictable.The audience began to grow unresponsive to the same saxophone creciendo replacing every drop. The biggest blunder of the night was a failed attempt at a Kendrick Lamar “Backseat Freestyle” remix that backfired when the drop was not able to match the build up. Though these mishaps were disappointing, they were far apart and it was not long until the group moved into another genre and had the crowd grooving again.

The final quarter of the set was Big G’s strongest. The duo delivered an impeccable performance of their Cherub collab, “The Night Is Young,” alongside Brasstracks’ Ivan Jackson making a guest appearance with his insatiable trumpet playing. As the two brass instruments intermingled, they built up perfectly to a more aggressive Jauz “Feel The Volume” transition, leaving both the crowd and me stunned.

After the set came to a conclusion, both groups returned to the stage for a 20-minute encore in which they left nothing on the table.

Big Gigantic and Brasstacks are continuing their Brighter Future Tour until September. If you have the chance to catch them on one of their tour dates, do so.

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