I feel obligated to say I’ve been to many a sold-out show. I’ve squeezed my way through tight crowds, been smooshed dozens of times, etc. This is all to say, I know what to expect from a sold-out show. That being said, the number of people at Saturday’s Big Gigantic show at Skyway Theatre was reckless and irresponsible.
Let’s start out with the good. Opener Flamingosis was an absolute joy to hear and watch. Sampling Spongebob Squarepants, beatboxing live, and an overall fun, care-free stage presence made his low-fi sounds a nice warmup for the rollicking energy of Big Gigantic.
Continuing with the good, even 5 years after my first time seeing them live, Big Gigantic is still an absolute blast. Blazing through high-energy tracks of their own (hearing “Touch the Sky”, a personal favorite of mine, was a nice throwback to my “kandi kid” days), and live renditions of tracks like Cardi B’s “I Like It” and even Boombox Cartel’s remix of Hudson Mohawke’s “CBAT”, drummer Jeremy Salken and saxophonist Dominic Lalli know how to entertain.
It’s refreshing to see this level of staying power in EDM, a genre with a high turnover rate. Even its sub-genre, electrofunk, has become woefully oversaturated since artists like Big Gigantic and GRiZ helped popularize it.
And now for the bad… the really bad.
I could not for the life of me find a place in the entire main theater to comfortably enjoy the show. It wasn’t just me, either, at the height of the show I couldn’t go 30 seconds without hearing someone complain about how overcrowded the venue was. I’m not sure what Skyway’s legal capacity is, or if they were over fire code, but I was legitimately concerned for the safety of the patrons.
I would happily go see Big Gigantic again, last night proved to me they still have that magic I fell in love with 5 years ago. Hopefully next time it’ll be in a space where I can breathe.