by Emily Honeycutt – firstname.lastname@example.org – Asst. A&F Editor
Heavy beats, synthesizer sounds and saxophone riffs brought the house down at the sold out show at The Orange Peel last Saturday night.
Before the headliner Big Gigantic went on stage, they were preceded by DJ Acolyte and Two Fresh.
Asheville’s Joe Dela Cruz, also known as DJ Acolyte, warmed up the crowd with his electro-house music.
The second group to perform was Two Fresh, which consists of twin brothers Kendrick and Sherwyn Nicholls. The brothers kept the crowd moving with their beats and synchronized head banging. Their almost identical outfits and appearance gave a sort of psychedelic edge to their performance.
According to their website, Two Fresh’s music is “built on a foundation of instrumental hip-hop.” The core part of their music was a strong beat intertwined with sampling. By the end of their set, the venue was packed.
In between groups, die-hard Big Gigantic fans chatted with their neighbors in an attempt to get them excited for the biggest set of the night.
When Big Gigantic came on stage at 11 p.m., the crowd went crazy. They have created a following, and everyone knew to expect an exceptional live show.
Two musicians, Jeremy Salken and Dominic Lalli, make up the Boulder, Colo.-based group. Their music is a combination of saxophone, drums, sampling and electronic beats.
Lalli plays the saxophone and DJs, while Salken supports him on the drums. Lalli also worked as the group’s hype man throughout the show. The combination of live music with electronic beats gives Big Gigantic something special compared to the onslaught of electronic DJs that have stormed venues in the recent years.
Samples used in their mixes included “Notorious Thugs” by Notorious B.I.G. and Aloe Blacc’s “I Need a Dollar.” In the latter song, fake money fell from behind the speakers into the crowd and people jumped and scrambled to catch a free Big Gigantic souvenir.
Whenever they used a well-known sample, a sense of nostalgia filled the venue as people rapped along to the hooks.
Lalli knew how to work the crowd, and instructed them when to put their hands in the air to follow the beat. Nobody stood still throughout the entire set, which was impressive due to the sold out 1,050-capacity venue.
Their song selections for the night were impressive, playing tracks from both of their albums, including recent releases and songs the crowd had never heard.
The crowd stayed energetic, even though the show lasted until after 1 a.m. The songs flowed easily, transitioning right into each other.
“Asheville, you are awesome,” Lalli said during a lapse in the beat, which brought on a roaring response from the crowd, pushing them through the last few songs.
After their set ended, Big Gigantic thanked Asheville and exited the stage. The crowd still wanted to dance, though. They stomped and yelled for a minute or two, shaking the Orange Peel’s dance floor until the duo came back on stage for a three-song encore.
Leaving the venue was like coming out of the clouds. Audience members escaped the heat of the venue with satisfied smiles.
By the end of the show, plastic cups, fake dollar bills and glitter covered the ground, showing The Orange Peel crew and the performers they had put on a show to remember.