Show Review

BIG Something @ Beachland Ballroom 3/3

                                                                                             (Minch/2017)
Morgan Minch

​The façade of the Beachland Ballroom looks like a deserted Coney Island strip building. Inside, a small reception room opens to a longer merch hall. The ballroom ahead has a stage right out of a Reginald Marsh painting, lined with dagmars and contrasting colors in decorative niches.
 
First we slipped into “Song for Us” off BIG Something’s new album Tumbleweed. It opened the full and swaying crowd to the higher register. I feel like this joyous, carefree song is a perfect introduction to who the band are.
 
“Amanda Lynn” from Stories from the Middle of Nowhere was a delight, with floating sax and airy mandolin. Next, “UFOs are Real” bursts and spirals out, moving quite quickly with some jazz horns. It’s all luscious, smooth sounds when suddenly a guitar solo reminiscent of some 38 Special arpeggios bends your brain a bit! I could definitely feel the crowd’s love.  
 
The speeding percussion in “Passenger” is a bed for soft words about journeys and time. Two guitars push the melody higher and harmonize on the 3rd and the 4th, resolving like an Allman Brothers riff all while the bass lurks below the surface.
 
“Tumbleweed” is a scintillating, badass song that transports you to the desert. Howls across canyons stretch over a wide rumbling bass cloud. Imagine, a Kokopelli flute player on the EWI playing arpeggios whose sharp echoes rip through the shadowy bass valley below. Gorgeous imagery this music evokes!
 
 “Megalodon” is carried by a funky rhythmic guitar and sexy bass movement. The song is in awe of a majestic woman who struts to elegant sax and meandering organ. At this point “Waves” washes over my mood. It’s a poetic drift. Metal-form bass and drums weave in, like a brewing storm, creating a pensive mood. It finishes with a crazy chromatic Parliament Funkadelic line of swag.
 
The night was topped off with a rendition of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla” that stormed and flailed. What I couldn’t stop thinking about was how crazy it must feel for the band to see everyone totally loving them in real-time. Wow! I enjoyed seeing the passion from each of the musicians as they played on.
 
The spirit of the night was wondrous and wild, at times playful, triumphant and sensually funky. If you see them, and hopefully you will soon, expect a ton of variety of sound and texture—and atmospheric storytelling to boot.