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Bay Area music fans ring in 2016 at The Big One

The Big One - The Flaming LipsPhotos by Josh Miller & Erin Milgram // Written by Molly Kish & Kevin Quandt //

The Big One //
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco
December 31st, 2015 //

2016 descended upon SF in epic fashion at Another Planet Entertainment’s New Year’s Eve celebration, aptly titled “The Big One”. With more than 17 musical acts, live art installations and three separate galleries of entertainment at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, partygoers were showered by a psychedelic flurry of confetti and balloons during The Flaming Lips’ midnight countdown and continued partying into the early-morning hours.

We were on the scene to revel in what easily was the Bay Area’s wildest NYE 2015 party, and here are our favorite highlights from the night.


The Big One - The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips

When one considers bombastic artists to ring in a New Year or perform at any major party holiday, The Flaming Lips likely come to mind, as the Oklahoma City psych-rock band has created one of the most over-the-top displays in the music industry. This evening was no exception as frontman Wayne Coyne started the evening atop a structure that could be described as some warped, LED octopus. “The Gold Mountain in our Madness” opened the Lips’ set as the energy in the room quickly lifted from the mellow vibes of Tycho that came before. The mercury continued to rise as the midnight hour approached. A cover of the Miley Cyrus collaboration “Evil Is But a Shadow” was the first track to greet the attendees in 2016, and though some were bummed we didn’t get an appearance from Miley, the celebratory atmosphere was in full swing. -KQ

The Big One - Ratatat

Ratatat

Ratatat kept feet moving with their unique amalgamation of dance rock, which left many to decide between head-banging and crushing dance moves. “Pricks of Brightness” and “Loud Pipes” were early highlights from this Brooklyn duo, who saw a tremendous return to form in 2015 with the release of Magnifique. Props should be given to Another Planet Entertainment and HUSHconcerts for slotting in this live duo over a big-name DJ. Moves like this make us hopeful for The Big One in the coming years. -KQ

The Big One - Tycho

Tycho

The late cancellation from XXYYXX left some attendees in Larkin Hall a tad disappointed, but an extended set from Scott Hansen, popularly known as Tycho, kept revelers in the mood for continued dance-floor high jinks. As this DJ set stretched into its second hour, Hanson shifted to a style more akin to the beat-bass stylings of the original slated artist. This move may have even thrown some for a loop, as they could have easily assumed it was XXYYXX at the helm. -KQ

The Big One

Shigeto

Ghostly International recording artist Shigeto (born Zachary Shigeto Saginaw) held his own in Larkin Hall while being pitted against the downtempo soundscapes of Tycho in the venue’s main room. Serving as the perfect transition between his labelmate Scott Hanson’s ambient performance and The Flaming Lips’ onslaught of maniacal theatrics, Shigeto’s stripped-down live show was a welcomed choice for those attendees looking to ramp it up a notch before the NYE midnight countdown. He performed at ground level to an intimately devoted crowd and layered his jazz-infused electronic beats over mind-blowing live percussion, switching back and forth in real time between manning his mixing board and pounding away feverishly on his full drum kit mere inches away from the audience. -MK

The Big One - Gramatik

Gramatik

After a mind-melting, ball-dropping performance from The Flaming Lips, the audience was reinvigorated by the ax-wielding electronic giants Ratatat, followed by Slovenia-born and Brooklyn-based producer Gramatik. Heavy bass lines and spine-tingling beats filled the main auditorium as Denis Jašarević, in prime position to close the night’s festivities out on a high, took over the main auditorium with his signature glitch-hop bangers. Although much of the crowd had thinned by the time this early-hours set commenced, true ragers were in rare form and ready to “womp” their way into 2016. Dropping a slew of hits, including his single “Native Son” featuring Raekwon, Gramatik kept his audience moving all the way until 3 a.m. Crowd members sprawled throughout the entire auditorium, dancing and laughing until the final bassline thumps knocked the remnants of glitter, confetti and balloons from the rafters. -MK

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