Big Gigantic throw down at Hollywood Palladium with a host of special guests in support of their new album ‘Brighter Future 2’

Big GiganticBy Josh Herwitt //

Big Gigantic with Goldfish, Party Pupils, Covex //
Hollywood Palladium – Los Angeles
July 9th, 2022 //

You might not be aware, but Big Gigantic have been releasing new music consistently for more than a decade now.

The longest stretch between albums for the instrumental electronic/hip-hop/jazz act from Boulder, Colo., in fact, has been less than four years, and after dropping 2020’s Free Your Mind just before the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm, saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken have already delivered another fresh set of tracks to tickle our earholes.

Hitting 18 U.S. cities this summer in support of an eighth LP entitled Brighter Future 2 that dropped last month, the duo took the stage at the Hollywood Palladium last Saturday for its first proper LA show in a while. The last time we caught Big G in the City of Angels (read our review here) ourselves, they were at another Tinseltown venue only a few blocks away and it was there that I began to wonder if I was too old to be attending their shows.

Big Gigantic - Dominic Lalli

Big Gigantic’s Dominic Lalli

Well, more than seven years have passed since then and I guess not much has changed for yours truly. Even though I didn’t happen to catch Lalli and Salken when they played The Novo in 2018, I have seen plenty of Big G performances from Avalon Hollywood to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. But this was the first tour I have witnessed that has included multiple special guests, and on this night a modest-sized crowd was treated to appearances by Covex, Party Pupils, Goldfish and ELOHIM — to name a few — during their roughly 90-minute set.

Lalli has always been at the center of things for Big G. The formally trained saxophonist who went to the Manhattan School of Music spent a few years touring with Colorado funk ensemble The Motet before he started making electronic music in 2008 but has become a seasoned veteran on the decks at this point. And with Salken laying the beat down on top of Lalli’s production, they had no problem filling the entire 4,000-person ballroom with their big (gigantic) sound.

As the years pass and I find myself listening to less and less EDM, I know there’s always Big G to bring me back to my more youthful days. Who knows when they’ll return to SoCal, and with coronavirus cases in California on the rise again, it’s hard to know when the next throwdown will be. Until then, we’ll make sure to savor every last moment of this one.

BottleRock announces 2018 roster with Bruno Mars, The Killers & Muse booked as headliners

BottleRock - 2018 lineup

BottleRock Napa Valley //
Napa Valley Expo – Napa, CA
May 25th-27th, 2018 //

We’re one week into the New Year, and festival organizers across the country are just starting to unveil their 2018 lineups.

If last week’s Coachella lineup announcement didn’t do much for you, BottleRock Napa Valley has made its case this Memorial Day weekend with a bill that once again features not one, but two rock headliners, much like the 2017 installment saw with Foo Fighters, Maroon 5 and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, which proved to be one of Petty’s before his sudden death. Yet this time, it will be Bruno Mars, The Killers and Muse leading the way in late May.

Including the three aforementioned headliners, more than 80 artists and bands will descend upon downtown Napa for the three-day festival’s sixth edition. Other noteworthy acts listed on the poster are The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Snoop Dogg, Incubus, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Head and the Heart, Billy Idol, Thievery Corporation, Phantogram, The Revivalists, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Bleachers, Mike D (DJ set), E-40 and St. Paul and The Broken Bones to name a few. BottleRock’s signature Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage, meanwhile, will also return to the Napa Valley Expo as various celebrity chefs team up with different Hollywood stars, musicians, bands, athletes and more for some cool live cooking demonstrations.

Tickets go on sale this Tuesday, January 9th at 10 a.m. PT here and start at $349 before going up to $359 for a three-day GA pass. VIP passes will be sold for as low as $749 (and as high as $799), and a three-day platinum pass is now a whopping $3,900.

BottleRock Napa Valley 2016 - Iration

Am I too old now to be going to Big Gigantic shows?

Big GiganticBy Josh Herwitt //

Big Gigantic //
Avalon Hollywood – Los Angeles
June 19th, 2015 //

It was more than five years ago when I first discovered Big Gigantic.

With its inclusion of the jazz, hip-hop and electronic worlds into their bass-heavy club bangers, the Boulder-based duo comprised of saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken quickly captured my attention as one of music’s most intriguing up-and-coming acts amid America’s 21st-century EDM boom. There was no one else doing quite like what they were doing. Between Lalli’s sexy saxophone lines, Salken’s thundering hip-hop beats and the help of a laptop computer, Big Gigantic was already one of a kind. It was like they had created a new genre of music, or “jazztronica” as I like to call it.

A few months later, I got to witness Big G’s energy first hand when I saw them open for Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) at a sold-out Red Rocks Amphitheatre. It was then and there that I started to understand how “big” their sound really was and could be.

Since then, Lalli and Salken have come a long way. They have released four full-length albums and played at nearly every major U.S. music festival out there, from Bonnaroo to Coachella to Firefly to Electric Forest. And this September, they will headline their fourth “Rowdytown” show at Red Rocks, a feat that Lalli and Salken can both be very proud of as current Colorado residents. It’s all resulted in a burgeoning fan base, one that continues to grow outside the 303 and 720 area codes.

Big Gigantic - Dominic Lalli

Big Gigantic’s Dominic Lalli

At this point, I have seen Big Gigantic perform more than 10 times — more times than I can remember, in fact. I have lost track of the number not because the shows were unsatisfying or unmemorable, but more because there have been so many in such a short amount of time. But after turning 31 this month, I realize I’m also no spring chicken anymore.

Which brings me to last Friday’s show at Avalon Hollywood, where Big Gigantic made their return to LA after appearing at HARD Day of the Dead a few months earlier (a Big G show in the local area that I actually didn’t attend). Having noticed over the past two years that the fans seem to get younger and younger with each show I’m at, I was fully prepared to see some recent high school graduates packing the dance floor when I arrived before Big G’s headlining set. Of course, it didn’t help that Avalon is well-known as an 18-and-over venue, but it’s certainly not the only one in LA either.

Big Gigantic - Jeremy Salken

Big Gigantic’s Jeremy Salken

Nevertheless, the audience on this night immediately made me feel old. Had I not run into a friend who is also in his fourth decade, I might have thought I was the only one in the room who was no longer living at home and going to school. I had felt this way at Big G shows in Colorado, but LA had yet to catch up. The real topper, though, came late in their set, when another male quite possibly 10 years my junior encouraged me to make a move on my girlfriend of more than three years. It wasn’t completely surprising knowing both my girlfriend and I share a rather youthful appearance that can often catch people off guard, so I simply chuckled and explained to him that we have lived together for almost two years now, a detail I could tell he was shocked to learn just by the expression on his face. It was a clear sign that I was no longer in the majority of the band’s fan base. I was and am simply an outlier now.

Big Gigantic, meanwhile, sounded as clean as ever. Taking the stage around 12:30 a.m. and running through a setlist highlighted by remixes of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us” and Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A …”, they had the Hollywood crowd ebbing and flowing until almost the 2 a.m. mark. Both Lalli and Salken have grown tremendously as performers, from Lalli’s production expertise and techniques to Salken’s timing and chemistry when it comes to the music’s improvised sections. And yet, they are still as funky as ever, which makes a lot of sense coming from Lalli, a formally trained saxophonist from the Manhattan School of Music who spent years playing with Colorado funk ensemble The Motet before founding Big Gigantic in 2008.

But as EDM’s sphere of influence continues to spread across the industry, so has Big G’s fan base, with many being of the younger variety. It’s left older fans like myself in a precarious position, one that feels unnatural even with so many shows under my belt. It’s why I can’t help but ask myself, “Have I exceeded the age demographic of a Big Gigantic show?”

Because even if I’m not too old yet, it’s sure starting to feel that way.

The Motet, Shaky Feelin’ get down in LA

The-MotetBy Josh Herwitt //

The Motet with Shaky Feelin’ //
The Mint – Los Angeles
February 9th, 2014 //

Who said it’s not cool to party on a Sunday night? Well, certainly not The Motet.

The Colorado ensemble brought the funk — and subsequently, one hell of a dance par-tay — to LA on Sunday, capping off last weekend with a packed show at The Mint.

But before the Denver-based septet even hit the stage, Ventura County’s Shaky Feelin’ got the dance floor moving and grooving thanks to their feel-good jams. With drummers Paul Menchaca and Cameron Probe laying down the beats, lead singer/guitarist Mark Masson channeled his inner Trey Anastasio, offering us an hour-long lesson in shredding with one Phishy solo after the next.

While it wasn’t the first time Shaky Feelin’ had played The Mint, the set still stood as an important moment for the quintet — one it can feed off before another big opening slot, for none other than Robert Randolph & the Family Band, later this month in Agoura Hills.


So, by the time The Motet was ready to join the fun, the crowd was just as eager to let loose — and evidently, so was frontman Jans Ingber. Sure, drummer Dave Watts may be the group’s founder and bandleader, but it’s Ingber who can really work a crowd. Sporting his usual curly afro, the tall, slender vocalist didn’t waste much time before unleashing his best funky dance moves.

The music, to no one’s surprise, was just as funky. Playing several cuts off its new self-titled album, The Motet captivated both first-timers and veterans with afro-influenced grooves and a horns section that features Gabe Mervine on the trumpet and Matt Pitts on the tenor saxophone. Of course, keyboardist Joey Porter, guitarist Ryan Jalbert and bassist Garrett Sayers aren’t too shabby themselves, and they made that apparent with each tune they played over the course of the night.

Now in its 12th year together, The Motet may not be on its way to mainstream commercial success any time soon, but for modern-day funk fans, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

WIN TICKETS: The Motet with Shaky Feelin’ at The Mint 2/9


Enter to win a pair of free tickets to this show below.

The Motet with Shaky Feelin’ //
The Mint — Los Angeles
February 9, 2014 //

One of Colorado’s best funk outfits, The Motet, stroll into Los Angeles at The Mint on Sunday, February 9th and Showbams has a pair of tickets to giveaway. Fresh off the heels of their self- titled release, which marked their 7th album, The Motet is poised to make 2014 their banner year. If you’re a fan of the classic band The Meters or Parliament Funkedelic then you need to be at this show.

Starting the festivities off is one of So-Cal’s best rising Jambands, Shaky Feelin’, so be sure to get there early if you’re lucky enough to win.

Not feeling lucky? then just buy em here.


Enter to win if you can make it to this show Sunday, February 9th at The Mint in LA.

Submit your full name and email address below.
Contest ends Friday, February 7th at Noon. Winners will be picked at random & notified by email. Your email will be kept private – we will share your email with no one. 21+ only.

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WIN TICKETS: The Motet at the Indy 10/26


Enter your name and email address below for the chance to win.

The Motet have been persuasively convincing music fans to “dance your ass off” for over a decade, and the Colorado-based improvisational force will bring their dynamic sound to the Independent Saturday evening. With a penchant for interpreting Grateful Dead material in a funkified and energized passion, The Motet take advantage of their deep 9-member lineup to deliver a layered, expansive sound. Rooted in funk, jazz, folk and various world elements, it’s the use of digitized house and techno beats that drive the group’s music, keeping feet moving and the good times rolling. Joy & Madness will be holding down opening duties, so be sure to check in to the Indy early Saturday.

Buy tickets if you know you want to go!

Win 2 Free Tickets!
Enter to win if you can attend this show Saturday, October 26 at The Independent in San Francisco.

Submit your full name and email address below.
Contest ends Friday, October 25 at Noon. Winners will be picked at random & notified by email. Your email will be kept private – we will share your email with no one. 21+ only.

Like Showbams on Facebook and follow Showbams on twitter to be eligible to win.