VAIL — Big Gigantic is a party going somewhere to happen, and Friday the party is coming to Vail.
The Boulder-based electro duo performs tonight for Vail’s Burton U.S. Open free concert series.
They have a new album and a new video, and a great attitude about the universe and their place in it.
Big Gigantic is Dominic Lalli, sax-producer, and Jeremy Salken, drums. Both have extensive music backgrounds, and Lalli earned a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
All that is good, but their willingness to work in their community is better. When floods deluged Colorado’s Front Range, they teamed up with local friends, artists and organizations for flood relief efforts. Almost 20,000 homes had been damaged and 12,000 people evacuated by the time the flood waters receded.
To help, they did what they do best. They put together three benefit concerts. To get in, money was helpful, as was canned food and cleaning and household items.
“Colorado is one of those states where everyone comes together to try and help each other,” Salken said. “There are a lot of places like that, but you definitely get that vibe in Colorado. People showed up and were willing to help in whatever way they could. Some donated, some volunteered. It was sad for us because we were on the road while it was happening, so we just saw it on the news. We’re just trying to do everything we can to help.”
Do good, play good
They not only do good, they play good.
The title track of their newest album, “The Night Is Young,” charted No. 10 on the Dance/Electronic Album and No. 2 on iTunes Electronic Album.
With all that, could a party be far behind?
“We took the title track off of our new album, ‘The Night Is Young,’ got a bunch of our friends and flew down to Mexico to party and shoot a music video about letting loose, raging until the sun comes up and making the most of every little moment,” Lalli said.
“The Night is Young” is their fifth album, and they’re on the road to support it. That explains why they’re playing in Vail tonight.
After graduating with a master’s degree in jazz at the Manhattan School of Music, Lalli relocated to Boulder and began performing with Salken. They experimented with interpreting DJ-based music with live instruments.
“I don’t think there are many other electronic bands that have things like saxophone when they are playing,” Salken said. “It’s something completely different. The way we build and drop during the show is what you would do in a band situation. I’m not sure if any other electronic bands have solo sessions that build and drop in that way.”
The music weaves melodies and beats that combine funk, dub step and hip-hop. It wouldn’t sound out of place on a Kanye West or LCD Soundsystem single. Big Gigantic’s concerts showcase their improvisation talents as Lalli shifts seamlessly between keyboards, sax and laptop.
They built a regional following before releasing their debut album, “Fire It Up,” in 2009 and hit the road for a national tour. Their other releases, “Wide Awake” in 2009, “A Place Behind The Moon” in 2010 and 2012’s “Nocturnal,” all rolled up more than 1 million downloads.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vail daily.com.