Big Wild Not So Wild
Big Wild came all the way from his home base in Los Angeles, and Atlanta turned out in a big way to make him feel at home on the other end of the country. A sold out Terminal West was the setting, and there was an energy in the crowd that was just waiting for something to set it off. By the time 12:20 rolled around and the house lights dropped down for Big Wild’s headlining set, the anticipation was palpable and the show finally began.
Images displayed on a backdrop set the mood, deep bass rumbled through our chests, lights captured both attention and imagination, and the whole crowd was ready to explode, but then they didn’t. Or at least, I didn’t see it. Maybe it was jet lag, an off night, or maybe it was just me, but while all the ingredients for an amazing show were there, it just never really came together. For full disclosure, I am not a veteran of the EDM scene, so maybe I just don’t get Big Wild’s appeal. He did sell out after all.
I’ve seen plenty of rappers, DJs, and full bands that blew my mind, and they all had one thing in common, they added value to the set that went beyond their sound. It isn’t enough to just play the music right or be in time, if the musicians on stage aren’t drawing the crowd in, then it just turns into a listening party. The music coming out of the speakers was great. Every build, drop, fade, transition, and everything was on point, but the crowd lacked a leader.
There is a distinct divide in EDM, it seems to me, between producers and performers. Where some artists are great at producing tracks, but lack a captivating stage presence, there are others that may not have the most sonically impressive songs, but are lightning rods that capture pure energy and disseminate it to the ground beneath them and everything they touch. I would put Big Wild in the former.
The idea behind his set was fantastic. His stage set up, with a keyboard, controller, and an octapad with cymbals, gave him plenty of ways to be an active participant in the way that each song sounded, but it seemed that he was content with how he had programmed them. Live shows should be a unique experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else. I’ve seen bands and DJs play much smaller venues and get five times the response from the crowd, but like I said, maybe I just don’t get it.
Photos by Alexandra Scuffle for Bullet Music.