Big Wild has remixed songs by all your favorite artists – ODESZA, Zhu, Chvrches, and Sylvan Esso to name a few. Big Wild has played at all your favorite festivals and venues – Red Rocks, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and EDC to also name a few. And now Big Wild is touring across the US in support of his debut full length album, Superdream. Part of that tour was a sold out stop at The Novo Friday night.
Big Wild (aka producer and composer Jackson Stell) released Superdream via Counter Records and is affiliated with ODESZA’s coveted Foreign Family Collective. His experimental pop sounds fall in line with those of other Foreign Family artists; upbeat tempos paired with inspiring & uplifting lyrics. The first track off the album, “City of Sound” is symbolic of Big Wild leading the Superdream project with his voice for the first time ever and is meant to be a song of encouragement. He opened his set with the track. A guitarist in a dazzling sequin jumpsuit took the stage before Stell entered showing off his vocal chops.
It was the first of many songs in which Stell worked alongside vocal and instrumental support. The guitarist underwent multiple outfit changes and was joined in varying combinations with a back up vocalist and a bassist. Maybe it was just the warm fuzzy feeling of the concert being on International Women’s Day, but I was glad to see all of them were women. The auxiliary performers, outfit changes, and obvious shift from EDM to a more pop driven sound made the entire performance very reminiscent of Empire of the Sun.
There wasn’t a still body in that room even at the top of the balcony; something seldom seen at a show. Another, less positive, quality of the show were the substantial pauses between songs. As this isn’t something often seen at EDM-centric shows, this is another clear shift in the pop direction. Still, it was obvious the enthralled crowd didn’t mind. Highlights of the set included old classics like “When I Get There” and “Empty Room,” Big Wild having the crowd illuminate The Novo during his remix of “Show Me” by Hundred Waters, and a mashup involving Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” that led into a breakdown where he played cajón.
Words & Photography: Kirby Gladstein