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CONCERT COVERAGE: Big Something Rings in the New Year with 3 Night Run in Raleigh

Date of show: December 29-31, 2018 Location: Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC Photos and Review by: Nina Martin (copy editing by Jeremy Williams) Big Something celebrated New Year's Eve with a 3 night run at the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh, NC. Each night had a different theme, which made the events that much more fun. Seeing both the crowd and artists dressed up accordingly, as well as hearing theme related songs, was a great way to start the new year. Night 1, "Let's Get Crazy" night kicked off with fellow NC natives, The Mantras. What I like about The Mantras is their genre can really blend between progressive, jam, and funk. The five piece band came on with high energy and got the crowd moving. It was a wonderful way to start the first of many memories for the weekend. Casey Cranford of Big Something also came out to join the band for a song, which brought an added level of funk and fun to the group's sound. The Mantras also host their very own multi-day music fest each year in NC, MantraFest, which is definitely worth going to. Opening with "EWI 4000" and Prince's "Let's Go Crazy," Big Something came on stage ready for the night, decked in lab coats, crazy wigs, funky glasses and tons of smiles. Breezing through their archive of songs, the band played fan favorites new and old. The hypnotizing melodies of "In the Middle" had everyone grooving and in the moment. Big Something always has some excellent covers up their sleeves, and night one was no exception with an incredible cover of Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and for the first time The Beatles' "Helter Skelter." Keyboardist Julian Sizemore from The Mantras performed "Truth Serum" with the guys, as well as guitarist Keith Allen hopping on stage for the band's encore, "Psycho Killer." The Talking Heads cover was hard hitting, in your face, and the perfect way to top off the first night. Night 2, also known as the "Green Theme" night, started with 8 piece psychedelic jam group, The Kind Thieves. These southern WV natives have been on multiple festival bills in recent years, and it shows in their favor with their live performance. Each member has their own flare that they bring to the table, making an incredible and eccentric live sound. The Kind Thieves are from my hometown, so it is truly a wonderful feeling to see the success that continues to unfold for these guys, as I know how hard they have worked for it and truly deserve it. Casey Cranford hopped on stage to play with the Thieves for a song as well, making the all around good time that much better. Big Something began their second night with the spacey tune "Vibration," a song off of their self-titled sophomore album. With vocalist Nick MacDaniels' mesmerizing vocals singing "Oh, good vibrations all around and around.... Oh, I can feel it coming round and around" projecting through the crowd, the song was such a great way to set the tone and vibes for the evening. Christian Tanzey of The Kind Thieves played trumpet with the band mid-set for 2 more covers, Lettuce's "Blast Off" and Frank Zappa's "Mr. Green Genes" bringing some extra jazzy sounds to the table. Both songs were a fantastic play on words for the green themed evening and kept the crowd dancing and singing along. "The Flood" is another catchy, noteworthy song to hear the group perform live. It is obviously a fan favorite with it's funky upbeat tone, and the anticipated breakdown in the middle of the song always keeps the crowd's energy in check. To wrap up their set and evening, Big Something brought guitarist Colby Elswick of The Kind Thieves on stage to join them for an EPIC cover of Ray Wylie Hubbard's classic hit "Snake Farm". Elswick's smooth, bluesy riffs were the perfect addition to the group's take on the song. The rock and roll jam clocked in just over 12 minutes and was hands down, one of the highlights of the weekend. Check out a video of the song HERE. Completing the 3 night run was "Secret Agent" theme night with Midnight North on stage to start things off. The band was decorated in New Year's Eve accessories and genuinely were having a great time from start to finish. MN has a wonderful eclectic sound, rich with americana and jam inspirations. It's also wonderful to see Grahame Lesh, Phil Lesh of Grateful Dead's son, following in his father's footsteps and even channeling some of Phil's sound for the newer generation of music lovers to enjoy. Staying true to their nightly themes Big Something hit the stage around 10:30pm, looking very dapper for night 3, dressed head-to-toe in black and white suits. The final night was loaded with older, well known tunes from Big Something's very first studio album, "Stories from the Middle of Nowhere." "A Simple Vision," "Pinky Goes to Jail," and "Pinky's Ride" were all in tow, along with another fan favorite, "Amanda Lynn" later in the set with MacDaniels on mandolin. Keeping with the 3 night tradition, Grahame Lesh of Midnight North was brought on stage during "Passenger" for another round of mashup magic. When the clock struck midnight, a massive amount of balloons came falling down from the ceiling, bringing pure joy and celebration to everyone in Lincoln Theatre. Lead guitarist Jesse Hensley's complex solos are a treat to see live as well and are exemplified multiple times throughout the 3 nights. Casey Cranford is also flowing with talent, switching between the saxophone and an EWI, delivering a one of a kind sound for the band's music. What sets Big Something apart from most bands in their genre is how genuinely enjoyable the group is from start to finish of every set they play. They are consistently bringing a huge variety to their sets with different covers and an electrifying good atmosphere. The chemistry each member has with one another is undeniable as well, consistently on the same wavelength with each other with every stroke of each song. The group has been playing for many years, and their live show is both a well oiled machine, as well as a continuous source of improvisation and creativity. Overall the New Year's run was a fitting exclamation point to punctuate the excellent year Big Something had in 2018. Setlist 12/29/18 Lincoln Theatre Raleigh, NC EWI 4000 > Let's Go Crazy (Prince) > Sirens > In the Middle Grey Matter > Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pink Floyd) Truth Serum* > Insane in the Membrane* (Cypress Hill) > Truth Serum* > Saturday Night Zombie > Helter Skelter** (The Beatles) > Plug The Undertow Club Step > Hangover E: Psycho Killer*** (Talking Heads) Notes: New Years Run Night 1 of 3 "Let's Go Crazy" Theme * w. Julian Sizemore (The Mantras) on keys ** First Time Played *** w. Keith Allen (The Mantras) on guitar / vocals Setlist 12/30/18 Lincoln Theatre Raleigh, NC

Vibrations > Cosmic Dust > Illuminated > The Glow Blast Off* (Lettuce) Mr. Green Genes*^ (Frank Zappa) > The Flood Dragon Attack (Queen) Josh's Disco > Jose's Pistola Basket Case^ (Green Day) Waves Smoke Signal UFOs are Real E: Snake Farm**^ (Ray Wylie Hubbard) Notes: New Years Run Night 2 of 3 "Green Theme" * w/ Christian Ray Tanzey (The Kind Thieves) on trumpet ** w/ John Colby Elswick (The Kind Thieves) on guitar ^ First time played Setlist: 12/31/18 Lincoln Theatre Raleigh, NC The Otherside > Sundown Nomad Wildfire Secret Agent Man* (Johnny Rivers) Passenger** > Tumbleweed A Simple Vision > Eminence Front (The Who) The Curse of Julia Brown (unfinished) > NYE Countdown / Jam > Love Generator Things Can Only Get Better* (Howard Jones) Pinky Goes to Jail Pinky's Ride > Mission Impossible Theme* (Michael Giacchino) > Pinky's Ride Amanda Lynn Blue Dream > Megalodon Song for Us In the Meantime (Spacehog) > My Volcano (unfinished) > The Curse of Julia Brown (ending) E: Bright Lights Sweet Leaf (Black Sabbath) > My Volcano (ending) Notes: New Years Run Night 3 of 3 "Secret Agent" Theme * first time played ** w/ Grahame Lesh (Midnight North) on guitar​​​​

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