Last night I watched Big Deal do their very first show in the US. I'd been enjoying their album (which I reviewed the other day here) and was looking forward to seeing them. So was it in fact a big deal?
While it was definitely a solid performance, I don't think I can honestly say it was a big deal, as in, one of the top 5 live shows I've ever seen. Not that it had to be. I think this band will improve; they are still growing as a live act. When one is literally debuting in the US, there's nothing wrong with that. The duo's chemistry is clear onstage in a live setting. What's missing is a little bit of the energy and assuredness of their record. Granted, they were quite faithful to how everything sounds on Lights Out – and with only voice and guitar, it's fairly easily to replicate – but I believe once they get a little more comfortable and loose their shows will reach the same highs as the album.
Of course I really enjoyed hearing the songs nevertheless. It was funny how the occasional "whoo!" or yell from a certain guy in the audience would get Alice to break like Jimmy Fallon every time. She'd laugh, and they even decided to start over "With the World At My Feet" because of it. These moments may not be "professional" but they are what make a show real. Unplanned spontaneous bursts of unpredictability give a live performance its vitality and power. So even if they were goofs, it was nice to see a human reaction. Early on, they were more tentative, and these moments seemed to help them relax. Another thing of interest to me was learning that Kacey exclusively played an acoustic guitar and Alice exclusively an electric, and Kacey had a pedal to give his guitar distortion.
I think the crowd was definitely into the show and the opening bands, Zaza and 2:54, were enjoyable. Glasslands is always a nice place to see live music – Kacey seemed pretty entranced by the signature artwork backdropping the stage. Big Deal's ten song set was composed almost entirely of selections from Lights Out, plus they threw in a great cover of Big Star's "13." Read the setlist below. NYC people can see Big Deal again tonight at the Mercury Lounge and for everyone else, their album is available here. I was glad to see them and, while they have room for improvement, it was a good show.
- Cool Like Kurt
- Locked Up
- With The World At My Feet
- 13 (Big Star Cover)
- Talk [you can check out the recently released official video for that song below]