A Quick Look at Every Band at Big Ticket 2017
This year’s version of the Big Ticket had a smaller lineup as they trimmed down to one stage, but the trade-off was better quality, as all seven bands were pretty damn good. Here’s a quick recap on each set, in reverse order based on quality of their set (best saved for last).
Walk The Moon
Ehh…they were okay. They might have come into the show with the two biggest hits, but they were dispassionate. “Anna Sun” sounded very good.
They were pretty good, but everyone else was just better. New Jersey swagger backed up with solid, energetic rock. The highlight of their set was an extended version of “Roller Coaster” that included pieces of Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and in a flashback to Jack Antonoff’s Fun days, a nice snippet of “Carry On.”
Ok, we’re at a point now where all of the remaining bands were excellent. Singer A/J Jackson is turning into a damn good front man, and was much more animated than the past two times I saw the band, We even saw him take a trip into the crowd for “Cold, Cold Man.”
Their closing song “My Type” was a crowd favorite that had the entire arena jumping.
I had heard a few of their tracks beforehand, and was interested to see how they would translate to a live setting. I was not disappointed, in fact, they were the most pleasant surprise of the day. They hit the stage with a searing version of “Chemical Dream” and each of the next four songs was better.
“Plastic Soul,”a song about the Afterlife was compelling and “Shine” was our first singalong moment of the night. The set closer, “Automatic” is a hit in the making that left the crowd thirsting for more. One of the best festival opening acts I’ve seen.
Fun facts: Front man Joshua Ostrander had fun taking a selfie with the crowd as his mother tried to text him, and shared the origin of the band’s unusual name… his pet dog, not a Seinfeld reference…
Our headliners delivered a solid set featuring pristine musicianship, diverse talent and melodic vocals. They finished in the middle of the list, because as fantastic as they sounded, their stage show was really nothing special. I can share that the crowd loved their music, and I loved watching the fans on the floor joyously spinning around the floor.
“Ho Hey”was an early favorite, but the set truly took off during invigorating and fun, crowd-participation versions of “Ophelia” and “Big Parade.” Their encored started off with Tom Petty’s “Walls” and they sent the crowd into the evening with a sweet version of “Stubborn Love.”
Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness
Andrew McMahon plays piano.. and he was one of the most energetic, dynamic performers at The Big Ticket. While he is seated at the piano (which is about 50% of the time) he spins between two mics. The rest of the time, he is all over the arena.
He spent the set racing across the stage and throughout The Big Ticket crowd. At different times, we saw him climb on top of his piano and the speakers, jump into the pit area, crowd-surf atop the world’s largest rubber ducky, and tour the entire arena, rubbing elbows with hundreds of fans.
McMahon also connected with the crowd and came across as genuinely happy to be there. In fact, he and the members of his band, walked into the lobby after their set and met a slew of fans in the area.
The highlight of the set was a beautiful , tender rendition of “Cecilia and the Satellite” that had the arena lit up with flashlights as the crowd provided sweet harmonies.
I saw this Danish band at a different festival a few years back and knew what to expect from their dynamic stage show, but I still left thoroughly impressed. On a day filled with killer performances, New Politics stole the show.
David Boyd was born to be a rock’n roll front man. He flied around the stage during their raucous opener, “Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens)” and just kept kicking it up a notch. He delivered an amazing break dance routine during “Dignity” and then sang “Fall Into These Arms” from atop the outstretched arms of the fans in the pit.
The band amped up the energy with a smoking version of “Harlem” before guitarist Soren Hansen slipped behind the keyboard for an exciting version of “All Of Us” which spotlighted his wonderful, under-appreciated voice.
Fun Fact: Boyd sang a song inspired by the birth of his daughter Wolfgang with The Walking Dead actress Christian Serratos.
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