Concert Reviews

Big Gigantic's Rowdytown 2016: Unicorns, Chickens and Bros — Oh, My!

This weekend, fans flocked to Rowdytown 2016, the sold-out two-day mini-festival put on by electronic duo Big Gigantic at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. These fans were ready to party and were not shy about it. Dressed in brightly colored garb and light-up flat-billed hats and cat ears, they came. Costumed as giraffes, chickens and unicorns, they came. Toting customized flags and inflatable saxophones, they came. Fan excitement was palpable beginning in the lower south lots, and once those fans were inside the amphitheater, the fifth annual Rowdytown appeared to be one of the rowdiest yet.

Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken of Big Gigantic ensured a jazzy dance party, entreating the crowd to "get motherfucking rowdy," cuing fans to jump, throw up their arms and sing along throughout the show. The duo's latest album, Brighter Future, was released in August and was more collaboration-focused than previous efforts. Keeping with that focus on collaboration, the festival featured special guests Pell, Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman, who also appear on the album, as well as old friends Paper Diamond and GRiZ.

On Saturday night, there was a definite chill in the air — and it wasn't just coming from the many "ultra chill bros" in the stands. Yet the dudes dressed in animal onesies appeared to be unfazed by the September drop in temperature, and others braved the night in only shorts. The crowd gravitated toward the front and center of the venue — perhaps to generate body heat — and the sides and top fifteen rows were virtually empty. Still, no one appeared to be fighting for space, just continuing to dance with smiles on their faces.

Denver has become a hotbed of electronic-dance-music festivals — and the crowds are often a glow-in-the-dark gold mine of overheard quotes. Below are some gems from Rowdytown, which made clear that folks who showed up to have a good time proceeded to have a great time. 

“It’s not as cool if we aren’t taking a photo of it.”

“There are chicken wings by the Porta Potty.” *sung while walking through the crosswalk between the lower south parking lots*

“Physical activity after drinking a bunch of liquor is a GREAT idea.”

“I’m glad I didn’t sweat out how fucked up I am.”

“It’s because you ate that tortilla…”

“Who wants a free hug?”

“Are they selling jerseys?”

“I had to stare at [Big Gigantic’s visuals] for a minute…these cats with lasers, they’ve gotta mean something!”

“I think I see Simba.”

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Riley Cowing has been writing with Westword since July 2016. She is originally from Kansas City and graduated from the journalism school at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She enjoys connecting with local artists, drinking all types of espresso and loves any excuse to watch The Devil Wears Prada.
Contact: Riley Cowing