“Fifteen bucks but it’s totally worth it—Big Gigantic is here!” sounds a voice from the crowd of people gathered outside Uptown’s Kinetic Playground.
Such unbridled enthusiasm doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Big Gigantic, an electronica/hip-hop duo from Boulder, Colorado, has managed to amass quite a Chicago following. “Last time we played Chicago,” shares drummer Jeremy Salken, “200 people confirmed on Facebook, but 500 ended up showing.”
The opening band plays softly while the few that have arrived lounge on the large cushioned bench that lines the back wall. Almost no one has a drink in hand and, if they do, it’s a Red Stripe held almost disdainfully, as if it has been forced upon them or they are holding it for someone else. There is a masseuse in one corner giving what appear to be “tip what you feel it was worth” massages and a lone, blonde-dreadlocked hula-hooper twists her pink tank-topped torso to the beat in another. This is no Lincoln Park Pub Crawl.
“Why is everyone so quiet?” my roommate wonders aloud. And, again, an answer arrives via a voice from the crowd.
“Why are you guys normal?” a pattern-skirted brunette asks as she leans toward us, the neon light show dancing on her face.
“Why aren’t you on drugs?” she clarifies.
“Oh. Uh, how can you tell?”
“Pupils,” she says, gesturing to her friends. “Ours are dilated, yours are not.”
“You guys should really be on drugs,” she explains. “Kinetic Playground is the place to be if you’re on drugs.” (Meaghan Strickland)