I arrived at the red roof church just barely in time to catch the members of Big Brave finishing their setup before launching into what quickly became my favourite set of the festival.
Though I guess “launching” may not be the correct word, as it implies far more thrust and speed than Big Brave bring to the proverbial table. More like a determined stagger, a slow pace toward an inexorable conclusion regardless of all obstacles.
The overwhelming “slow-heavy” the band conjures is made from the simplest of components: just two guitars, one voice, and three drums. In that giant room, it was all that was necessary.
Big Brave know what they’re about: tension and contrast. They don’t fuck around with “unique instrumentation” or “complex arrangements.” They play guitars, they hit drums, and they wail. They do it loud, except in all the quiet parts. They know how to make you wait, and they know how to deliver: subtlety is a dangerous weapon.
A snare drum in a room of the right size, when hit just hard enough, can cut deep into one’s soul.
I’m still recovering, and I mean that in the best possible way.
UPDATE: You can now watch a video of the entire set!