Big Wild, Daktyl and White Cliffs take the stage at Westcott Theater

'Euphoric' Westcott show highlights Big Wild's talent, creativity

Three EDM artists brought a 'euphoric vibe' to Westcott Theater's last show of the month.
Published: March 2, 2018
Big Wild live at Syracuse's Wescott Theater
Big Wild took a moment to shout out the crowd during his performance at the Westcott Theater on Wednesday.

It’s midterm time for students here in Syracuse, New York, and everyone’s stress levels are inevitably higher than necessary.

“What’s the best way to relax and jump-start the flow of those creative juices?” one may ask. Well obviously the right answer is … a concert on a Wednesday night!

The Westcott Theater rolled out an enticing lineup for the last show of February, inviting three budding electronic artists to the stage to spice up everyone’s night. Opening the show at 9 p.m. was Syracuse University alumnus White Cliffs, with Daktyl on right after, and then the headliner Big Wild who closed out the show at midnight. Surprisingly, the 700-person-capacity venue was packed about three-quarters full, with a perfect amount of space left for people to dance their hearts out. One wouldn’t have guessed an under-the-radar lineup would bring out a crowd so substantial in the middle of the week.

These three musicians brought a euphoric vibe to the Westcott with their uplifting melodies and atmospheric bass lines. Each artist decided to ditch the predictable act of simply DJing their sets, and instead came out with full instrumentation that turned what could’ve been an ordinary night of DJed electronic dance music into a completely live electronic show.

White Cliffs, who recently released a new EP on ODESZA’s music curation label Foreign Family Collective, started the night off with some saucy jams that truly showcased his musical talents. Usually a performer that DJs his sets with only a turntable, White Cliffs switched things up by singing his own vocals live, shredding on the electric guitar, and drumming all his beats and samples live on an electronic drum pad.

The stage lighting left White Cliffs in a dark shadow, which evoked a feeling of mystery about the artist, and encouraged listeners to focus on the music. He kept the crowd feeling happy with his well-known remixes of Louis The Child’s “It’s Strange” and Abby Diamond’s “Good,” and closed out his set with his new original song “On Call”.

Daktyl kept the good vibes flowing as he lit up the room with his energetic stage presence and upbeat future bass-sounding tracks. His music isn’t easily identifiable under one certain genre, but he harnesses a special sound that mixes influences from future bass, trap, dubstep, melodic bass, and so many more that it’s nearly impossible to discern between them.

He also showcased his skills as a multi-instrumentalist, bringing out a live drum set, a drum pad for live beats and samples, and an electric guitar. Daktyl’s set was a perfect transition from White Cliff’s more intimate, down-tempo, low-frequency bass set, to Big Wild’s energetic, big-room-EDM performance.

Jackson Stell, known as Big Wild, took over the Westcott Theater with a stage presence not before seen at many of his performances in the past. It shows that Big Wild brought a confident attitude on this headlining tour that showcases his potential to grow even bigger and sell out spaces even larger than the Westcott’s 700-person room.

The stage lighting and visuals that his team created and brought out for this tour took Big Wild into a whole new realm of creative expression and captivating performance. The silhouette of his long, flowing hair was surrounded by cool and warm colors of purple, blue, pink and orange, while the LED screen behind him flashed psychedelic and intricate visual art.

He demonstrated his multi-instrumental talents, switching throughout the night between an acoustic drum set, an electronic drum pad, a cajón drum and a MIDI instrument. He sang his own vocals, which filled the room with the help of a harmonizer, and impressively burst into falsetto in many of the tracks. The duration of his set was a perfect mix of different genres, going from songs with prominent melodies and low bass, to tracks with old school hip-hop samples, some future-funk remixes, and even a breakdown of some deep house bangers that hyped the crowd.

He finished off his set with his popular song “Aftergold,” which was released on ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective, and then blessed the crowd with two tracks for his encore.

Fans in the crowd were seen walking out of the Westcott with huge smiles on their faces, and looks of slight disappointment that the night had come to an end. Big Wild, Daktyl and White Cliffs are off now onto the next stop on their tour, where they’ll blow another crowd away the same way they did in Syracuse last night.

Avatar for Samantha Gallagher

is a contributor to The NewsHouse at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.