Live Review: The Big Sway at The Big Up 2011

by | Aug 4, 2011 | Concerts & Festivals, Reviews

The crowd was a little meager at the start of their set, but The Big Sway sounded at home on the Woods Stage at 2011’s TBU. Their resonance is mighty – heavy drumming, stomping bass lines, and insane guitar riffs are the basis of this budding Lowell jam band. The Big Sway gets punk rock on jam music, but their edge is balanced by something movable and funky. It’s a beautiful thing when you can dance to a band that rocks as hard as The Big Sway does.

The Big Up is a step up for The Big Sway, as its only been a couple of years since the band started playing music festivals. In 2010 the trio won a spot to perform at Wormtown Trading Company’s Strangecreek Campout. Since then The Big Sway has worked their way up lineups, increased their touring, and were eventually led to Sunnyvale Farms.

The show started out with a lot of energy from the band, and you could feel it in the crowd. “This is so much cooler than our basement! This is so sick!” someone exclaimed from in front of the stage.

“The week before we had played a birthday party for our guitar player, Tim, at a friends house in Keene, NH,” bassist Joe MacFadzen explained. “We started playing at around 5pm in the garage, and after about 5 songs the police came to quiet us down. So we moved the show to the basement, which had such low ceilings almost everyone had to hunch over the whole time, but we rocked it apeshit nonetheless. Alot of our friends and fans from Keene were at The Big Up, so there was a very comfortable and familial feel from the crowd that night.”

From basement shows to 2am sets at highly anticipated, up-and-coming music and arts festivals, The Big Sway has every reason to be excited about where they’re headed.  They’ve shredded their way to the top, like true ragers, and the fantastic punk rock energy they bring to festival lineups cannot be forgotten. The Big Sway is on to something. From the direction their music has taken it’s possible that the careless edge behind punk vocals, and the careless, “anti” sentimentality that embellishes their sound might be a perfect hint of messiness for electrified jam bands.

journalism by M E G A L O M A N D E E