Big Something Sets Fire to the Great Lakes
Kings Rook Club
January 31st, 2016
By Shae Rupinsky
Kings Rook Club in Erie, Pennsylvania is one of those places where you have to know someone who knows someone to gain entrance. We’ve all heard of members only clubs with annual dues, interviews, and a required loose ancestral tie to some European country, but Kings Rook Club is not your grandfather’s bar. It is a distinctive music venue that keeps things cool by leaving the uninvited out. It’s not a clique or cruel, it just keeps great minds grooving together. North Carolina based Big Something played the club for the first time on an unusually warm Saturday night in January.
Upon entrance to Kings Rook Club, guests are immediately faced with a choice: upstairs or down? For larger shows like Big Something’s both levels are open but for small shows, only the upstairs is accessible. An ascent offers several activities for the attendee. There are multiple pool tables, a bar, tabled seating, a couch and recliner section, an entire bus, and a small illuminated stage. Downstairs offers two additional bars, more seating and a larger, elevated stage with tiered standing levels for the audience.
After some time for awed exploration, Big Something beckoned all downstairs, setting the mood for the evening by opening with a laid back cover of Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle.” The song seemed a subtle echo of the venue’s vibe and a reminder that Saturday night was settling in and to forget any preoccupations with time. The music was satisfying for the duration of the first half but the crowd was a bit fickle, still arriving and finding their place. Just before intermission the band played another surprising cover of “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” a song no one’s feet could deny. Big Something closed up the set and kept the dance groove going with a transition into their own “Megalodon.”
During the second half, Big Something took a cue from the weather and brought the heat to an already energized scene post set break. The entire second set was an incinerating crescendo that began with a mellow “Truth Serum” and climaxed with The Tramps’ “Disco Inferno.” And an inferno it was. The temperature in the venue had spiked, sweat was dripping, and oxygen was fleeting, but Big Something pushed us through urging us to dance until we dropped. Finally, the band released us with a light “Amanda Lynn,” but the crowed still asked for more. They were treated to an encore that featured a drum solo by Ben Vinograd who’s birthday it had turned at midnight.
There was a momentary break after Big Something’s second set for drinks, bathroom breaks, and finding friends. This was followed by an immediate after show at the smaller stage upstairs. One additional bonus of a members-only setting is that the groove can go until 3 a.m. rather than 2 leaving room for three shows in a single night. After a bit more dancing and exploring we were at last let out into the night to laugh together and find our way home.