Written by Charles “Bones” Frank
Photos by Rob Roane
Salutations readers! It is so good to write to my Jamwich family, as I love to do under the beautiful mantle of spring. Here in North Carolina, rain and grey skies were omnipresent for most of winter. Music lovers were reserved mostly to clubs and watering holes, and travel was rare. The sun’s welcome beams bring new inspiration to this writer, and I wish its’ warmth brings light to those experiencing darkness. It is May, and once again I hear the words of one Nick MacDaniels echo through my head, “you know the sun is always shining.” This surely will be the case at this year’s installment of what is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated now annual events of the region, Big Something’s Big What? Wilmington.
The Big What? Wilmington finds the potent sextet that is Big Something back once more to Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, a gem of a medium sized urban shed located conveniently adjacent to downtown. For those unfamiliar, Wilmington and the surrounding areas of North Carolina’s coastal plains endured a rough year since Big Something’s last throw down. Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on the area last fall, damage and displacement could be seen everywhere. However, throughout the weather-induced turmoil, the city became closer. Big Something is back to The Port City to re-stamp their well known question mark insignia all over the people of the 910 and beyond. The city has played an important role in Big Something’s ascent, and the band is back with a horde of their friends to ignite Greenfield Lake once more, and strengthen the ties that bind. The boys from Burlington have been busy, fresh off the heels of a monumental winter run, and they’re ready to host their home state What? Fam and are sure to be fired up something fierce.
In addition to two nights of Big Something, attendees will be treated to the eclectic party sounds of Andy Frasco & The U.N., Wilmington’s own reggae troubadours Signal Fire, knee slapping party kings Dr. Bacon, the clever emcee MISTER, and longtime collaborator DJ Logic is set to deliver a full set. But wait…. there’s more! Big What? Wilmington is also boasting a full slate of after shows, as Funk You (The Whiskey) and The Broadcast (The Calico Room) are on tap to keep the people moving on Friday night, while Casey Cranford’s new explosive super group Casey & The Comrades (The Whiskey) and Fireside Collective (The Calico Room) will take the reigns after hours on Saturday. For those with gas left in the tank following the main event at Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre, these after shows will not disappoint. The Whiskey and The Calico Room are both great haunts and each a staple in Wilmington’s rich live music history.
A band that flaunts a question mark as one of their tags has to be associated with some level of mystery, and this is of course true in the case of Big Something. Sit-ins? You bet. Masterfully rehearsed and placed covers? Absolutely, yes. Mind left body moments? Plentiful. Natural aesthetic beauty augmented by passionate hosts? Yep. Big What? Wilmington will have all this and more, and no matter your history or expertise with any one of the performers, you will feel at home amongst this group at this event.
The Big What? gets better every year, and I expect The Big What? Wilmington to follow the same trend. For those familiar with this band and their majestic musical friends, you already know that from start to finish, note to note, and everything in between, these shows will be an array of sound, family, community, artwork, and togetherness. For those who may be new to this event, there is no better parking lot on which to stumble. Prepare to be embraced, educated, and blown away by the sounds, sights, and love at The Big What?.
Tickets and more information can of course be found via Big Something’s social media portals, or at www.wilmington.thebigwhat.com. I will be on site all weekend to document the happenings, so if you attend, be sure to check back at The Jamwich for my wrap, and if you’re unable to attend, I will keep you informed and up to date on the biggest party at the beach. As always, I encourage my readers to correspond with me, because I want to hear your story! See you on the other side!