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A Great Big World rides momentum to Buffalo - VIDEO

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

From the perspective of a pop radio listener, the quality of music should rise above its creator’s persona.

For instance, you may not gravitate to the personalities or antics of Kanye West or Chris Brown, but your feelings may be more easily set aside if you like the hook of Brown’s “Look at Me Now” or the beat of West’s “Gold Digger.”

In contrast, Darius Rucker—former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish and now solo country artist—is widely recognized as a kind, approachable fellow.

But if you’re not keen on his foray into country, then he could be the world’s next Gandhi and you still probably wouldn’t care for his new endeavor.

Or, you may enjoy the idea of partying with energetic LMFAO, but you’d give your passenger a wet-willy if “Party Rock” was left on the dial for more than 10 seconds.

My purpose in this considerably convoluted intro is that, when A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera released “Say Something,” the casual listener didn’t have the slightest clue who the former was.

Roughly 24 million YouTube views later, the public’s curiosity toward A Great Big World rose for the right reasons—not a relationship with the Kardashians, but sheer musical talent and a hit that resonated with anyone who’s dealt with a tense relationship.

A Great Big World, which raised $22,000 through Kickstarter to further its musical aspirations once its label folded, will perform an 8 p.m. show on Saturday at Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St., Buffalo.

Co-singers and songwriters Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino, former music school students from New York University, are the brains behind A Great Big World’s operation, and the duo’s first album, “Is There Anybody Out There?”, will be released on Jan. 21—you can pre-order it on iTunes here for $7.99.

Tickets for the Buffalo show, via Ticketmaster, are available for $12 in advance or $15 at the door.


Frankly, the A Great Big World’s mainstream anonymity was a positive, especially when A Great Big World’s role was inevitably shrouded by Aguilera’s accompaniment. The lyrics, musical production and presentation of “Say Something” were so powerful that the personalities behind its creation faded into the background.

Huffington Post delved into the meaning behind the song—but first noted that “Say Something” was barely included as a track.

“We almost didn’t put ‘Say Something’ on the album, wanting to switch another ballad in place of it,” Vaccarino said. “But then Epic [Records] put it out as a radio single, which we were totally against at first. Most of the music on the album is really upbeat, and we just didn’t think it was going to fit in.”

“It was a really dark time for us, both just in difficult places even outside of relationships,” Axel said. “Going through some really intense heartbreak, the song was such a cathartic experience. It was the only song we had written in a year’s time, but I needed to write it right that second. Whatever spare time I had, I couldn’t stop writing it. It came out so fast, and I think we found closure in the song. It isn’t about hanging on in the end.”

It’s worth watching “Say Something” sans Aguilera, as it’s a touch different (but not really that much).

(Photos courtesy of A Great Big World’s official Facebook page).

TAGGED: a great big world, concerts, downtown, tralf music hall, videos

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