Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Live In Miami
All good super heroes come with flashy costumes, effectively transforming them from everyday schmoe to someone you wish to be.
The same is true for Orlando Higginbottom. If you saw him on the street, you’d think, “Oh, there goes another slightly waify, unassuming London bloke.” But at night, he dons a magical headdress, and saves the dancefloor.
“Hello Miami,” he called to the ragtag group of hip 20-somethings. “I’m Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.”
Thursday, Nov. 3, Higginbottom brought his lively brand of genreless-dance-meets-indie-pop to Bardot in Miami, as part of his first mini North American tour.
The show at Bardot afforded partiers a chance to catch an intimate set from the rising star who’s sure to play longer tours and larger venues in the near future. Fans crowded around the man centered against the wall of the club, only his vast array of keyboards, samplers and digital-music-making-gadgets standing between them.
Let’s get one thing straight: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is not a DJ. Everything he played for us that night in Miami was played lived. Every loop, tweak and live vocal melody was uniquely produced by the one-man musical army, which is wonderful because it means every performance must come with it’s own flair and flavor.
And Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs definitely has his own sound, distinctive of Higginbottom’s aural artistry. It’s an upbeat yet mellow and introspective sound. Even when he moves into funkier, dirtier and even abrasive rhythms, it comes out sounding clean and soft around the edges. Kind of like you’re swimming in the waveforms.
Going out on a limb, I’d say Higginbottom is a bit shy. Surrounded by the shuffling crowd, he rarely made eye contact with the front rows, choosing instead to concetrate on his instruments and sing into the mic eyes closed. Half-way through the hour-long set, he put on a giant, tribal-esque headdress, adding to his already flamboyant baby-blue dino get-up, and instantly camera flashes went crazy.
“In the nicest way possible,” he started meekly, “can you put your cameras away?” It’s got to be hard putting the musical pieces together with electric fireflies in your face. “Thank you.”
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs played all the serious jams. The crowd clapped amusement as he dove into Stronger and sang along whole-heartedly with Garden. He even sprinkled in hints of classic dance floor anthems, like Praise You by Fatboy Slim.
Musically, TEED took the whole place on a journey around the world, exploring rhythms reminiscent of Asian gardens, African jungles and the lazy moombah beats of Latin America. He even dropped some swinging horns and Jamaican vocal tracks near the end.
“So Miami, this is my official remix of Lady Gaga,” he shouted, going into his own version of Born This Way. “I’ve never played it before.”
In the last ten minutes of his set, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs kicked it up a closed his set flirting with banger territory. Everyone did their best to jam out accordingly despite the crowded quarters of the front rows.
And when it had finally come time for the last track of the night, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs got everyone to put their two hands in the air and spin around and round “like a Russian dancer.” If that doesn’t show real love and appreciation for a live act, I don’t know what does.
All in all it was a fabulous set that left us feeling we’d experienced something really special, even if sometimes he had trouble matching the beats between songs. You can still catch him all over Europe, but this North American tour is sadly over.
But it must be said, if Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs comes softly stomping through your town, be sure to catch him. You’ll be glad you did.