Captain Hiram’s • Sebastian, Florida • August 28, 2013
More closely representing an all-star supergroup than the original chart-busting collective, the ’80s pop/rock combo Big Country played to an intimate, yet enthusiastic crowd of approximately 200 fans at Captain Hiram’s in Sebastian, Florida.
“It’s a great night to be under the Florida stars,” announced charismatic frontman Mike Peters as the band took the outdoor stage.
Despite the band’s rich history, the latest incarnation of Big Country is far from a nostalgia act, as the set-list leaned almost as heavily on the band’s 2013 album, The Journey as its 1983 Top 20 debut, The Crossing.
After kicking off the show with one of its latest tunes, “Return,” the band segued into one of its earliest singles, “1,000 Stars.”
Moonlighting from his day gig as the driving force behind the legendary band, The Alarm, Peters was quick to apprise the audience of Big Country’s colorful, yet tragic back story, dedicating “Harvest Home” to “the late, great Stuart Adamson,” the founding frontman who took his own life in December, 2001. “You may see five on stage as Big Country,” Peters proclaimed. “But there will always really be six.”
Original guitarist Bruce Watson proved to still be a top-notch showman, leaping about the stage without missing a lick, while his co-founder, Cult alumnus Mark Brzezicki, punished his drum kit as if it were a naughty schoolgirl. Rounding out the current Big Country line-up were Watson’s son Jamie on guitar and one-time Simple Minds bassist Derek Forbes decked out proudly in a Scottish kilt.
Sounding as fresh as ever, Big Country remains a hard-hitting, guitar-driven band with hooks galore and melody to spare. Diehard fans pasted themselves against the front of the stage, air drummed with Neil Peart-like precision to every riff throughout the show, and sang along gleefully to every word of such staples as “Chance,” “Fields of Fire,” “Look Away,” and “Wonderland.” The high-energy, 75-minute set culminated with the band’s signature classic, “In a Big Country.”
But before leaving the stage, each band member commandeered the mic to personally thank the audience for its longtime support and for making the show the best of their summer tour. A class act, to be sure.