The AI uprising is coming, and Alan Wilkis is sounding the alarm through Big Data. His debut single “Dangerous” was a commentary on internet surveillance told with a catchy bass line and guest vocals from Joywave’s Daniel Armbruster (who was actually one-half of Big Data when the song was originally released), but his impending second album 3.0 hones in on AI and how the likes of Alexa, Siri, and Cortana will eventually bring about the end of humanity. With 3.0 on the way, Wilkis performed some unreleased songs and older favorites at Songbyrd as part of SiriusXM’s Alt Nation Tour.
The evening was narrated by the omnipotent, Alexa-like voice L1ZY (a fictitious AI system that is the ‘subject’ of 3.0) that coerced all attendees verbally agreed to the Terms of Service before moving the show any further. Gunnar Olsen (drums) Wilkis and co-vocalist Lizy Ryan, filled the room with rage on “Get Some Freedom” and, the currently-unreleased track “Put Me to Work.” We can keep dreaming of the likes of Jamie Lidell and Kimbra to tour with Big Data in the future, but for now Wilkis and Ryan are doing just fine on their own. The pair traded leading vocals throughout the night with Wilkis occasionally hopping behind the keys for slower-burning newer tracks like “Evolution Once Again” and “Unglued,” songs that touched on the joy and paranoia that technology has brought to the masses. For those that like their catchy tracks with a bit of trepidation peppered in, there was no better place to be on Thursday night than with Big Data.
3.0 will be released in 2019 through Wilcassettes and AWAL Recordings.
Openings for Big Data were Fitness and Castlecomer. Fitness’s latest album Karate is out now through Killphonic, and Castlecomer’s debut self-titled album is out now through Concord Records.