Stuart Adamson - vocals, guitar, piano; Mark Brzezicki - drums; Tony Butler - bass; Bruce Watson - guitar
This Big Country was red hot in the fall of 1983 during a tour promoting their incredibly successful debut album, The Crossing. They had become darlings of MTV, and had been embraced by FM programmers looking for a "new sound." Big Country, with its powerful blend of hard rock, traditional Scottish music, and thick synth sounds, provided just that.
Opening with "1000 Stars," Adamson takes the band on a rockin' ride through most of The Crossing. Songs like "Angle Park," "Close Action," and "Lost Patrol" keeps the audience up and excited, but it is not until the band launches into, "In a Big Country," the radio hit from which they took their name, that crowd completely lets go. "Fields of Fire" and "Harvest Home," bring things to a close, followed by a heartful cover of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles' soul classic, "Tracks of My Tears." The band, out of material, was called again to the stage, where they finish with a reprise of "In a Big Country."
Hailing from Scotland, the group had burst onto both the European and U.S. charts at the same time with different songs; "Fields of Fire" was a Top 10 hit in the U.K., while "In a Big Country" (where the band lifted its name) was a massive stateside hit.
This show was one of several shows staged in Manhattan in the second half of 1983, all of which were captured by the King Biscuit Flower Hour. Composed of former Skids member Stuart Adamson on vocals, guitar, and piano, Mark Brzezicki on drums, Tony Butler on bass and Bruce Watson on guitar, the band became known for its fat, multi-layered dual guitar sound, which often sounded as though Adamson and Watson were playing a set of Bagpipes - a sound they achieved with the use of a foot pedal named the MXR Pitch Transposer 129 Guitar Effect.
The band released several albums after The Crossing, and toured through the late 1990s, but never saw the same success or critical acclaim. Tragically, the band fell apart when Adamson, battling depression, committed suicide. Brzezicki and Butler would go on to be the rhythm section in Pete Townshend's solo band.