North Mississippi Allstar February 26, 2010 Highline Ballroom New York, NY Taped and Transferred by T.J. Samulis

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Disco Biscuits - 12/27/08 - Nokia Theatre - NYC

Since 2001, I have seen at least one show of the Disco Biscuit's holiday run. It's become a holiday tradition just similar to watching bowl games or going to the Mummer's parade on New Year's day for some. It has no doubt brought more highlights for me than any college bowl game ever will. Having the opportunity to only see one show this year, I was hoping this would end up being "that show" fans talk about for years to come (i.e. 12/30/01). Although it's yet to be determined, I'm sure this show will at least be involved in the discussion.

On the eve of Allen Aucion's three year anniversary with the band on drums, the Disco Biscuits were entering night two of their five night residency at the Nokia Theatre in the heart of Times Square. They have kept the touring to a minimum this fall wrapping up with an annual excursion to Jamaica to co headline Caribbean Holidaze. It was apparent from their playing, especially that of guitarist Jon Gutwillig, whatever they were doing with their time off was working. I could tell just from the small amount I heard from the recordings they were playing with a new sense of direction.

The show started with a jam that displayed this direction. Unlike some extended opening jams the Biscuits play that ease themselves into an evening, this one had a purpose. It acted as a springboard into Orch Theme, a perfect example of the newest evolution of the Biscuits sound. This particular version is the best I've ever seen live. The PA was literally crackling from the sheer volume marking the beginning of what would become a non-stop first set dance party.

Orch Theme melded it's way into Tricycle, an obscure original which has only been played four known times. Tricycle re-emerged in April of 2008 for the first time since 2000. I don't think it's an understatement to call this version a monster. The buildup into Tricycle was worth the price of admission and the reason I come to see this band.

The transition into 42 didn't release any of the built up tension of this set. I'm not a huge fan of 42, but it was played in a great spot for this set. The chorus served as slight relief of the already peaking tension. This relief was brief as the band slammed back into Orch Theme before returning to 42. A new song I think is called Uber Glue gave us a chance to finally catch our breath before set break. Without a doubt I can say this was the best set I've seen the Biscuits perform all year.

The second set begun with some pure funk: A cover of P-Funk's "Standing of the Verge of Getting It On" featuring an extended funk intro and Philadelphia native Two Face who provided the lyrical part. The cover was downright fun with the band dressed in typical Funkadelic attire, but was also done very well. It was only fitting for the Biscuits to allow Two Face to showcase one of his own songs with the band accompanying him. Tamarin Alley, another newer original, followed and continued with the rap theme with Marc Brownstein (bassist) on vocals this time. I can see the potential with this song, but tonight it was nothing ground breaking.

The second set was rounded off with some Biscuit staples: Reactor, Dribble, Spraypaint, Shimmy and Bernstein & Chasnoff. Both the drop after the chorus of Mindless Dribble and the jam in Bernstein and Chasnoff are the only real parts that stand out in my mind as noteworthy. The final segment of this set was had it's moments and was highly enjoyable, but really yields in comparison to the first set.

The band did tease us by playing a little of Trooper McCue prior to the encore, but I doubt they were serious about playing it. The song hasn't been played since 2004 and never with Allen behind the kit, although it's one I wish they would bring back. A standalone Digital Buddha ended the night. There's never anything wrong with that in my book.

Top to bottom the show was wonderful and fulfilled my bisco holiday craving, but the first set still has me wanting to go back for one more show before '09. If any of the remaining shows this year are comparable to this night, then fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a great ride!

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1 comment:

Scotty Greene said...

Sounds like a blast, nice review - missed these shows but won't let that happen again. My boy Henry K went last night and said the show kicked-ass.

Hey, when you embed the playlist from LMA, how did you get the player to actually play on your site? I can emebed the player, but it won't play.

Thanks, man, and Happy New Year