Fresh off of Holidaze in the Dominican Republic, the Disco Biscuits returned to New York City for their New Years Eve run at The Playstation Theater.
You could tell that the band was excited for the run, as they had many tricks up their sleeves. They started the run off in style with a setlist constructed by two fans, Sean Gruchik wrote the first set, and Rich Steele the second. The second set featured a brilliant “Basis for a Day”/”Spacebirdmatingcall” pairing that took up most of the set and let everyone know that they hadn’t missed a beat since Holidaze.
New Years Eve featured a “Hot Air Balloon” countdown, along with a mix of some old and new sounds. After “Helicopters” > “Feeling Twisted” > “Pimp Blue Rikkis”, the band ended the set with a “Spaga” that included a “Final Countdown” by Europe intro. The Biscuits went all out for the third set which was almost entirely improv. The band played along as the 1982 Disney film Tron was projected onto a see through screen before dropping back into “Helicopters.” The set was incredible and was up there among the best things the Biscuits have done production-wise.
The show on the 1st was a wheel show, the second if it’s kind, which featured a wheel with songs and a few prizes. Fans, friends and even a band member spun it throughout the night to determine the set list. When it was spun while they weren’t in the middle of a jam, they fell back into the same “Mario Star Jam” which they played at the last wheel show in 2007, which gave you the feeling like you were watching some demented T.V. game show. The wheel added a few interesting kinks to the show as the band had to work their way through some uncommon segues and also had to play some rarities. No time for New Years hangover rust, the band stepped up to the challenge and delivered.
After the “Voices Insane” opener, the band played a robot porn soundtrack of “Moshi Fameus” > “Orch Theme” before the wheel delivered a one-two punch of “Mindless Dribble” and “Spraypaint Victory” to end the Set.
Showing their drummer Allen some love after 10 years with the band, they let him spin the wheel to open the second set. Coincidentally, it landed on “Floes,” a song penned by their previous drummer Sammy. That led into the highlight of the night, “Lunar Pursuit” > “Sweating Bullets.” Everyone was completely locked in but Allen and Barber really played off each other well for the segment, which was a nice reminder of just how far the two have come along in the last 10 the years since Allen joined.
Next up was the rarity, “The Unspoken Rhyme,” which the band had not played since 2001. The next person to spin cheated and stopped the wheel on “Munchkin Invasion” but the band decided to mess with her a bit, playing a rare standalone Waves instead, which wasn’t inverted, dyslexic, or chopped up like usual. The band then gave her what she wanted and played a “Munchkin Invasion” encore.
The last night of the run brought the heat and the horns. The Philly Stray Horns came out for the first set along with some Blues Brothers impersonators who sat in for some fun covers of
“Soul Man” and “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”. The Biscuits finished up their run doing what they do best. The last set was heavy on the improv, starting off with an almost hour long version of “I-Man” before slipping into “Svenghali” > “Astronaut” > “Reactor.”
The Disco Biscuits next run will be at the Fillmore in Philadelphia at the end of February, their first time playing the new venue. Tickets are on sale now.