Philly jamtronica legends The Disco Biscuits took their act to The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY this past weekend for three nights of pulsating grooves that were accentuated by a breathtaking light show. This run featured some intensive freeform jams, the band’s customary creative song structuring and even a sit in from an old friend.
Thursday, April 27
Thursday night’s festivities kicked off with a fairly straightforward run through of “Story of the World” that quickly picked up steam and soon transitioned seamlessly into a “Shem-Rah Boo” that was left unfinished. Instead, the jam took a dark, techno-y turn into “Gangster,” replete with vocoder sounds supplied by keyboardist Aron Magner, before steering back to the conclusion of “Story of the World.” A somewhat rare standalone “Strobelights and Martinis” followed and the uptempo instrumental number featured an incredible array of laser lights strewn throughout the theater, a constant theme throughout the entire run. “On Time,” a song from the band’s 2010 release Planet Anthem, brought a most enjoyable first set to a close.
Stellar musical improv and long, deep jams were the story of the second set, highlighted by a spellbinding “7-11” opener that was stretched out to max capacity. In the midst of one of the slower portions of the jam, a figure emerged from the side of the stage. None other than Matisyahu, who has sat in with the band on two other occasions, soon began displaying his freestyle prowess as The Disco Biscuits temporarily went from headliner to support act, laying down grooves and giving the well known Jewish rapper a musical template from which to work, so to speak. After leaving the stage, the Biscuits then reverted back to the headliners they are and dropped a monster “Floes” that served as one of the true musical peaks all weekend. Yet another silky smooth transition followed with the delivery of “Pilin’ It High” before an impeccable “House Dog Party Favor” brought a rousing and magical set of music to a close. With little time for an encore, “Kitchen Mitts” was the play and one of the rare “sing along” songs the Biscuits feature regularly had everyone doing just that. One incredible night of music was now in the books with two more chapters to follow.
Set 1: Story Of The World> Shem-Rah Boo^> Gangster> Story Of The World, Strobelights and Martinis, On Time
Set 2: 7-111> Jam*> Floes^> Pilin’ It High, House Dog Party Favor
Encore: Kitchen Mitts
Friday, April 28
Building off the energy from Thursday, the line to get inside stretched around the block leading to a packed house with an aire of excitement weaving its way through the crowd. Fans were treated to a laugh when Marc Brownstein stepped to the mic before the band jammed into “Air Song,” making a joking reference to Ja Rule’s Fyre Fest which was in disarray in The Bahamas. “The Champions,” which emerged from “Air Song,” is staking itself out to be one of the best new songs written by the Biscuits in some time. “Spacebirdmatingcall” slowly crept from “The Champions” and was driven into high gear by Brownstein, leading to the culmination of Thursday’s “Shem-Rah Boo” and took a quick turn into a raging “Down to the Bottom,” which led to an eruption of joy from the crowd, and into the ending of “Spacebirdmatingcall” to cap the set.
A palindrome of 5 songs covered most of the second set, sandwiching inverted middle sections of “Jigsaw Earth” and “Pimp Blue Rikkis” inside “Save The Robots” for a high energy/no let up hour with some “Basis for a Day” teases mixed in. “Highwire” found the crowd tapping into reserves of energy that was needed as they wrapped up “Down to the Bottom” and threw in a “M.E.M.P.H.I.S.” encore for good measure. Night 2 had a lot of heat and boded well for the finale of the run to come on Saturday
Set 1: Jam> Air Song*> The Champions> Spacebirdmatingcall> Shem-Rah Boo^> Down To The Bottom> Spacebirdmatingcall
Set 2: Save The Robots> Jigsaw Earth&#> Pimp Blue Rikkis> Jigsaw Earth&> Save The Robots, Highwire*> Down To The Bottom
^ ending only/completes 4/27
& inverted version
Saturday, April 29
Piggy-backing off 2 unforgettable nights in Port Chester, Saturday night was the sensational ending to the Disco Biscuits at the Cap trilogy. The four took to the stage with Barber ready to jam, dressed head to toe in a red jumpsuit and shades. In no time, set one launched and opened with “Papercut,” a popular choice as of late; having been played 25 times total since 2007, the Brownie track segued into the first Uncivilized Era track of the night, “Aceetobee,” inciting a multi-story fan sing-along. Flawless transitions between songs and into “Tempest” kept the night moving seamlessly and even found fans trapped in banter, unable to guess which tracks would come up next before coming full circle to “Aceetobee.” With only a brief pause after the three song execution, “Confrontation” hit the crowd hard. Having been just recently played during February’s Philly run and acting as a popular choice since 2010, “Confrontation” may be slowly dwindling but still manages to sneak its way into consistent and relevant setlists. “Rock Candy” came next as the fluff between the “Confrontation” sandwich and capping off set one with a 3 minute standing ovation as the PA natives looked up at the crowd and soaked it all in.
Although night three appealed to a ravier side of the Biscuits, the setlist was crafted down to a science, treating fans to an equal split of classic jams and electronic tuneage. Keeping the party raging, a captivating “I-Man” opened up set two while leading into “Munchkin Invasion,” or so it seemed. After a decent amount of playtime, everyone on foot at the Cap was duped with a hard fake out, leaving Munchkin unfinished and instead taking on an electric “Cyclone” with abstract and mind-bending visuals climbing up the Capitol Theatre walls and across the dome ceiling to match. “Little Betty Boop” came to fans in an astray, inverted package and while the transition guessing game continued, “Loose Change” followed. While it seemed many weren’t familiarized with the bust-out On Time EP track, it was played so flawlessly that it certainly made an indelible mark for those hearing it for the first time. “Munchkin Invasion” was revisited as senses were heightened waiting for the resolution that never came. Faked out yet again, “Loose Change” also came with “Svengali” teases. Revisiting “I-man” as bookend tracks for set two, both halves added up to nearly a half hour of full on crowd engagement and an “And the Ladies Were the Rest of the Night” tease as “I-Man out on the loose!” rang throughout the famed Port Chester venue.
Before capping off the three night run, the quartet came back on stage for a massive “Digital Buddha” encore, complete with Magner’s hands flying across the keys, technicolor lights and a projected image of buddha sitting on the regal venue walls. The pins for “Digital Buddha” may sell for a pretty penny but witnessing the encore full force was priceless.
Set 1: Papercut-> Aceetobee-> Tempest-> Aceetobee, Confrontation-> Rock Candy-> Confrontation
Set 2: I-Man*-> Cyclone-> Little Betty Boop*^-> Loose Change**-> I-Man***
Encore: Digital Buddha
*W/ Munchkin Invasion Fakeout
** w/ Munchkin invasion Fakeout and Svengali teases
*** w/ and the ladies were the rest of the night tease