Philadelphia trance-fusion pioneers, The Disco Biscuits, brought their unique sound to a two-night run at the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts for Halloween. With Lespecial for support on their first night, and Jaw Gems on the second, The Disco Biscuits delivered two jaw-dropping shows to the crowd at the recently renovated Palladium.
Opening with the flowery and optimistic “Grass is Green,” things quickly took a dark turn when they dropped into “Minions,” returning to “Grass is Green” to complete the sandwich. They followed this immediately afterwards with their newly reworked version of the song “Loose Change” for only the third time since it’s reintroduction into rotation. Before 2017, the song had not been played since 2010, in its old format. They concluded their set with a yet another sandwich, this time featuring fan-favorite “Confrontation” (complete with “Funkytown” teases as well as a myriad of Biscuits teases) as the bread and the dark instrumental “Gangster” as the meat. The final chorus of “Confrontation” had the entire crowd chanting in unison before a well-deserved setbreak.
The Biscuits weren’t pulling any punches when they opened set 2 with the high-energy introduction to “Munchkin Invasion” which segue-wayed into the rare “Voices Insane,” which featured bass-slapper Marc Brownstein on the vocoder for the chorus and a creepy robotic vocal jam. This transitioned seamlessly into a soaring version of “Astronaut” that nearly ripped the roof right off the theater. “Astronaut” featured an “Owner of a Lonely Heart (Yes)” tease. This onslaught of music was concluded with the peak and ultimate conclusion of “Munchkin Invasion” before the Biscuits wrapped the second set up with a standalone version of their tune, “Reactor.”
After two blissful sets, full of teases and intense peaks, the Biscuits were clearly still hungry, and delivered a lengthy, three-song encore including an improv-heavy version of “Once the Fiddler Paid,” a smoking version of their flagship song, “M.E.M.P.H.I.S.” and finally, an extended “Spacebirdmatingcall.”
If Thursday night was the night of blissful peaks and scorching improvisation, Friday night was the night for dark, creepy ambience. The Halloween spirit was certainly present, as the Biscuits delivered a night of tricks, fake-outs, and long, dark, spooky and meandering jams.
Thursday’s show began with a four-song set, showcasing the Biscuits’ impeccable ability to improvise and keep their audience both kinetic and confused, as they struggle to identify the next tune. The whimsical “Crystal Ball” opener gave way to the high-intensity peak of “Mulberry’s Dream”, which was inverted, one of the Disco Biscuits’ trademark moves in setlist writing. “Mulberry’s” gave way to the ending of “Crystal Ball,” followed by an extraordinarily lengthy version of the heartfelt “Therapy,” penned by Marc Brownstein about his father and family life that teased damn near every song in the Bisco catalog.
Set 2 opened with “Triumph,” which flowed into “Save the Robots” before seguing into the atmospheric and Halloween-appropriate theme song from the Netflix original “Stranger Things,” which was expertly executed and infused with teases from the Biscuits original “Portal to an Empty Head.” This segue-wayed back into “Save the Robots” before the Biscuits took their only pause of the second set. The eager crowd turned rabid when the band began playing the opening notes of fan-favorite “Spraypaint.” “Spraypaint” bled into a capable cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” before shredding into the instrumental “Tempest” and then back into “Spraypaint” to conclude the second set. The second set featured a fake-out of classic Biscuit song “Little Betty Boop” as well as “Orch Theme,” which was performed a few days later at Hulaween. Teases of “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc. and “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant were present throughout the night, as well as strong teases of “And The Ladies Were The Rest of the Night” during “Therapy.” The Biscuits concluded the run with a standalone version of “Ladies” as the encore.
The Disco Biscuits truly delivered in Worcester for Halloween weekend, with a full-on sonic assault that showcased their ability to play rock, funk, electronica, and of course, blistering improvisation.