Words by Dan Petito | Photo by Joe Papeo
New York City — During a run that concluded one of their lightest touring years as a band, the Disco Biscuits made a splash on night two at NYC’S Best Buy Theater; a venue where the foursome seems almost expected to play at least a handful of times every year, and well. Set up nicely by the previous night and being a standalone run, the songs lingering in potential rotation were promising, and a lot of fan-favorites excitedly made the cut. As the venue seems to be almost a second home to the band, a well-written set list and stellar execution displayed the bands’ distinct level of comfort at Time Squares’ Best Buy Theater.
The infrequency of the Disco Biscuits’ touring this year resides on the shoulders of band members reluctantly to head back on the road for bulk legs. Having played a little less than forty shows in 2011 (a lot of which were festivals), the band continues to perform at a level that implies they practice every day. While their touring schedule has indefinitely halted, night two at the Best Buy proved one thing: the Biscuits are just too good to ever be considered “rusty.” Although they had considerable gaps between shows, they’ve proved that they can just simply plug in their respective instruments and rage. A lot of great stuff came out of keyboardist Aaron Magner and bassist Marc Brownstein, both whom made a lot of noise in 2011 with their side-project Conspirator.
The holidays could be part of it but fans alike would agree that the coupling between The Best Buy Theater and the Disco Biscuits just go very well together. Some great tunes made the cut on the 27th. “Jigsaw Earth” opened the show up nicely; this song has always been a great opener and it was good to see it as a standalone. Jigsaw starts off slowly but has some really fast-paced segments throughout that set up a jam really nicely. Allen Aucoin stole the beginning with a massive drum solo getting the crowd appropriately pumped up. Throughout the various chases of Jigsaw you could see packs of people rushing towards the front row with their hands in the air, singing along while fighting for a closer spot to the stage.
Over the extended applause came the opening notes to “Hot Air Balloon,” a Biscuits classic that often doesn’t cue a monster segment as it did that night. This particular segment really got the show going, and if you’re new to seeing these guys, this is a song whose popularity is made blatantly noticeable by the crowds’ silence throughout various verses of the song.
Following the first half of “Hot Air Balloon” came “Naeba.” Throughout this segment came “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies,” a nice touch for the holidays and, while kind of oddly place, worked really nicely. Finding their way back to finish “Naeba” the band switched gears ferociously and shredded into “Gangster,” a song that was once just a jam, and has found its way into the bands’ rotation over the past few years. The set concluded with a graceful drop back into Hot Air Balloon out of “Gangster” and left fans eager to fast forward through the near hour-long set-break.
The band interacted with the crowd very little besides the expected enter and exit banter. The second set began with no talk at all, just a very loud and pulsating intro to shred- heavy “Triumph,” a song that is typically followed by another and rarely played on its’ own. Triumph injected the necessary energy back into the room and is a catalyst for excessive head-banging, one of those instances where it’s acceptable to elbow and bump into people uncontrollably.
The unique part of this band is what they do with their songs and how creative they get with separating them in different ways, illustrated perfectly with their effortlessly segue into the end of “Aceetobee,” a song whose beginning was played the previous night. While it was difficult to place a particular highlight on the night, “Shem-Rah Boo -> Digital Buddha” turned out to be huge, a meaty part of the second set and, like “Jigsaw Earth,” mixed with some consistently impressive drum work from Allen Aucoin.
Overall the biscuits noticeably meld really well at the Best Buy Theater. While touring infrequently in 2011, their performance night two made perfectly clear how well they play as a collective, whether they’re coming off a 30+ show tour, or a two-month lull playing rarely or never.
Set 1: Jigsaw Earth, Hot Air Balloon > Naeba > Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairies > Naeba > Gangster > Hot Air Balloon
Set 2: Triumph > Aceetobee1, Shem-Rah Boo2 > Digital Buddha, Save The Robots
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