This past Saturday night, the Disco Biscuits wrapped up a two-night stand at Philadelphia's Electric Factory. As a bonus for the hometown audience, each night was expanded from two sets to three, and as a result, the trance-fusion/electrofunk dance party wasn't over until 2 AM on Sunday morning.
Having had to cut short their recent West Coast tour due to a family emergency in the band, Bisco took to the stage at the EFactory Saturday night looking to throw down some intense jams, and even get some work done on their upcoming album in the process.
Once we got past the rather grabby security guards at the EFactory (note to security: Just because Chapstick is addictive, that doesn't make it a drug), we took up our usual spot by the 21+ section as Bisco opened with "42" and then moved into a "Very Moon> Orch Theme> Svenghali" run to round out the first set. The band was clicking on all cylinders and were playing at a level that even hardened Bisco fans thought might have been lost over the past few years. But any remaining doubts the crowd had were cast out as the second set began.
Opening with the new song "Mirrors," Bisco then segued into "Shelby Rose> The City> Shelby Rose." Some backstory: the Disco Biscuits have been working on their new album for several years now, and they are starting to take some "Chinese Democracy"-esque flak for the length of time it has taken for the record to come out. During "The City," one of the new songs for the album, bassist Marc Brownstein asked the crowd to sing the chorus while the band stopped playing for the express purpose of recording it and inserting the vocals into the upcoming album.
"Sitting on a mountain top, 15 miles above the city/WHOA-OOOO OOOOHHHH-OOOOOOHHHH/Swimming in a melting pot, you can see the future with me"
The crowd gave it a few tries, but 2300 people can't all keep time together for that long, so the Biscuits picked up right where they left off and finished the song. But as one person pointed out on the message boards, now Bisco (who are not known for their singing) will have some decent vocals on the album. I await my royalty check.
Following "Shelby Rose," Bisco fired up "Hot Air Balloon" and never looked back. The title track to one of the group's two rock operas, "Hot Air Balloon" is always a crowd pleaser and the band gave it everything they had. That lead into "The Great Abyss" which then led back into "Hot Air Balloon" to finish out the second set, "HAB>Abyss>HAB" was also my personal highlight of the evening.
The final set of the night opened with the classic "Once The Fiddler Paid," before moving into another new song, "Rivers," before shifting into a blistering run through "And The Ladies Were The Rest Of The Night> Gangster> And The Ladies Were The Rest Of The Night."
Wrapping up the set with "The Tunnel" and finally "Triumph> 7-11 (unfinished)," Bisco squeezed a quick encore of "Rainbow Song" in before the 2AM curfew. Standing onstage afterwards, drinking in the applause of the appreciative audience (who are already calling this performance a contender for Bisco Show of the Year), the Disco Biscuits looked like a group that for all the weirdness that has surrounded them since they first got together in 1995, were happy and healthy and looking toward the future. And hopefully soon with a new album to boot.
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