THE DISCO BISCUITS at OGDEN THEATRE | 1/24/14 When we spoke with Marc Brownstein last week before this year's Bisco Inferno: Winter Edition, he talked about how the band was comfortable with just being a jam band again rather than trying to push every electronic idea, particularly in light of the fact that the act's successful side project, Conspirator, is now fully established. While space age pew-pew-pew sounds are still around with perfectly timed unleashing, the band's show at the Ogden really showed the Disco Biscuits in high energy rock and roll mode, locked in, with peaks on top of peaks, with the entire group all playing with fury as if it had something to prove.
The band came out and Jon "The Barber" Gutwillig wasn't wearing shoes, and his white pants shone like a beacon of Rock Purity from the stage; urban legend is the shows are fire when he's in his socks. Now first thing's first -- you have to learn a whole new lexicon just to grasp what the hell is going on in the band's music. Endings of some songs are played first, and sometimes the guys straight fake you out; the whole thing is like one big puzzle that leaves the audience murmuring to each other figuring out what part of what song is being played or inverted.
The Biscuits kicked off the night with "The Very Moon," with Aron Magner playing some clean piano, giving it a barroom saloon feel. Instantly the guys took off, building great tension with every repeated measure before the Barber hit a crazy high peak, hosing the audience down with frantically repetitive spirals of notes. The sock theory seemed to be proven true already. Transitioning seamlessly into "Little Shimmy in a Conga Line," the group deployed rainbow lasers, and the audience collectively sucked the air out of the place from all gasping at once at their glory. Leaving the song unfinished, drummer Allen Aucoin sped the tempo up and the act broke into "Tempest".
Organs blared as Brownstein teases the bass line of "Disco Inferno," a theme that popped up all over the course of the run. The crowd roared for the "Tricycle" fakeout, and then the band busted out "Aquatic Ape" to everyone's delight. Allen Aucoin absolutely dominated on the drums, taking things up a notch repeatedly, aiming the jams faster and faster until they hit the wildest, highest peaks. As the act went into "Story of the World," the Ogden was filled with overlapping green lasers, making it look like you were in the Matrix. The disco-tinged song was strong, and carried a lot of energy into set break.
As the Biscuits hit the stage, Brownstein made a hand signal putting three fingers down, and the group started up a standalone version of "Crickets" that picked the energy up exactly where the band had left off, and the tune proved to be the highlight of the show. The groove mellowed into a trancelike portion with Aron Magner utilizing the phaser for selective out of this world sounds. Up next came "M.E.M.P.H.I.S." with Brownie slapping the bass until the crew locked into a tribal rhythm.
As the tune dropped down to just drums, Aucoin switched the beat up to a salsa feel, as the outfit went into an inverted "Abraxas," which led into another great transition into the fast paced lyrical vocals of "Munchkin Invasion." "Aceetobee" saw walls of sonic pulsations spraying out into the crowd, taking its way into a rousing "Catalyst" and then finishing "Aceetobee." The Biscuits encored with "Frog Legs" to some long and thunderous applause, showing fans and family that the band is indeed stronger than ever right now.
The Disco Biscuits Ogden Theatre - 1/24/14 Denver CO
The Very Moon Little Shimmy In a Conga Line (unfinished) Tempest^ Aquatic Ape* Story of the World
Crickets M.E.M.P.H.I.S Abraxas* Munchkin Invasion Aceetobee Catalyst Aceetobee
* - inverted ^ - with Tricycle fakeout
Personal Bias: I'm a big rock guitar girl, so this was my favorite night of the run. Barber was on. Random Detail: There was someone fishing with a scarf off the balcony. By the Way: Speaking of balcony, the view is incredible up there with the lasers above and below you.