We all know how exciting weekend concerts can be, especially for all working-class professionals that put in 40 hours a week. All the rest of us bums, well, Friday night is still exciting because that means that your friends can play. There’s just nothing better (if you have the energy) than blowing off steam from the week with a full-on concert rager featuring two jamband powerhouses: moe. and the Disco Biscuits.
Yet again, though–Umphrey’s McGee / Keller Williams NYE 2005 at the Aragon–two bands are booked in one of the worst venues in the city and us 4,000 fans need to actually determine if this is a show we want to hit. The Aragon Ballroom spends most of its nights catering to Chicago’s 25% Hispanic/Latino community, not local heads looking for the nearest get-down.
This one was still easy for me. I haven’t seen the Disco Biscuits in quite a while, and this would be the first chance I get to see them with their new drummer, Allen Aucoin. moe. doesn’t typically come through Chicago and headline all by itself, or at least, it seemed that they hadn’t done so in a long time also. Applying the conventional Capitalist logic to this situation, you can see that two bands that need to win over the Chicago audience means that, invariably, the audience wins.
We got up close for the beginning of the Disco Biscuits set, and the crowd got really pumped up immediately. It was good and full in there, although I’m not sure if the final tally had the venue at sold-out officially. There were definitely more people in there than I expected for the band and the front of the room was quickly becoming a spot to get trapped too easily. I made my way back to the side and edge of the crowd where you could cool yourself off a little easier.
The Bisco set was nice, especially with The Overture opener, Caterpillar thrown in, and a groovy Story of the World to close the hour-long set. Caterpillar has been one of my favorites since its debut, and I was happy enough that they chose that to welcome themselves back to Chicago. An amazing first set to start a great show, and I’m definitely planning on seeing as much Disco Biscuits as I can this year. Here’s my Bisco run plans: Jam in the ‘Dam > Lollapalooza 2006 (rumored)…
moe. came out to a more packed house and a plenty wryly crowd and they opened strong: Plane Crash. They played a few I really like during the first set—It, Moth, and especially your crowd-pleasing Okayalright. The band actually sounded really strong and I was pleased with the performance, but again, I just find myself nodding off after an hour of their music. It’s a weird phenomenon considering the other bands that I love so much and how I can handle hours upon hours of straight music if there’s a mix going.
I’m not sure if it’s the way that moe. throws their setlists together, because I really like their songs, I really like their albums, I like listening to their shows from the comfort of my own office (or on the lawn at Summer Camp 2006), but I just can’t seem to get down when I see them live.
The highlight for me was definitely the Disco Biscuits opening set and a very ye-haw flavored It to help launch moe.’s first set. After that, much falls by the wayside considering I left early.
The sets live on, though…
I have been rocking out to both bands and the recordings from the show all week thanks to the tapers. These sets were up within hours. I love it.
Also, Kane from Burning Oak and I met and hung out for all of three seconds. We caught up with each other right before the moe. set started and he had a sweet spot Chuck-side front row. It was funny, because he was so ready to rage in that front row and he offered me a spot standing there. If you saw the spot and then immediately looked at me with all my girth, you would have easily seen that there was no way I was going to be a good neighbor by cramming myself into that spot. At the risk of insulting him by not accepting his nice gesture, I politely declined and grabbed a spot back by the tapers. We’re still bros, though. We’ll catch up at the next show.