High-Energy Moments in Disco Biscuits History | 4/9/99

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aka the “Song Segment That Got Me Hooked…”

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a Disco Biscuits kick lately. The band was featured in our latest podcast, they just announced a bunch of Spring/Summer tour dates, and today, they added a headlining slot at the Starscape Festival in Baltimore on June 9th. With all this new “Bisco” news on the mind, I’ve been re-visiting some of my old favorites from the archives.

And because it’s April 9th, I thought I’d honor the date of a concert that is consistently cited by fans as a key show in ‘Bisco’ History: 4/9/99 at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, PA (the band’s hometown). One particular segment from this show — “Above the Waves” which segues into the end of “Basis for a Day” — was one of the first that I heard by this band that really piqued my interest. I’d also put this show into the category of “tapes that got me hooked,” with the exception that it wasn’t a tape or a CD, but just some random Mp3s (a little more appropriate for the digital era).

The band’s sound has definitely come a long way since 1999, but this show continues to get a lot of play amongst its hardcore fans. There’s just something absolutely raw and mind-bending about this segment. It features some great interplay between Aaron Magner (on keys) and Jon Gutwillig (on guitar), and a rhythm section of Marc Brownstein (on bass) and Sam Altman (the band’s former drummer) that relentlessly propels the band forward. But Gutwillig is really the one who shines as he drops his final, blistering guitar solo as the band drops into the ending of “Basis for Day.”

To the new listener, the vocals can leave something to be desired, but that’s not what this segment is really all about…it is more about a young band creating raw, psychadelic sounds that can make a crowd dance like mad and go absolutely crazy. It also includes a signature Biscuits move that I have heard the band employ frequently over the years: Just when you think they’re is going to drop into the chorus or into a new song, they will raise the level of energy just one final step, sending the crowd into a frenzy. A good example is at about minute 2:00 of “Basis.”

It is high-energy live music at its finest.

Listen:

(source: The Live Music Archive)

  • stems

    I’d contend that the Biscuits’ sound hasn’t come a long way since 1999, that “the nine nine” is the best year for Bisco, and that hardcore fans won’t say the new lineup is any good until it sounds like the Biscuits of eight years ago.

  • stems

    I’d contend that the Biscuits’ sound hasn’t come a long way since 1999, that “the nine nine” is the best year for Bisco, and that hardcore fans won’t say the new lineup is any good until it sounds like the Biscuits of eight years ago.

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com WHITperson

    Well, “come a long way” has multiple meanings, and I am not necessarily saying the band is so much better, but their sound has certainly evolved over time (with some of the basic pieces still in place, of course). Some people like that and others don’t.

    I def. don’t disagree that a lot of fans are sort of stuck in 1999 and haven’t moved on or been convinced that the band has played anything better. But, I am NOT one of them.

    Although I still liked them better with Sam Altman, I have been a bit more impressed as of late. I think they’re starting to pick up speed after an intitial rough period getting used to the new drummer, Allen.

    You might be right, but my sense is that there are a ton of fans (new and old) that are excited about their current sound.

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com WHITperson

    Well, “come a long way” has multiple meanings, and I am not necessarily saying the band is so much better, but their sound has certainly evolved over time (with some of the basic pieces still in place, of course). Some people like that and others don’t.

    I def. don’t disagree that a lot of fans are sort of stuck in 1999 and haven’t moved on or been convinced that the band has played anything better. But, I am NOT one of them.

    Although I still liked them better with Sam Altman, I have been a bit more impressed as of late. I think they’re starting to pick up speed after an intitial rough period getting used to the new drummer, Allen.

    You might be right, but my sense is that there are a ton of fans (new and old) that are excited about their current sound.

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com Justin

    I’ve been pretty impressed with what Allen is capable of — his biggest problem so far is just trying to do too much. He’s really dynamic and he’s tries to work in fills where they’re slightly unncessary sometimes.

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com Justin

    I’ve been pretty impressed with what Allen is capable of — his biggest problem so far is just trying to do too much. He’s really dynamic and he’s tries to work in fills where they’re slightly unncessary sometimes.