Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Disco Biscuits roll into town

By John Shaver

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Northampton is ready for another wild night as the Disco Biscuits roll into the Calvin Theatre on Saturday evening. The valley will cap off a mind-blowing weekend with the jam inspired trace-fusion Philadelphia-based band. Their epic two-night run last October brought Northampton to life, and Saturday will surely live up to fans’ hefty expectations.

The Disco Biscuits have brought a new flavor to the jam band scene with their electronica influences. Their unique jam style incorporates as many sounds as one can imagine, along with flawless song transitions. Many songs in their repertoire have been manipulated and “inverted” in their electrifying live performances. This energy is only one aspect of their concerts that keeps their dedicated fan base alive.

The music isn’t the only thing keeping the fans in a trance. Their light show is a spectacular sight, which adds so much to their live performance. The precision in synching their lights with the music is spectacular.

“I’ve never seen anything like this is all my life,” one first-time Disco Biscuits concert attendee said after the first night of their two-night run in October. “I’ve seen a lot of concerts in my day, but the atmosphere was unbelievable. The lights were something I’ve never seen before. I’m so glad I finally found out what everyone was raving about.”

The Disco Biscuits have been released a number of EPs leading up to their long-awaited full length album “Planet Anthem,” which is set for a March release. This will be the band’s first studio album since “Señor Boombox” in 2002.

The band’s set list will include a collection of older tunes as well as unreleased tracks off of their upcoming LP. The live performance of these tracks gives listeners sneak peaks of what the album will sound like. Even so, the studio versions of most of their repertoire sound much different when performed live.

The atmosphere at Biscuits’ shows tends to be almost as compelling as the meandering jams they play. Their fans are very loving of the members of the band and some travel along with them for each new tour date. Their live performance is undoubtedly the band’s strong point, contributing an incredible amount of energy to their act and allowing them to steer clear of the studio as much as possible.

The Disco Biscuits also headline a variety of festivals throughout the summer, which give fans another venue to hear the band. They are hosting Bisco Inferno at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, as well as Camp Bisco 9 in upstate New York. They are also set to play at Wakarusa in early June. The festival venue has a completely different vibe than a normal concert simply because of the nature of a festival.

Listening to studio albums only gives the listener a small sample of what the essence of the Disco Biscuits is. Seeing the crowd, seeing the lights, seeing the band enjoying themselves on stage, and being a part of a community of musically driven people is the reason this style flourishes.

Their opener, the Indobox, hails from Boston and parts of Pennsylvania. Their “dance rock” genre sounds like the end result of a bottle of champagne and one steamy night involving the Disco Biscuits, Duran Duran and the Talking Heads. Extended jams and creative beats combined with flowing bass lines and wild effects are what makes the Indobox a band to come early for. As veterans of Camp Bisco, they have proven themselves in the jam scene.

The Disco Biscuits and the Indobox will be at the Calvin Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $26.

John Shaver can be reached at [email protected].


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