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The Disco Biscuits - 11/21/2009: The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
The Disco Biscuits - 11/21/2009:  The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
Photos by:  Brian Spady  [View More]
Concert Review by Bryan Tobian on 11/24/2009   

There is little comparison to the excitement of the thumping house beats, the funky rumble of a low bass line shaking the building and the infectious sonic articulation of synthesizers that can be found at a rave.  Imagine that being topped off with soaring guitar licks and the interplay of four musicians who are more then comfortable exploring the far reaches of sonic improvisation and thus, you have The Disco Biscuits with their own brand of fresh music that they have dubbed Jamtronica.

San Franciscofs historic Fillmore Auditorium, a psychedelic Rock enf Roll mecca in itfs own right, was packed near capacity on Saturday for the second furious night of action packed Bisco madness.@ This late night party was unofficially set to start at 10:30 p.m., though I didnft get the memo and upon entering the building around 9 p.m., the place was crickets.  However, by the time the Biscuits took the stage, the floor was packed, vibrating with the crowdfs enthusiastic energy.

Bisco (as their devout refer to them) is the brainchild of thundering bassist Marc Brownstein, mind-shattering guitarist Jon Guttwillig (aka: Barber), keyboard virtuoso Aaron Magner and the human drum machine Allen Aucoin.  They started together with a different drummer in 1995, playing more traditional jam music before taking their game to a different level with the help of technology and old-fashioned ingenuity and have gained serious acclaim in the live music scene; even hosting their own annual music festival called Camp Bisco.

The crowd roared as the band took the stage and kicked things off with the driving hip-hop march eFlash Mobf, led by Magnerfs middle-eastern sounding keyboard melody and Browniefs thwacking enveloped bass, accented with an ever growing swell of swirling synthesizers undulating in the background before peaking with Barber taking over the melody ambitiously leading the army of freaks before them into dance party battle.  With only a moment of pause, they dropped into the bouncy disco rock blazer, e42f, led again by Magnerfs screaming synth and catchy vocals by Brownstein segueing into the tropical eHumuhumunukunukuapua'af, an island folk piece about two birds migrating to a remote paradise.  After a quickly peaking jam, they launched off into the opening of the intense eLunar Pursuitf before orbiting in space and finding multiple peaks, each more furious than the last, showcasing the ability of the band to read and follow each otherfs every move.  Magner and Brownie escalated the energy to ever growing heights until Barber chimed in, sending it over the edge with his jet-fueled guitar riffs until erupting back into the main line of e42f to complete the sandwich!  To end the set, the driving, syncopation of eBasis For a Dayf felt like a ride through the desert from Brownie and a floating Barber melody, slowly building energy to a massive driving peak before they slammed back into Earth and set break.

The second set didnft even start until after midnight and Brownie took the mic explaining that he had written a new song and that we were about to witness itfs live debut.  The song was a pretty straight rocker called eNaimaf which sandwiched a mean 10 minute jam in the middle of it that said the Biscuits were back to finish tearing the roof off.  My thoughts of the place being eCricketsf when I arrived proved to be foreshadowing of the next monster they broke out.  The exhilarating theme shot out like a cannon, gaining momentum into a huge trance jam that dropped jaws before dropping into the southern rock sounding anthem eLittle Shimmy In a Conga Linef which momentarily brought everyone back from space before jamming into the buoyant guitar licks and syncopation of eAbove the Wavesf which flipped in an instant from row boat to jet ski before hammering back into the end of eCricketsf which segued into the glitchy intro of eOn Timef featuring Magner on the vocoder singing the melody in his best robot voice before taking off into a small but poignant jam to finish the set with a serious bang.

After only a moment, they returned to the stage to a hail of cheers and ended the night with a short rocking encore called eWetf, capped off by a lightning guitar solo from Barber as the Bisco train pulled back into the station.  The Disco Biscuits finished their West Coast tour the next night in Santa Cruz and will be playing two Thanksgiving shows at the Electric Factory in Philidelphia, joining Umphreyfs McGee for a third year for the Jamaican Holidaze festival in mid-December before playing a five night New Years residency at the Nokia Theatre in New York City.  For more information check out www.discobiscuits.com!


Photos by: Brian Spady  
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