The Disco Biscuits brought the heat once again to the Westville Music Bowl on June 5, 2021. Temperatures hit almost 90 degrees in New Haven, CT, raising the energy level substantially for everyone at the show. The band played more bust out songs, a Frank Zappa cover, a delicious deep house “Tractorbeam” track, and other creative setlist niceties on this beautiful night in the Constitution state.
Originally from Philadelphia, PA, the Disco Biscuit’s have been pioneering their signature blend of “trance-fusion” meets jam rock sound since 1995. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they were able to play shorter tours featuring drive-in and pod shows. The New Haven run wraps up the end of their Spring 2021 tour.
Tonight’s first set started with a bang, as the band launched into “7-11”, last played on November 29, 2020, and included an “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy tease. This transitioned into the rarity “Pat and Dex,” last played on May 29, 2018 at the Ogden Theater in Denver, CO. The band next treated fans to a tasty electronically infused Frank Zappa cover of “Pygmy Twylyte,” last played on November 24, 2020. “Pygmy Twylyte” transitioned into “4th of July” > “The Great Abyss” > “Story of the World” to wrap up the steamy set.
The band kicked into high gear for the second set, and once again, did not stop playing until the set ended. “Strobelights and Martinis” initiated the sequence, and jettisoned into an inverted “Above the Waves.” Inverted means that the jam at the end was played first, before the lyrics and composed portion of the song. The composed portion of the song is used as a new jam vehicle into the next song. This is one form of creativity that the band has adopted to keep set lists fresh and exciting.
“Basis for a Day” was up next, segueing into “Tractorbeam.” Tractorbeam began as a creative instrumental side project of the Disco Biscuits and has changed formats over time, but is rooted in electronica with a deep house vibe. Since November 14, 2019, the band has included a “Tractorbeam” segment during each show, similarly to the Grateful Dead’s inclusion of “Drums” and “Space.” The band focuses on playing a live version of house and disco songs like “White Rabbit” by Solomun, which is noted in the setlist. All band members are connected via Ableton live in order to replicate the layers of electronic music. During last night’s “Tractorbeam”, Bassist Marc Brownstein used a synthesizer while drummer Alan Aucoin utilized electronic drums. The track was noted as “fusion,” though the original DJ and track name are unknown.
From “Tractorbeam”, the band launched back into “Strobelights and Martinis” and “Basis for a Day,” which ended the second set. The crowd was on their feet, as the band came back for the encore. They played “Station” back into “7-11”, which book-ended a creatively infused set of jamtronica.
The fear of missing out after an epic show is real, but thankfully the Disco Biscuits are heading out on the road for their summer tour, with more “Tractorbeam” and inventive electronic jamming. This includes dates in South Carolina, Illinois, Georgia, and most notably at Philadelphia’s TD Pavilion at the Mann in July. Tickets are available at www.discobiscuits.com.
7-111 > Pat And Dex, Pygmy Twylyte > 4th of July > The Great Abyss > Story Of The World
Strobelights and Martinis > Above The Waves2 > Basis For A Day > Tractorbeam Jam3 > Strobelights and Martinis > Basis For A Day
Station > 7-11
1. with 'It Wasn't Me' (Shaggy) teases
2. Inverted version