Review: Bisco Inferno Weekend

The Ogden Theater demonstrated an entirely different side of the Disco Biscuits’ music. The first set opened with a raging four-to-the-floor jam out of Voices Insane that featured a totally unexpected drop into Run Like Hell. Barber kicked off his shoes while shredding. The first jam in the Pink Floyd cover took off for a bit, whereas the second exploration seemed like it was cut off just when it started to get hot. Closing out Voices after Run Like Hell, they bored the crowd for a bit with a new song before an above-average version of Jigsaw Earth which saw Aucoin break off for a well-received drum solo.

The second set saw excellent jamming in both Air Song and the Basis For A Day -> Rock Candy segment, with the buildup into Tricycle being possibly the musical highlight of the whole weekend. Just when it felt as though they had taken it as far into full musical flight as possible, they just kept building the energy until they finally broke into the vocal section. It was truly blissful. In the encore, Once The Fiddler Paid stood out beautifully from the rest of the show with a mellow, well-played jam that was a fitting ending to a top-shelf show, and the most musically consistent Biscuits show of the weekend.

Red Rocks is one of the best venues for music in the country, and it is always a treat to see a show here. When concertgoers began filing in, it was windy and overcast, threatening rain. Not many were in the venue for Pnuma Trio’s set as they performed their brand of what most have dubbed livetronica. It wasn’t very original, but seemed to be a crowd-pleaser.

Aeroplane showed up just on time, as the rows began to fill more densely. They certainly got the crowd moving right away with their well-selected, soulful, deep disco-house cuts. There were definitely moments of electro and big-beat as well, and it was a fun set that got everybody ready for The Crystal Method.

[File Photo via SlowEarth]

Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan, also known as The Crystal Method, have been making music for close to 20 years, and they have gotten rather good at performing it as well. Their big-beat, psychedelic onslaught had the whole place up and moving, and it was one of the more well-received sets of the evening. They kept the energy up the whole time, and knew just how to please a crowd. The only set that struggled to maintain any sort of consistent energy throughout the evening was The Glitch Mob. Unoriginal, uninspired and boring, it looked as though more than half the crowd chose to sit through the performance. The other half danced through the whole set, appearing to enjoy themselves.

The air felt electric as the sun went down and the lights went up. The Biscuits took the stage as the crowd roared, seemingly as excited as the band claimed to be before opening up with a monster Hot Air Balloon that dropped into a huge Gangster jam. Portal To An Empty Head saw a great sit-in from Chris Michetti, who filled in for Barber when his wrist was broken. The interplay between the two guitarists was terrific, while it did not play so well in M.E.M.P.H.I.S. during the second set. The rest of the first set was spectacular, with a raging Mindless Dribble into a searing The Great Abyss. Coming out of Abyss, they rode the peak back into Hot Air Balloon and nailed the ending composed section to wrap up the first set.

Booka Shade performed the best set of music all weekend. The group’s variety of deep, minimal electro-house, replete with lush atmospherics and ambient soundscapes, was the sound of setbreak on what has now turned out to be a beautiful spring evening at Red Rocks. The clouds have cleared, the winds have died, and there is a dance party for the ages popping off at the Rocks. They played an extended set, performing live for a very grateful, very lucky audience. Booka Shade live is an experience not to be missed, and was a true fire-starter. Energy ran high as the Biscuits took the stage for the final set of the weekend.

A standalone version of House Dog Party Favor saw solid improvisation and tightly executed arranged sections. The meat of this set was relatively lacking, and while On Time is a catchy number, there was not a memorable jam here, in M.E.M.P.H.I.S. or Minions. While many of those who were there would argue that a 28-minute Magellan to close the second set sucked the energy right out of the place, it was gorgeously played. Despite the mellow nature of the song, the members of the the quartet all locked in on some powerful swelling jams, bringing the energy to several energetic peaks in between the composed sections of the song. Home Again was a fitting encore, with Brownstein promising that they would be back to Colorado oh, so soon.

Bisco Inferno has proven itself to be more than a one-off festival, but rather a repeat success story. Without much doubt, anybody who was here for this wonderful weekend of music will hopefully choose to come back next year, and for as long as Colorado continues to welcome back  the Disco Biscuits.

Thursday, May 27

Pearl St. and 14th – Boulder, CO

Acoustic: I-Man, Spraypaint, Story of the World, Spectacle

Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO

Set 1: Flash Mob, Rivers, Story Of The World*> Aceetobee> Boom Shanker> Aceetobee

Set 2: Save The Robots, The Very Moon> Digital Buddha> Lunar Pursuit> Digital Buddha
Encore: Spy

* unfinished

Friday, May 28

Ogden Theater, Denver, CO

Set 1: Voices Insane> Run Like Hell*> Voices Insane, The Bridge^, Jigsaw Earth

Set 2: Spectacle, Air Song, Basis For A Day*> Rock Candy> Tricycle> Rock Candy
Encore: Once The Fiddler Paid

Notes: * – Unfinished
^ – First Time Played

Saturday, May 29

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO

Set 1: Hot Air Balloon> Gangster> Portal To An Empty Head*, Mindless Dribble> The Great Abyss> Hot Air Balloon

Set 2: House Dog Party Favor, On Time, M.E.M.P.H.I.S.1> Minions> Basis For A Day^, Magellan
Encore: Home Again

Notes: * – with Chris Michetti (RAQ) on guitar
^ – completes 5/28 version

[all Disco Biscuits setlists via PT Bisco]

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