Disco Biscuits @ Theater at Madison Square Garden – December 31
For the past few years the Disco Biscuits have chosen to go against the grain by avoiding New York City on New Year’s Eve. Instead of competing with the huge draw of Phish at Madison Square Garden this year, the band used it to their advantage by performing at the theater adjacent to MSG. By starting the show just before midnight, they drew both die-hard fans and those looking for a late-night option after the ball dropped in Times Square or Phish finished their round of golf at The Garden.
From the behemoth screens in front of the venue flashing the hottest acts, to the throngs of fans surrounding the venue looking for a ticket long after the first notes of the show had rung out, the excitement was felt throughout Penn Plaza. While New Year’s Eve wasn’t the first time that tDB have played at the Theater, this was their debut headlining performance at the former Felt Forum and an occasion that made Biscuits bassist Marc “Brownie” Brownstein proud. Brownie mentioned that he attended Blues Traveler’s New Year’s Eve show at the same venue in 1992, where he promised himself he would be on that stage one day.
The inside of the venue couldn’t have been more beautiful. With a laser glowing brightly from the stage and the LEDs bouncing through the smoke, the ceiling grid created prisms of light all over the room and a magical atmosphere that glittered like the inside of a jewelry box. While the much smaller room of the theater couldn’t compare to the energy felt by the tens of thousands upstairs, the room wasn’t lacking enthusiasm when the band took the stage around 11:30. However, while we did get the obligatory drops of confetti and balloons, the countdown seemed underwhelming and almost an afterthought with a medley similar to years past.
Luckily things really picked up in the second set. With the theater now filled from the post-Phish crowd, tDB started the second set strong with Little Shimmy In A Conga Line. The M.E.M.P.H.I.S. that came later in the seamless start to the set wasn’t the strongest version, but the song is always a crowd pleaser and energized many in the audience who might have needed a boost after five shows in six nights.
The third set, which started around 3:30, was a completely different animal. From the initial jam, which is now being dubbed “Poo in the Pit” (after an unfortunate incident) the closing stanza took on a dreamy, ethereal feel. It was the Above The Waves > Spaga > Above The Waves section that followed the set-opening jam which turned out to be the highlight of the evening. With the accompanying visuals of an enveloping ocean wave that drew you deeper and deeper into the groove, this was the late night set that the tDB built their career on.
Set One: Stone > The Devils Waltz, Story Of The World > Spectacle > Countdown Medley, Basis For A Day> Ladies(><) > Helicopters(completes 12/27)
Set Two: Little Shimmy In A Conga Line(dyslexic completion of 12/28) > Tempest > Bernstein & Chasnoff (><) > Aceetobee(ending only), MEMPHIS > Story Of The World, Munchkin Invasion.
Set Three: Jam> Above The Waves> Spaga > Above The Waves, Magellan, Down To The Bottom > Basis For A Day
Encore: Once The Fiddler Paid
[via PT Bisco]
Curiously, unlike years past, no announcements were made for Camp Bisco 12. However, after the Disco Biscuits’ hugely successful events in the past, it’s hard to imagine not spending another hot, sweaty (and probably a bit rainy) weekend hosted by the band this summer. The Disco Biscuits kick off 2013 with a winter edition of Bisco Inferno out in Colorado later this month and given how the New Year’s Run sounded, it’s definitely a great time to catch them.