Photos by Dan Page
The Scene: After two nights at the jam packed Ogden Theatre it is safe to say that most were looking forward to a change in scenery and shifting gears into Arena Biscuit mode. On top of the extra space, lack of long lines, and all the other amenities the 1stBank Center provides, I would be remiss if I did not mention the outstanding work of lighting designer Johnny R. Goode. After transforming The Ogden into something out of a Tron movie, Mr. Goode took full advantage of the wide landscape of the 1stBank Center’s stage and open spaces. At times the lights stole the show and had many in attendance speechless. While some would say the lasers are “played out,” even the most jaded laser hater could not deny the insane visuals created on Saturday and the rest of the weekend. At one time the lasers hit the disco balls a top of the arena engulfing the entire room in a visual display that I won’t even attempt to describe just look at the photos below. It’s very easy to overlook the fact that 3 very different venues require very different setups and some serious respect needs to go to Johnny and the rest of the The Disco Biscuits crew for morphing the stage setup and everything else all weekend.
The Disco Biscuits: Musically, things immediately got moving with a jam into “Gangster,” a dirty electronic romp inspired oddly enough by the copy machine scene from Office Space, but then things lulled a bit for a song that used to really bring it, “Mindless Dribble.” Despite being a beast of insane talent, drummer Allen Aucoin has yet to really master this song since joining the band in ‘06 and it has never gained the steam it once had. This lull did not last long however as the band blasted into “Spacebirdmatingcall,” a song that sounds as crazy as the name implies. Simply put, I love this song and it was a treat to hear. It is an unabashed dance party with sultry melodies and a monster peak driven by amazing guitar work from Barber and this version did not disappoint. After “Pilin’ it High(er),” the first set closed out with a stellar version of “Little Betty Boop” and once again the crowd needed to take a deep breath after an insane set with almost no stops at all.
The second set kicked off with a brilliant version “Above The Waves.” “Waves” contains one of the most iconic and recognizable peaks in the TDB universe and after this one the band decided to take things out for a walk. While its not unusual for the band to split up songs like this, especially “Waves,” this one was unique in where they chose to do so. As opposed to the usual descent into techno madness after the first peak the band brought things home and jammed out on the “Mulberry let the engines burn…” segment that is usually the landing pad for the song. This led perfectly into an unfinished version of “Spraypaint Victory” as most in attendance fist pumped in agreement that “freedom is a gun with giant bags of money.” From there on out it was a full blown dance party assault on the audience. “Spraypaint” gave way to what may be the perfect Biscuits jam, inverted “Confrontation.” The euphoric peak that comes with this song is undeniable and when the band is clicking they take it to soaring heights that are tough to match. After ripping through “Confrontation” things went into the rowdy, instrumental dance tune “Cyclone” before slamming into the Pink Floyd classic “Run Like Hell.” “Run Like Hell” has become a staple for the band and they have made this song their own over the years. Merging the already bumping tempo with the classic Biscuits dance groove, the Biscuits’s version of “Run Like Hell” is something that will get just about anyone up out of their seat and moving. This version was no different and segued back into “Above The Waves” before an amazing version of “House Dog Party Favor” closed out the set.
Anyone even slightly familiar with the band knew what was coming next. It’s no secret that Marc Brownstein loves weed and Colorado so just about every knew a “Nughuffer” was a lock at some point in the weekend. Brownie didn’t disappoint and delivered a somber rendition as they mourned the loss of their favorite tour pipe that had broken that night, laying in “3 pieces on the floor.” That somber note quickly washed away as they delivered one last monster jam before closing out the night by segueing into the end of “Helicopters.” After 3 amazing nights with The Disco Biscuits it was safe to say that the band had reached a level of precision and creativity that fans have not heard in quite some time. That high level of playing would be needed as it was time to say goodbye to TDB and welcome in their alter egos, Tractorbeam, for a night at The Fox in Boulder on Sunday.
01/25/14 • 1st Bank Center • Broomfield , CO
Set 1: Jam > Gangster > Mindless Dribble > Spacebirdmatingcall > Pilin’ It High1, Little Betty Boop
Set 2: Above The Waves > Spraypaint2 > Confrontation3 > Cyclone > Run Like Hell > Above The Waves > House Dog Party Favor
Encore: Nughuffer > Helicopters
Stage Presence: B