The Disco Biscuits’ annual Colorado Bisco Inferno run is officially in the books, and what a weekend it was. Beginning with a three-night run at Denver’s Ogden Theatre, and capped by a massive performance Sunday night at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Philadelphia quartet delivered top-notch jams, bust-outs, and covers that had even the most experienced Biscuits fans reeling for more.
Arizona-based jam sensation Spafford opened the night, marking the band’s first-ever appearance at Red Rocks. The Disco Biscuits Marc Brownstein even pulled some strings for the new kids on the block, giving Spafford a 90-minute set instead of previously slated hour set. Spafford’s Brian Moss waved to the crowd as the band walked on stage, diving directly into an improvised jam followed by an arrangement of heavy hitters including some beautiful work on “The Postman > Weasel” which stretched the boundaries of improvisation, and remained the highlight of the night Not only was Spafford loose and ready to play the night away, but they brought a massive crowd of “Spaffnerds” along for the ride, and made some new ones along the way.
Spafford – Red Rocks Set: Jam > Broken Wing, The Postman > Weasel, All My Friends > Bee Jam > Leave The Light On, Slip And Squander > Galisteo Way
As the sun began to set on the beautiful summer night, Marc Brownstein, Jon “Barber” Gutwillig, Allen Aucoin and Aaron Magner set foot on the mystic stage to a huge round of applause from the anxious crowd. The Philadelphia-based Disco Biscuits have made Colorado a second home the last few years, playing numerous runs at venues like The Fillmore, The Boulder Theater, and Red Rocks Amphitheater.
After playing heaters all weekend long, the band got right into the thick of things with “Bionic Helix > Tetris (Korobeiniki) > Svenghali (ending),” a 30-minute escapade that had fans lost in a trance from the very beginning. Johnny R. Goode, the Disco Biscuits lighting director since 2002, lit up the warm Colorado sky with their signature lasers while backing the band with a continuous psychedelic backdrop, constantly shifting and taking new form.
After a well-delivered rendition of “The Tunnel,” the Disco Biscuits dove deep into J.J. Cale’s classic “After Midnight,” a tune that is always well received within the jam community. The band was loose and clearly having fun with their song selection, with Barber leading the way, taking control of his fret board and weaving through various jams all while steering things in the right direction. Never once did the band sound lost or stale, but rather fresh and full of energy, continuously building up segments only to have them explore in an arrangement of lights, peaks and raw excitement from the crowd. The band dove back into “Helicopters” to finish off set one and exited the stage, allowing everyone to recover from an action-packed first set of music.
After a lengthy set break, the Disco Biscuits returned to the stage and took over “Rivers,” a song that hasn’t seen much action since its debut in 2008. A huge sandwich of a jam came next, where the band took “Mr. Don,” a song of their debut album Encephalous Crime back in 1996 and threw in a classic arrangement of “Tricycle” and “Orch Theme” before diving right back into Don, showcasing the incredible versatility of the band.
The beauty of the Disco Biscuits is their seamless ability to take a segment of music and paint it with their own creativity. While many other bands have one or two moments of a show where they truly “breakthrough,” The Disco Biscuits do it night in and night out, delivering huge jams with relative ease. Any song can be a jam vehicle, no song is off limits, and they will keep the tune going until nobody in the audience has any clue what song is playing. “One of the great parts of having songs, not in the rotation is how fun it is to bring them back after 3, 4, 5, 9 years,” bassist Marc Brownstein recently wrote on Twitter. “It’s been fun playing Commercial, Handcuffs, Boomshanker,” he continued, nodding to the fact that they have brought back some old fan favorites this past run.
The Disco Biscuits finished off the epic four-night Colorado run with “On Time” off 2010’s Planet Anthem, a pop tune that in true Biscuits fashion turned dark and made some unexpected turns. “Thank you, Red Rocks, this is one we won’t soon forget!” Marc Brownstein said to the ecstatic crowd as the Disco Biscuits exited the stage for one last time and put a cap on what was truly an outstanding Bisco Inferno 2018.
The Disco Biscuits – Red Rocks: Set I: Bionic Helix-> Tetris (Korobeiniki)-> Svenghali (ending), The Tunnel, After Midnight-> Helicopters
Set II: Rivers, Mr. Don-> Tricycle-> Orch Theme-> Mr. Don, Therapy
E: On Time