Disco Biscuits at Starland Ballroom
As I mentioned in my last post, I went to see the Disco Biscuits at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ this past Friday and Saturday. The Biscuits are a hybrid of jamband rock fusion and a trancy techno style. Starland Ballroom is a club in the middle of nowhere in NJ. It has good sound, lots of bars in a stepped room so there are good sightlines throughout. The patdown to get in this weekend was ridiculous, bordering on intrusive- underarms, thighs, back, ankles, ass- very obnoxious. The drinks inside seem very weak for some reason and the place is very oversold and hot.
Friday's show (2/24) was very up and down. Strawberry Girl->Svenghali->Strawberry Girl was excellent, despite the bad vocals on Strawberry Girl (they really need a female backup singer for the chorus). I didn't want to like it after the Atlantic City Strawberry Girl debut, which was just awful, but once they started to jam I found myself enjoying it, particularly as the jam went into Svenghali. The I-Man in the 2nd set was really weird; it started off really hot-high energy- straight up rock not techno style and then it just died down to nothing in the middle. It got slow and quiet enough that the crowd talking was louder than the music. They made up for it with the Digital Buddha->Cyclone->Digital Buddha. The Cyclone was incredible, an instant classic, had the entire room moving- great energy. The rest of the show was good but not great- nothing special. Overall I'd give it $$$$$$ (6/10 on the J$ scale).
Saturday's show (2/25) was a bit more consistent. The first set was pretty hot. The Jigsaw Earth was really good, one of the best I've seen. They were going in all sorts of directions, creating improv jams that sounded cohesive enough to be mistaken for songs. 42 was high energy as usual. They seem to always play really good 42's at Starland. Crystal Ball was unusually heavy. Home Again is one my favorite songs and a great set closer. The 2nd set unfortunately did not live up the promise of the 1st. Vassillios-Abyss was good and got me dancing but it wasn't great. Same with Spacebird- good but not particularly memorable. They closed the set with a really short Reactor- great hard rockin' jam there but short. I like the Have A Cigar encore a lot- having never heard them play it. An exceptionally good B&C ended the show. I'd give the 2nd show $$$$$$$ (7/10) based mostly on the strength of the first set.
My cameraphone pics came out pretty blurry so instead here's some video of Spacebird from the 2/22 show in Baltimore: