Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
Asheville, North Carolina
April 25, 2009
With only one more show before their late May Bisco Inferno Extravaganza at Red Rocks, the Disco Biscuits were sure to throw it down for the always Biscuit-friendly city of Asheville at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium on April 25. Throw in an opening set from electronica up-and-comers Telepath and an after-party show by DJ extraordinaire Pretty Lights at the Orange Peel, and it turns into one hell of a Saturday in the Smokies.
Having nearly perfected their blend of Afro-beat rhythms and snake charmer-esque textures, Telepath was a fitting start to this electro-evening. After touring with Lotus in 2008, the Asheville/Philadelphia-based trio has burst onto the jamtronica scene with a sound that is uniquely their own. Playing to about a third of the ensuing Bisco crowd, Telepath laid down some almost funkified trance rhythms with their trademark Indian/Arabic chant sampling that gave those in attendance a groove-filled treat.
Once beers and plenty of water were purchased, the bulk of the crowd shuffled in, ready to move to the ever-improving sounds of the Disco Biscuits. The quartet broke in the night quite nicely with a "Morph Dusseldorf" sandwich, featuring some excellently heavy slapping by bassist Marc Brownstein. Throw "Basis For A Day" in the middle, and you’ve got pretty good way to start off the night. With this being the end of their tour, the Biscuits showed much love to the ¾ capacity Asheville crowd; Brownstein and Gutwillig stepped to the front of the stage throughout the show to hand out high fives mid-song.
After an eerie "Caves of the East," the Biscuits slowly built up to their much happier "Hot Air Balloon." This would be the start to yet another one of their patented “Biscuit sandwiches”, going "HAB > Gangster > HAB" to end the first set.
While the show was going as well as one could hope for, one couldn’t help but notice how intense and overly-tight the security was – Not sure whether it was just the Wolfe Auditorium or the fact that it was a Disco Biscuits show – but it certainly puts a sour taste in your mouth and a damper on the night. With that being said, all that was made to seem insignificant as the Biscuits broke into their second set with a powerful "Mirrors" that featured some shredding licks by guitarist Jon Gutwillig.
Only stopping once during both sets amongst segue after segue, Bisco made room for a five song sandwich, with crowd favorite "I-Man" acting as the bread. In the middle was the downtempo powerhouse "M.E.M.P.H.I.S." This particular version was exceptionally dark and evil, almost making one feel as if they’re tumbling through outer space. Segue that right into longtime staple "Cyclone" and back into "I-Man" (with "The City" lyrics), and you’ve got a monstrous set that left the Asheville crowd begging for more.
The Biscuits topped the night off with a feel-good "Shelby Rose" encore that seemed to satisfy not just the crowd, but the band as well. After a show with energy usually reserved for festivals, there were not many, if any, dissatisfied faces exiting the Wolfe Auditorium on this epic Saturday in the never-ending nights of the Asheville music scene.
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