The Biscuits create a collective crimson experience in Tuscaloosa

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Disco Biscuits
The Jupiter Bar & Grill
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
September 22, 2009

If the jam world was a Seinfeld episode, the Disco Biscuits would be master of their domain. In this scene, there is something to be said for a crew that can do their thing for years, maintain a devoted following, host their own festival in the middle of nowhere, and continue to start on time.

These, amongst other qualities, are what separate the winners from the losers in our beloved genre where professionalism occasionally gives way to party and quality sometimes makes its exit unless the stage is grand. Fortunately, The Biscuits have not succumbed to this trend and as a result, they are still here and in a major way.

bisco2.jpgOn this night, the evening began with some tech-tronica from Nashville’s beat-providing twin brothers, Two Fresh. This act was a treat. Between the spinning brothers, Sherwyn and Kendrick, and the drumming of Colby Butler, this was not just your average DJ outing that at times becomes boring. Unlike many DJ acts, there was no attempt at domination. Levels were kept appropriately and it set the mood perfectly. It was as though they knew their place, and in spite of some severe venue technical problems they provided a rhythmic warm up to the main attraction.

As with any show in a college town, there was the opportunity for some quality people watching between sets. Just as one sorority chick spilled the drink on which her fratty boyfriend had just spent nine bucks, some in-pre-show-trance Bisco kid would walk by with a dreadful look on his face. The blend provided its own degree of hilarity, but the art of the music that The Biscuits prescribe would shortly encompass this diverse crowd. The retina-piercing lights and mind-bending beats and licks caused the crowd to no longer notice patchwork pants, sideways hats, Polo shirts, or Fendi bags. This is the beauty that few other modalities can offer with anywhere near the same amount of success. This night proved it.

bisco3.jpgThe Biscuits took the stage at 10:15 and immediately continued in the trend of their predecessors with the inviting yet somewhat eerie “Uber Glue.” However, at the near five minute mark of this tune, anyone who couldn’t tell what was in store should have laid off of the pre-show brews or other substances.

This night would rage in a collective fashion and the trend continued with the similarly vibed “M80.” The progressive build up of this show had the feel of a perfect woman (or man,) seductively and teasingly crawling nigh, strange comfort found in how far away she was and how slowly she was making her progression. It was as though knowing that the vibe would hit was enough and all settled in for the ensuing ride.

The buildup had an otherwise indescribable feeling and just when that anticipation became uncomfortable, the act the crowd had patiently awaited quickly commenced in an unadulterated and raw fashion, in the form of “Cyclone.” The aforementioned crawl became a pounce. This thick and fast-paced jam with equal parts distributed amongst the four Biscuits had every foot moving, body writhing, and hand swinging as the lights twisted and turned to the beat, carried by Brownstein and Aucoin with the throttle provided by Magner and Gutwillig. The venue shook and the patrons twisted, and as the mid-song key solo ensued, the audience collectively screamed at an over powering level to which Brownstein simply smiled in acknowledgement.

“Cyclone” segued into “You and I” which segued into the set closer and ultimate orgasmic “Above the Waves.” This set was a display of what these boys can do at any time. Needless to say, the post sex/set cigarette/breath was much needed and it came in the form of the lyrical part of “Waves,” which was followed by a Gutwillig showcase of skill wherein he proved that he too can make a guitar weep.

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If set one was about sex, set two was about space. Beginning with fan-favorite, “M.E.M.P.H.I.S.,” this set was a blend of peaks and valleys – a unique moon-like landscape of sorts. It was loosely played to the crowd’s apparent likening.

bisco4.jpgThe Biscuits have mastered the art of altering their drawing board and calling audibles based upon what they witness from their perch. This ability creates an atmosphere wherein the music and the patron become one, and that is exactly what happened. The venue continued to be as packed as it was from the beginning. The crowd had been drawn into the play and the exploration of space was a group effort.

From “M.E.M.P.H.I.S.,” we approached and boarded the mother ship “Air Song,” a song with lyrical content that has a hint of Floyd, but is more meditative in its qualities. Who knows? Maybe we would find ourselves through the group experience.

What was known by all in attendance was that we collectively segued into the trip back to the earth with the journey through the Milky Way in “Orch Theme.” The beauty of the earth could be seen and the awe-inspiring mind trance that this brought was abruptly followed by the rugged crossing of the atmospheric threshold in an absolute monster of an “I-Man.” We held on tight and in true Biscuits fashion we had a seamless landing by the time the set closed with the beautiful ivory tickling of Magner. We celebrated with the refrain chorus and began to prepare for disembarkation.

In the double encore of “Highwire > I Remember When,” every face was glowing. Smiles abound, the Biscuits had left another happy crowd of satisfied customers in this land of Crimson Tide and they did it in a small condensed venue known as The Jupiter.

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