As I flew home once again to Chicago for a week with the family, what could have welcomed me back better than a home cooked meal than an evening with a constantly evolving and always entertaining band, The Disco Biscuits.

The Biscuits returned to Chicago after more than a year gone, having played to a relatively warm room at The Park West the last time here, the band was excited to visit the Wrigleyville setting of The Metro, a more raging, down home, feet to the street type of club. The show had sold quite a few tickets before the doors even opened, and as the band was about to take the stage the room was close to being filled. Close to a thouands Chicago fans came out to witness another spectacle by this ever changing and evolving group of musicians.

Opening with the fairly new "Confrontation", the blitzing began and the crowd started to get their grooves on in full motion. This song reached shreading height immediately and gave everyone a chance to sink into the sounds of 'bisco'. You could tell that people were somewhat familiar with their music from the start. The band had played the city about 5 times previous, and with each show, as with many cities around the country, have grown in popularity and fan awareness. The set which followed featured a mixture of complex arrangements in "Bazaar Escape", a funk-reggae style throwndown of "Munckin Invasion", as well as the happy triumphancy of "Home Again", a fitting song for my situation.

This great set got everyone in the crowd warmed up. Although the band never quite reached the huge 'escape velocity' they've been known for during the hour, they were sure psyched as hell to be rocking out to a full house in Chi-town, and everyone was having a blast.

After a fairly quick setbreak, the band returned to perform over 2 hours of non-stop next level trance-explosion rock. If the first set was missing any fluidity or hugeness, the second set more than made up for it with a mindblowing combination of tunes. The highlight of the second set clearly came as the band segued out of the beggining of "The Overture" into the end of "Above The Waves". This musical transition, which the band took their sweet time executing, showed everyone how tight and seemless they can be, merging two very different songs into a harmonic convergence blowing the roof off the venue.

If there's one thing that The Disco Biscuits have learned recently, it's patience. Every song is given the perfect amount of time to evolve and build until just the right peak is reached. The band has also built up endurance, playing 2+ hour sets without ever letting up, captivating the audience the entire time they are on stage. Their complexity evolves from a concentrated interplay between the players. As Sam Altman keeps the beat steady on the drums and Marc Brownstein helps the groove with his bass work, guitarist Jon "The Barber" Gutwillig locks in with Aron Magner on the keys. The guitar and keys play off of eachother in an evolving, interesting way, as the guitar will begin a rhythm, Magner will lead off of that rhythm until his lead becomes a repetitive rhythm, giving Barber an opportunity to join in with a lead off of that. The two go back and forth together as the jam builds to epic heights, almost every time.

After ending the second set with a beautiful combo of "The Very Moon" and the now infamous "Bert" (potentially a tribute to the 5/31/99 Martyr's version), the band returned to the stage to perform a 30 minute long Nughuffer > Pygmy Twilight > Nughuffer. If there were any lingering questions about the band's ability to grab a crowd and raise them to new levels (which I doubt there were), they were all most likely answered at this point.

Exhausted yet heightened, the night was far from over for me at this point as I left The Metro and headed out to The Boulevard Cafe to catch the second set of the Living Daylights show. Check out my brother's review of that incredible gig across-town which capped an amazing evening back home in sweet Chicago.

-Andy Gadiel -

[Published on: 10/27/00]

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