I rang in 2010 at a wild party thrown by the jam-tronic band Disco Biscuits at the Nokia Theater in Times Square, New York City. It was a full house, and fans across the dance floor were sweating in sync to the sounds ringing through the venue. With Allen Aucoin on drums, Aron Magner on keys, Marc Brownstein on bass and Jon Gutwillig on guitar / midi keyboard, the Disco Biscuits provide listeners with a jazzy and jammy trip to outer space, taking them fleeting through galaxies, on a raging musical voyage with a naughty, rigid edge, acting as a medium for listener’s little inner devils to come out and shake their tail feathers…all in good fun, of course.
This was my third time seeing Disco Biscuits on New Year’s Eve; I also attended the 2005/2006 and 2007/2008 shows. I will say that my taste for the Disco Biscuits has progressed with time. It’s taken me several years to really come around to the band, but I think I get it now. I’ve seen them live a few dozen times, and there was a point where sometimes their sound, and the energy of the crowd, “scared” me. Yes, it is a true fact that at the 2007/2008 New Year’s show I saw every band and DJ that preformed except the Disco Biscuits. When their set started that year I was stuck in a clusterfuck of people who were trying to get into the lobby, but were being contained in a very small space by security guards because some kid had already OD’d or passed out or something. When the music began the crowd began raging, and I wasn’t on the same level as them. All I wanted was out of that cluster of people! Finally I broke through, ran straight across the venue and out the first EXIT door I saw. I hung out in the parking lot for Disco Biscuit’s entire show and only went back in later, when Bassnectar was on. Now, please keep in mind that I never claimed to be a practicing member of AA or NA. My conscious was altered, I freaked out and left…..but the important thing is, I gave the Disco Biscuits more chances after that night. In 2009 I saw the band live four times, and to me, each performance sounded better than the next.
I woke up at 7:15am on the morning of Dec. 31, 2009. I had a lot to do before I embarked for New York City, and I was trying to make an 11 o’clock train. I actually had my alarm set for 8 AM, but my anxiety woke me up first. I never sleep well the night before a big show, it’s like a “kid on Christmas Eve” type situation. I got thrill in my blood! You’d think I was the one performing, or something.
I woke up to find snow falling from the sky, which was slightly unexpected (though not unwelcome.) The snow briefly delayed travel plans, so KB and I boarded the 12:07 train to Penn Station. The train was pretty crowded, and KB and I were in uproarious moods. Something about KB makes me hyper.
We discussed on the train that as soon as we arrived in NY we were on a mission to find funky socks and beaded necklaces for KB, and potentially some “2010” glasses for myself. The socks we wasted no time with and purchased from the sock/stocking store right in NY Penn, Elegance. Ten bucks, I’m sure we could have found cheaper, but she’ll get good use out of them.
Immediately upon ascending the stairs out of the station onto the street, we encountered vendors selling New Year’s Eve accessories. I purchased two light-up necklaces for only $1 each, and then approached the guy with the “2010” glasses. He was wearing a red light-up pair. Ten bucks for the light up. “Do you have any that don’t light up?” I asked. Yes, he did. They cost $5. “Do you have green?” I asked. Yes, he did. And they were sparkly. Perfecto!
We still hadn’t found any beaded necklaces for KB, so we decided to go into the shopping mall next to the subway station we needed. When we got to the mall there were three very large guards armed with machine guns, dressed in black from helmet to boot, holding their guns across their chest, ready to spring to action. I don’t know what department they were from (National Guard? SWAT?), but they sure intimidated me! I didn’t notice the guards until I had already opened the door and began to enter the mall, and I almost did an “about face”. The natural instinct of a girl rolling dirty. I remember hoping they didn’t think that looked like suspicious behavior. All I said was “Whoa!” as I walked past them. I reckon they were there because it was New Year’s Eve…and we were in the main shopping and transportation hub of Manhattan. It was weird to me to see this convoy at the entrance to the Manhattan Mall and the 34th Street Herald Square subway station, though I quickly realized that to inhabitants of countries of war, this was an everyday sight.
Anywhooo…after finding some great (and cheap!) accessories at Charlotte Rousse, KB and I took the train to Diaz’s house in Queens where our New Year’s Eve posse (Paul, Diaz, Parke and Chad) was chillin’ before the show.
We ate pizza, threw back a few cold beverages and then made our way back to Manhattan for festivities…
As previously mentioned, the show was at the Nokia Theater in Times Square. You know, the same place where the infamous BALL DROPS. Times Square was a mad house and almost every street that we needed to get to the venue was closed.
At every block we showed police officers our ticket stubs and asked if we could get to the theater, but at every block the cops just sent us to another block where we were told we couldn’t get through. Finally I went up to an NYPD officer, showed him my ticket and asked why we couldn’t get through when other people were. I told him that we had been walking from block to block for a while, and that we all paid for our concert tickets and we just wanted to get to the show. The officer responded to my plea by saying, “Chill out, LADY! Chill out! Can’t I talk to somebody NORMAL!?” He then proceeded to talk to Paul, who he apparently thought was more “normal” than me. Maybe my pigtails threw him for a loop? Either way, he let us through his precious road block.
The first thing I did was order a double of a favorite cocktail, which came to $20 with tip. My crew and I chose a spot to keep our jackets and reconnect throughout the show, and it was as far back in the venue as one could get, but at least I had plenty of dancing space.
Before the music started I decided to go to the bathroom, and I was walking in the hallway when I heard the first chords of music. I instantly knew that the Disco Biscuits had opened with “M.E.M.P.H.I.S”, which is one of the few songs I can recognize, consider myself to “love”, and reallllllly hoped they played that night. Just like when I heard Phish playing “Cities” from the hallway, I started running to the nearest door into the stage area. I picked a random spot to stand for the first song, and I asked some guy standing next to me to hold my drink while I took off my sweater. After I was done, he handed me my drink back and asked if I would like a sample of the party favors he had with him, and I accepted the offer.
That is about all I remember of the first set, except from entering into my own little world of dance mania.
The light-up 2010 necklace I had purchased on the street got good use, but the glasses, it turned out, I could have done without. I dropped them so many times during the show. One of the lenses kept popping out. After I dropped them for the 57th time, I finally left them lying on the ground. I was done with the New Year’s glasses.
During intermission I jotted down in my notebook that I had anxiety and I needed to drink “lots and lots of water,” which I did. The second set was another dancing and rage fest, and we carried on strong until the show ended around 2:30 am. For the most part I stayed in our designated area, behind the majority of the crowd, but I ventured up close to the stage a couple times – into the hot, sticky, sweaty mass of dancing people, with their heads and chests pumping in time to the tunes. It was fun. It made me smile. I love to feel the vibe!
There were no late-night DJs at the Nokia, and we didn’t go to a different late night show, so after Disco Biscuits ended our crew embarked on the long train ride back to Diaz’s place in Queens. We all got a few good hours of sleep, but I didn’t wake up feeling very conversant or chipper. In fact, it took my brain a good three or four days to get its chemicals back in balance. Those Disco Biscuits really know how to leave an impact. What a way to start of the New Year. Hah.
All in all, I had a great New Year’s Eve and I even got KB to cross over to the dark side. She had never seen the Disco Biscuits and I wasn’t positive she would enjoy herself, but we had such marvelous time that we already bought tickets to see the band again in March!