The time has come. East coast biscuit loyalists, surely disappointed by the year hiatus of the classic Camp Bisco summer music festival they’ve hosted for over 10 years in upstate New York, can rest easy knowing that this weekend affords them the opportunity to catch as much Jam-tronica as their heady heads can stand. But this ain’t your younger-self’s City Bisco, formerly a two-day mini-festival with multiple stages an acts performing at the Mann Center.
Nope. This year, the Biscuits are taking you with them on a tour through their Philadelphia roots. Like the band, they start out small and humble, playing an intimate evening with The Disco Biscuits at the Trocadero, a small, less than 2000 capacity historic (built in the 1800s as an opera house) theater Thursday night.
Friday night the Biscuits get bigger. Moving just a little uptown, we land at the 4000 capacity Electric Factory with an opening set by American Babies. It all leads up to the big Saturday night performance at the Mann Center. An earlier opening to make room for several great openers, Risky Disko, Orchard Lounge, and Giorgio Moroder.
Wait, not enough music, you say? Okay fine. How about some pre-parties?
You can kick off Thursday night with a FREE DJ set from Vacationer at the Trestle Inn at 6 pm. Friday you can check out the FREE happy hour at Voltage Lounge featuring The Beating (members of Grimace Federation and Brothers Past) at 6 pm. Then, if you’re down to get wet, join in for a Pool Party at the North Shore Beach Club from 12 noon – 5 pm featuring tons of live music as well. Oh and it’s free. It’s all FREE! No Rules!!!
Okay, there might be some rules. In fact, I’m fairly certain that there are. But this weekend is sure to be one of the best live music (and some free music and parties too!) of the entire year here in Philly.
Marc Brownstein even took a few minutes out of his busy week to answer a few questions for us:
TSI: Who had the idea to do a three night run at three different venues or how did the new City Bisco experience come about?
MB: I’m not really even sure who had the idea to do the Trocadero this year. We knew from the start that we wanted the Mann to be a one night deal, and we have done “progressions” shows many times. It’s not a new concept. We did the TLA, the Factory and the Tweeter Center for New Years a few times, and we do this all this time in Colorado with The Boulder Theater, the Ogden (in Denver), and Red Rocks.
TSI: Not getting to have a Camp Bisco for the first time in so long, does it make it any more special to you guys to be able to come back and maintain or even build upon the relatively new tradition of the City Bisco experience with your homegrown fan base here in Philly?
MB: Taking the year off of Camp has definitely made the other events all feel more special. City Bisco was always something that was created uniquely for our fanbase. We aren’t trying to bring lots of people who don’t know the biscuits to the events. It’s about providing a perfect experience for those people who support us the most.
TSI: Have all of your various side projects brought anything new and/or unexpected into any Biscuits recording sessions or live performances?
MB: Every time we do something outside of the Biscuits, it’s a learning experience, and so naturally we always bring new knowledge into the band. Playing with Younger Brother taught me so many things about how to produce and how to present electronic music in a clever way. Conspirator does the same. But in the end, I think if anything, it made it so that when we are in the Biscuits, we can just be ourselves and not worry so much about what else is happening musically in the world, which is a difficult thing for a musician to do. You want to evolve with the times, with the scene, and adapt to new sounds, just the same as all of the best bands have always done, but there is something nice about just being yourself.
TSI: Can you talk a little bit about your experience getting to play with jam legends from the Grateful Dead at Gathering of the Vibes? Any more collaborations like that in the works?
MB: Playing some of my favorite songs of all time with some of the greatest musicians of our lifetimes was a huge treat. Mickey and Billy were total professionals, and I would love nothing more than a chance to take that collaboration to some other amazing venues.
TSI: Can you give us any hints about possible New Years Eve plans?
MB: New Years plans will be announced next week!
Thanks for the time, Brownie, and see you this weekend!!
You don’t even have to miss out on it! There are passes still available HERE!
FREE passes!? You guys are so needy. Lucky for you, TRI STATE INDIE is giving away free passes. Just CLICK HERE to enter!