Bisco has shoes and gym to fill

Hallucinogenic tunes and lyrics as sporadic as an ADD-riddled child-sound familiar? The Patrick Gym seems to be the venue for a one-sided selection of concerts so far this year with The Disco Biscuits trailing on the heels of fellow genre-shattering rockers The Flaming Lips, but don’t write The Biscuits off just because of this likeliness. Yes, it will be hard to top a quirky Lips live performance, but where they fail to go, the Biscuits venture forth with unerring energy. The Biscuits have been entrancing audiences since they first came together in 1993 at the University of Pennsylvania. With the mix of electronic beats into a traditional jam band concert format, Bisco formed a genre similar to, but at the same time strikingly different than that of jam band greats Phish and the Grateful Dead. Trance-fusion, as this genre is known, takes the listener on a spellbinding ride through sounds and settings unlike any earthly experience. Filled with unexpected twists such as songs played backwards or melded into one another, Biscuits’ shows are somewhat formless. Some songs may even be made up on the spot, as all Biscuit melodies are written during concerts and then recorded in the studio, making the thrill not in wondering what will be played next, but how it will be played. A Disco Biscuits concert is not simply seen, because seeing implies the use of only one sense. A Biscuits concert takes all senses on a ride through heaven, hell, and limbo. Known to last for three hours or more, the trip flows on for what seems like eternity. Guitarist Jon Gutwillig, bassist Marc Brownstein, drummer Allen Aucoin and keyboardist Aron Magner use their jam stamina and endurance to weave a blanket of ethereal qualities. But in Burlington, the Biscuits have an itch to scratch. Last year, in a February issue of The Cynic, reporter Julian Brizzi claimed that the majority of jam band fans were, “dirty, over privileged, and awfully drugged,” and that the jam band sound was like “music for children’s programming on PBS.” A band with years of experience like The Biscuits builds up a general fan base over time. Bisco has played in Burlington before, but there is no harm in reaching out to a new populace, as B-town gets hundreds of new residents each year. Their sound can at times be redundant, such as during the 15 minute long, “Hot Air Balloon,” in which the overly-repetitive guitar riffs could make anyone go crazy with boredom. Still, the Disco Biscuits’ sound makes for a good show-even if it has to follow the theatrics of The Lips-and could easily attract a good portion of the community instead of just those select jam-band scenesters. Tickets can be bought at? the Patrick Gym or on the SA Concert’s website ( for $15 for students with a valid University of Vermont ID. Tickets are $25 for non-students.