The Disco Biscuits are back, baby! Set break is over. In the wake of all the hype surrounding the band’s newly announced winter tour and a forthcoming new album, it’s hard to not get excited about this new chapter.
While this newly announced run of shows marks the first true “tour” for the band in a decade, the schedule of shows includes a notable run at a more familiar haunt: A four-night New Year’s Eve run at New York’s PlayStation Theater. This run of shows, set to take place on December 27th, 28th, 30th, and 31st, will bring The Disco Biscuits’ overall total number of performances at the Times Square venue to 40. They will also mark the final shows ever at PlayStation Theater, as the venue will close its doors at the end of the year.
As we prepare for The Disco Biscuits’ 2019 New Year’s run and the closing of PlayStation Theater, we took a look back at ten of the most memorable Biscuits moments at the venue through the years.
One of the more epic NYE shenanigans the Disco Biscuits bestowed upon the venue was their 2015 New Year’s Eve show surrounding the cult classic 1982 Disney film, TRON.
The jams were already flowing after two five-song sets to get the night started, the second of which closed with a rendition of “Spaga” featuring a New Year’s-appropriate “The Final Countdown” intro. For the night’s special third set, the band delivered a memorable “Tron Jam”, playing the accompaniment to the movie as it played on a projector screen behind them.
The Disco Biscuits – TRON NYE – 12/31/15 – Full Show
[Photo: Dave Vann]
We all know how spacey and digitalized this band can get, which is why this themed NYE show surrounding video game jams was nothing short of spectacular. The band opened up the night’s first of three sets with a “Caves Of The East” featuring Pac-Man samples, treated fans to a bust-out of “The Moon” for the first time in 231 shows, and ended the set by finishing out the “42” they had started two nights prior.
The video game homages continued in set two with a set-opening rendition of the Super Mario Bros. “Overworld Theme”. An extended “Aceetobee” sandwich rounded out the set, with “Basis For A Day”, “Korobeiniki” (the theme song from Tetris), and an inverted “Aquatic Ape” serving as the musical meat.
Set three continued in the same vein, as the band segued smoothly back and forth between “Little Lai” and the Super Mario Bros. “Underworld Theme”. The middle portion of “Mindless Dribble” came next, completing the “dyslexic” unfinished version from 12/29/17. The middle portion of “7-11” was up next, continuing the incomplete version from 12/28/17, before the set came to a close with “Basis For A Day”, “Strobelights and Martinis” and “Helicopters”. A “Frog Legs” encore put a cap on the memorable New Year’s stand. Take us back, please!
The Disco Biscuits – Super Mario Theme – 12/31/17
[Video: The Disco Biscuits]
Back in the good ol’ days when it was still called the Nokia Theatre, The Disco Biscuits played their first-ever show at the Times Square theater. Shpongle opened the evening (*drool*) before the Biscuits took the stage for their two-set headlining performance. The rest, as they say, is history. Check out the rendition of “Caterpillar” that kicked off a long, storied history of The Disco Biscuits in Times Square below:
The Disco Biscuits – “Caterpillar” – Nokia Theatre – 4/11/08
The Disco Biscuits opened a five-night NYE run at the Nokia Theatre on December 26th, 2009. Of note, this performance featured the debut of “Portal To An Empty Head” during the second set. That song has been played 39 more times since that night (most recently in May of 2019 at Denver’s Ogden Theatre) and remains an always-welcome addition to any biscuits set. You can listen to an audio recording of the second set-opening “Svenghali” > “Portal To An Empty Head” from that night below:
The Disco Biscuits – “Svenghali” > “Portal To An Empty Mind” [Debut] – 12/26/09
[Uploaded by Boots O’Riley]
Three nights later during the same five-night NYE run, The Disco Biscuits kicked off their second set with an epic sit-in by Simon Green, better known as Bonobo, on “Flash Mob”. As the set progressed and led into “Floes”, the night’s jams were interrupted by a fire alarm which forced the venue to quickly evacuate as the problem was fixed. No actual fire was involved—that is, except for the fire jams that ensued 40 minutes later when the band returned to the stage to pick up where they had left off.
The Disco Biscuits w/ Simon Green (Bonobo) – “Flash Mob” – 12/29/09
[Video: Jay Stevenson]
What better way to ring in the new year than with a new debut! After a four-song first set at the by-then rechristened Best Buy Theater featuring an inverted “Crystal Ball”, The Disco Biscuits dazzled up their seven-song second set with a debut of Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band’s “A Fifth Of Beethoven” for their NYE countdown. The band further tripped up fans by bringing back the dyslexic version of the song (ending first, beginning second) during the evening’s third set. Almost six years after its debut, the song has only seen a spot on a setlist seven times, the last being at the band’s Brooklyn Bowl Vegas show in November 2018.
The Disco Biscuits – “A Fifth Of Beethoven” New Year’s Countdown – 12/31/14
[Video: Adam Schneider]
Returning to Times Square for a four-night run for NYE 2015-2016 at the newly re-named PlayStation Theater, the new year brought back a little surprise for fans with a “Spin The Wheel” show. Select fans were brought out on stage to spin a The Price Is Right-style wheel to determine what songs the band would play that night. On this first day of the new year, and night three of the run, The Disco Biscuits kicked off the show with a five-song first set and finished off second two with the return of “The Unspoken Rhyme” after a 862 show gap! The song has not been played since, making this PlayStation Theater rendition the only live “The Unspoken Rhyme” since 2001. Check out a video of the whole show below:
The Disco Biscuits – 1/1/16 – Full Show
To help finish off their four-night NYE run, The Disco Biscuits welcomed the Philly Stray Horns for their entire first set to add some extra funky flare. As the first set was coming to a close, The Disco Biscuits and the Philly Stray Horns joined by The Blues Brothers impersonators The Blue-ish Brothers for Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man” and Soloman Burke’s “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love”. Fans didn’t think it could get any better, yet the band kicked off the second set with a nearly hour-long “I-Man” and a dyslexic continuation of “Astronaut” from their December 5th, 2015 performance at Holidaze.
The Disco Biscuits – 1/2/16 – Full Show
To help complete their five-night run to close out 2008, The Disco Biscuits welcomed reggae hitmaker Matisyahu to add an extra-airy vocal dimension to their late-second-set “Magellan” jam. You can watch the whole Matisyahu sit-in below:
The Disco Biscuits w/ Matisyahu – “Magellan” – 12/31/08
On the final night of the decade, The Disco Biscuits put all the tricks and flips into their NYE celebration. As the clock approached midnight, the band brewed up massive “Countdown Melody” sequence composed of some of the band’s most prized classics and covers including “Orch Theme”, “Morph Dusseldorf”, “Run Like Hell”, “Aceetobee”, “Vassillios”, “Mr. Don”, “Above The Waves”, “Munchkin Invasion”, and “Crickets”. If that isn’t a stellar NYE countdown, then we don’t know what is. Watch the whole set below:
The Disco Biscuits – 12/31/09 – Set Two
[Video: Cricket Mitts]
After all these amazing plays at this beloved venue, there’s likely an abundance of tricks and surprises up the band’s sleeves for their upcoming four-night run. After all, it’s only fair that the band ends their history at the venue with a bang.
To make this year even more special, keyboardist Aron Magner‘s SPAGA is playing a special afternoon set at NYC’s DROM on Sunday, December 29th, the off-day of the run. For tickets to SPAGA at DROM, head here.
For tickets to the Disco Biscuits NYE run, head here.