09/13/05 Spirit Nightclub, New York, NY
Hurricane Katrina Relief Concert
Set I: Voices Insane1, Little Shimmy In A Conga Line1, Svenghali1 2, Confrontation2, Three Wishes2, Helicopters2
Encore: Bazaar Escape1
1 with Mike Greenfield on drums
2 with Joe Russo on drums
The Disco Biscuits were in a period of turmoil in 2005. This seems to be the case more often than not with the group, but it was especially true in the fall of 2005. Their drummer, Sammy "The Professor" Altman, had played his last gigs with the band at the annual festival, Camp Bisco, and a replacement had not yet been named.
Despite their uncertain future, after the devastating destruction of Hurricaine Katrina, The Disco Biscuits sprang to action and put together a benefit concert on short notice, abetted by some friends from the jam community.
I think the show was announced the day before. I was pretty low on funds, but I figured it was a worthy cause. As it turned out, I ended up with a free ticket from some friends I ran into outside. I still wanted to contribute, so I bought some raffle tickets.
Scotty "Boom Boom" Metzger and Sir Joe Russo opened the night with their short-lived acoustic guitar country duo Danjaboots. There were covers of Ween and Bob Dylan and a rather profane ode to big record companies.
Another Russo/Metzger collab was next, this one dubbed Flying Circus and featuring the musicians on their regular instruments, drums and electric guitar respectively. They were augmented by Aron and Marc of the Biscuits and Kevin Kendricks on the 1's and 2's. The music tended towards the electronic improv of Biscuits' side project, Electron. The highlight was a tease of Phish's "Maze," appropriate since their unofficial fifth member, Chris "CK5" Kuroda, was running the lights for the evening.
Finally the Disco Biscuits took the stage for a set augmented by The Ally's Mike Greenfield and the omnipresent Russo. The set looks nice on paper in retrospect, but I remember very little of it. It was fun watching from the second floor lounge overlooking the dance floor and stage area.
It's always nice to catch a line-up of this magnitude at a relatively small venue on such short notice.
One thing that sticks out is the "Smoking Allowed" signs in the back of the club, a relic of a bygone era now, as smoking would be officially banned from all NYC clubs by the end of that year.