The Road To Camp Bisco – Jeff Kurtz
The second installment in a series of fond memories of past camps and the excitement of camps to come.
It’s almost March, people, and you know what that means—festival season is approaching, and approaching fast! After the New Year’s runs of all of our favorite acts, January is spent by management, bands, and promoters putting the finishing touches on the final artist list for the first and seconds rounds of their respective festivals. Festivals like All Good and Mountain Jam have already announced round one (and are looking pretty damn good) but let’s get real here; we’re all waiting for the first round lineup from our favorite festival, hosted by our favorite band: the Disco Biscuits’ Camp Bisco. While we wait in eager anticipation, let’s take a look back at some of our favorite acts and moments of Camp Biscos past.
No festival is complete without an epic rain/wind/snow/hail/frog/locusts storm, and Camp Bisco is no exception. Previous forces of nature that have come upon Camp Bisco with a fury include (from what I hear, and can see on YouTube) the totally epic windstorm from Camp 6 for Hallucinogen in Dub, psydub remix project of Simon Posford and Ott., and the tent-collapsing thunderstorm from Camp 9 that delayed the Disco Biscuits’ final sets of the weekend and turned the last night into a knee-deep mud pit. However, there is one natural calamity within the past few years of Camp Bisco that improved the experience exponentially and one that I was actually glad to be a part of: Shpongle Live at Camp Bisco 10. A special act that has only occurred about once a year since the inception of the electronic duo’s project, Shpongle Live, a full multi-instrumental band, was a big deal for Camp Bisco’s tenth anniversary. Due to scheduling conflicts, many fans were upset that the band would not have too much darkness for their set and would be playing most of it during the day. Mother Nature took care of this, though, and to everyone’s delight the storm that was brewing all day decided to hold off until this set, further confirming the fact that the cosmos are indeed fans of Twisted artists. As the band took the stage, the first drops of rain fell, gaining frequency and intensity along with the band’s set and allowing for the lights and theatrics all were worried about losing out on during the day to take full effect as thunder and rain crashed all around us. The storm miraculously kicked out as Shpongle finished their set, clearing the skies for the Disco Biscuits and the rest of the weekend, making for one truly unique, insane, and incredible Camp Bisco hour and a half.
Other highlights from Camp Biscos past include the one and only Disco Biscuits of course! My first Camp Bisco was Camp 8 and one of the funkier Biscuits experiences I’ve ever had. The first three sets of Camp Bisco that year went smoothly and fantastically; there is nothing better than seeing your favorite band in festival mode. Set four, though, is when the Biscuits turned everyone on their heads after giving them the interesting set as promised. On the schedule for Camp that year were asterisks next to the Disco Biscuits’ names on every set with a disclaimer indicating that stated, “Any set with ‘*’ can be transformed into the Tractorbeam vs. The Perfume. DON’T SLEEP THROUGH IT!” Well, I didn’t sleep through it, and I must say that was quite the experience. Opening the set was a Perfume version of “M.E.M.P.H.I.S” that featured bassist Marc Brownstein and guitarist Jon Gutwillig in a rap battle of epic proportions over a hip hop beat. Goofy, but fun, this kicked off the set with a bang and let us know what was to come. To clarify, Perfume versions of songs are alternate versions of the song, usually in a more upbeat, electronic style. Conversely, the Tractorbeam version of a song is the all instrumental version of a song, usually done in a techno style as well. The set included Perfume versions of favorites like “Once The Fiddler Paid” and Tractorbeam versions of “Rock Candy” and the Pink Floyd cover, “Run Like Hell.” While not my favorite set I’ve seen from my favorite guys (by a long shot), it was definitely one of the funnier and more fun experiences I’ve had at Camp Bisco.
Festivals in general, Camp Bisco especially for this festy-goer, are about more than the music, though. They are about a sense of community, a sense of belonging; a family gathering where you can see friends from around the country for one weekend more that year than you would have otherwise. Camp Bisco has given me some of my favorite sets of music I’ve ever seen from the Disco Biscuits and others, yes, but it has given me so much more. It has made me lifelong friends, brought me closer to ones I already have, and strengthened the bonds between members of the Disco Biscuits family from all over. I look back at past Camp Biscos with nothing but smiles and fond memories and I look forward to this year’s Camp Bisco as an opportunity to increase both of those by the hundreds, an opportunity I can’t wait to take advantage of.
Tickets for Camp Bisco are available here. If you have memories about Camp Bisco that you would like to share feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.