Electron Rocks Entire Chemical Warfare Brigade at the Highline Ballroom (4/21/17)

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Electron

This past Friday night (technically early Saturday morning), Electron rocked New York City’s Highline Ballroom with a late-night show to end all late-night shows. With Tom Hamilton’s American Babies opening up, Electron took the stage at 1:30 am and opened up the set with a funky rendition of the Grateful Dead favorite, “Shakedown Street.” Interestingly enough, “Shakedown Street” was the only song played that night that was not a Marc Brownstein original. After the Dead opener, the band started on their performance of Brownie’s rock opera, Chemical Warfare Brigade.

After a relatively standard run-through of “Plan B,” the band dropped into “Little Lai” for their first true trance fusion jam of the night. “Little Lai” had some synthesized “China Cat Sunflower” teases at the beginning of the jam from Magner, continuing the band’s hat-tips to the Grateful Dead. After a quick pause, they launched into the next song of the rock opera, “And the Ladies Were the Rest of the Night,” which yielded another great jam highlighted by Tom Hamilton’s unique guitar effects and performance style. Continuing Chemical Warfare Brigade, the band played a trance-fusion jammed-out “Floodlights” that segued seamlessly into “Selby Rose.” Electron finished up the selection of songs with “Chemical Warfare Brigade,” then a rendition of “Three Wishes” that reached an ambient percussive jam, and finally dropped right into a jammed-out “Confrontation” to conclude the play-through of the rock opera’s score.

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Photo Credit: Andrew Scott Blackstein Photography

In the aftermath of the Chemical Warfare Brigade performance, Brownie posted this comment on his Facebook page: “Friday late night we dropped the CWB one more time for the East coast crew. I don’t want anyone to think that I think it means anything, or that it is something any more important than just a bunch of songs played in a specific order, but I like the way the songs unfold and the jams were excellent, the teases were plentiful, as always with Tommy, and the night was just plain fun.” 

Before playing the Brownie original, “Miracles,” Marc took a second to make a comment about the time, and since it was past 3am, the band chose to skip their scheduled set break. “Miracles” reached another great jam, with each member contributing to the groove. At one point the jam even teased Pink Floyd’s “Run Like Hell,” and at it’s peak the crowd was singing “Run! Run! Run! Run!,” but before the band launched the song’s verse, they abruptly changed direction and dropped into “Rock Candy,” the popular Biscuit’s song written by Brownie. The jam in “Rock Candy” had some wild guitar playing from Tom Hamilton who managed to work in an “Eleanor Rigby” tease. After peaking the jam, Electron moved into the ending section of the upbeat tune “Kamaole Sands” to end the show.

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Photo Credit: Andrew Scott Blackstein Photography

Overall a fantastic night that got us even more excited for the three upcoming Biscuits shows at The Capitol Theatre that kick off tonight! Get your tickets here, and if you can’t make it to the run, stream each night for free on YouTube. Also, don’t forget to read our preview of the run, which can be read here.

Setlist

Shakedown Street, Plan B 1, Little Lai 2, And the Ladies Were the Rest of the Night, Floodlights> Shelby Rose, Chemical Warfare Brigade, Three Wishes, Confrontation 3, Miracles 4> Rock Candy 5,6> Kamaole Sands 7

1 “When the Saints Go Marching In” tease
2 “China Cat” tease
3 “Funky town” tease
4 “Run Like Hell” tease
5 “Eleanor Rigby” tease
6 unfinished
7 ending only

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Photo Credit: Andrew Scott Blackstein Photography

About author

Ty Levine

Born into the Dead, and indoctrinated into the scene on Phish lots across the northeast, Ty lives for the jams. Catch him outside Biscuits, Phish and UM shows these days, along with just about every jam show in NYC.

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