MOOSIC — If Thursday’s Camp Bisco performances were highlighted by the electronic and trance-fusion sentiment the Disco Biscuits intended when founding the festival, Friday’s sets were diverse, heavy on funk and soul, leading up to headliners.
As more fans filed in on July 15, funk acts RAQ and Lettuce put on superb displays during the day. Seasoned livetronica trio The New Deal showcased their unique take on the genre, and bass giant Thundercat brought soul and jazz fusion to the Montage Mountain audience before main event The Disco Biscuits took the stage for two distinct sets.
RAQ’s mid afternoon set at the Waves Stage honed in on their particular brand of space-funk while an appropriately astronomic graphics display showed behind them.
Keyboard player Todd Stoops bridged the gap between the stratosphere and the grimy funk dance pit during songs like “Crazy Tonie” and “Brother From Another Mother.”
Brittany Lombardo of Philadelphia name RAQ as her favorite band and has seen them perform since 2006. She rushed over to the set after running a wellness program at the festival.
“They’re amazing,” Lombardo said.
Immediately following, The New Deal, who grew alongside the Biscuits in the early stages of the livetronica movement, hosted a celestial sounding rave that brought together dream-pop melodies, pulsating bass and low croaking keyboard work.
Bass virtuoso Thundercat took the main stage with a full band for a showcase that fused R&B, soul and funk.
The pure voiced singer played bass guitar like upper echelon fretmen play their six strings, and songs like “Oh Sheit, It’s X” projected a modern disco vibe with more style and swagger than it’s predecessor.
Seven piece outfit Lettuce graced the main stage with an onslaught of cerebral funk highlighted by the play of guitarist Eric Krasno, trumpet players Eric Bloom and Rashawn Ross and bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes.
The band’s highly intricate and emotively shifting set had the feel of an intense film score in it’s instrumental complexity before the members were joined by Gramatiksinger Andrew Block who added a layer with his powerful soul vocals, reminiscent of James Brown.
Feast founders The Disco Biscuits played a 7 p.m. set, leading off with the archival “Jamillia” off 1998’s “Uncivilized Area” followed by seldom heard “Park Avenue.”
Building sonic tension in the ensuing jam, the Philadelphia four-piece launched into trance-fusion composition “Caterpillar,” sending the crowd into a frenzy.
Between biscuits sets, Seattle’s Odesza took the main stage, blending genres in a delightful concoction of melodic R&B, pop and trancy EDM.
Odesza brought the audience to the point of dancing on their chairs, and the crowd stayed elevated for The Disco Biscuits’ second set.
A quick reference to “Mindless Dribble” gave way to “Strobelights and Martinis” before “Frog Legs” led into a funk bass jam laden with John “The Barber” Gutwillig’s deft guitar fills.
A rendition of “Lunar Pursuit” had the crowd hitting the moon when improvisation hit an apex of built energy released by Barber’s high fret licks.
Fan favorite “Helicopters” preceded Aron Magner epic “Spaga,” which engineered the rest of the set with its multiple parts and jam interludes before yielding to “Nughuffer,” which delivered both rambling groove and sinister techno.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts