Disq is playing two virtual sets over Halloween weekend

The Madison band is set to perform as a key part of two wildly different events.

The Madison band is set to perform as a key part of two wildly different events.

This year hasn’t been kind to anyone, but it delivered quite the anticlimax for Disq. No Madison band was quite as well positioned for a run at national success in 2020 as this indie-rock quintet. Formalizing a deal with storied indie label Saddle Creek earned the band a number of headlines and their breakout full-length, Collector, netted a good deal of praise, both in the United States and overseas. All of this was announced in January, as well as an accompanying tour that would’ve started in London and ended at the High Noon Saloon, allowing the band an opportunity to capitalize on a surge of momentum.

Then COVID-19 hit. 


The tour? Gone. High-profile slots at SXSW? Gone. The triumphant homecoming show? Gone. Disq, like everyone else who had shows lined up, was forced to cut their immediate losses and recalibrate. Before long, the band was starting to make livestreaming appearances and voicing public support of ongoing human rights issues. Even with those fleeting public appearances and statements, the absence of what should’ve been a busy time for the band was definitely felt in Madison’s music community.

Thankfully, the doubly terrifying Halloween/pre-election weekend is offering a salve for anyone looking for more chances to see the band, courtesy of Chicago-based Ratboys and WUD Music. The latter will be hosting a Rock The Vote livestream on its Twitch channel, which has been increasingly active over the past week, mostly with touring (or not-really-touring) acts. Alexander Kain will open that show, which will be filmed inside the Union Theater and find the band without bassist/vocalist Raina Bock. It’s set to take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 30. While that show will undoubtedly be worth watching and stand in the service of something meaningful, it’s the sprawling 25-hour Halloween Telethon organized by Chicago band Ratboys that should spark the most intrigue. 

Ratboys, who delivered a superb set earlier this year at what would be one of the last shows hosted at the Union Memorial Rathskeller before the COVID-19 shutdowns, have put together something truly ambitious. More than three dozen bands are set to perform in some capacity throughout Ratboys’ “telethon,” including Charly Bliss, Diet Cig, Bartees Strange, Cheekface, Rosie Tucker, Prince Daddy And The Hyena, Stefan Babcock from PUP, Illuminati Hotties, Laura Stevenson, and a host of others. In between those sets will be oddball events, ranging from a tarot card reading with Lucy Dacus to a Gatorade chugging contest and a Hot Ones interview (many of the early-morning events promise an appropriate amount of deliriousness).

Disq will be sharing the November 1, 9 a.m. slot with Mint Green, Wild Pink, and a Ratboys-led segment that leads viewers through guided meditation and morning yoga. The event will culminate with a Ratboys-conducted closing ceremony and the entire thing can be viewed at watchratboys.com. Funds that are donated during the event, which starts at noon on October 31, will be going towards The Equal Justice Initiative and Girls Rock! Chicago.

If you miss Disq on Friday, it should be worth diving into Saturday’s festivities and staying on straight through their appearance Sunday morning. You can’t go wrong with either show and the truly adventurous can reap the rewards of taking on both events. 

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