Making the Scene with moe. |

Making the Scene with moe.

February 14, 2011

Review by  BJ Moreland and Lara Keithley

The anticipation, for any moe. show, begins weeks before the actual event. Tickets are bought, plans are made and the energy builds until the actual day of the show. Lines of moe.rons (as moe.’s dedicated fans call themselves) are formed at the venue hours in advance (this time in the in the cold and snow) just to ride the coveted rail. It’s a tough position to take but somebody has to do it!

The Denver shows took place at the Ogden Theater on Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado on February 4th and 5th. The Ogden is a couple of blocks from Sancho’s, a terrific Deadhead bar complete with vintage posters, framed ticket stubs and awesome jam music flowing loudly through the speakers. This gave the moe.rons a chance to hold each other’s places in line so they could go to Sancho’s to warm up and grab a beer.

On Friday, the early birds in line were treated to a visit with guitarist Al Schnier. He came out after sound check and thanked the few who were there for hanging in the cold and even had his picture taken with them; A true gentleman.

The crowd for both nights was a very joyful group. Standing around in line and at Sancho’s, it was very entertaining to watch all of the shenanigans.  moe. tends to bring out the happy in people, so the party gets pretty wound up early and is raging by the end of the evening.

Both the Friday and Saturday shows were the kind of shows that moe.rons dream of. Because of an outstanding mixture of old and new tunes, some excellent adventures were had.  Some highlights of Friday night were “Suck a Lemon”, a new tune which has the inspiring lyrics “you got bats in the belfry and a rhino hide to protect you from the world outside” and an awesome 18 minute “Plane Crash”.

Our crew road the rail the first night and found superb neighbors and made new friends.  Even though the rail was frenetic and frenzied, the chaos was a controlled one and everyone had a great time.  It was obvious that the band was enjoying it as well.  The sound at the rail was great.  One reason for this is that moe. put Plexiglass in front of their percussionists.  This minimized the ringing and bouncing of the sound and gave the sound crew more control.

Riding the rail at a moe. show sometimes results in a gift of a set list or guitar pick from the band’s guitar tech, Frank Robbins.  Of course, it helps if you are dancing your ass off the whole time.  As we said before, riding the rail is a tough job!  Frank is the glue that keeps the machine that is moe. moving and he likes cookies.

Every moe. show brings out the die hard moe.rons and these shows were attended by several of them.  Doug Adamski came out from San  Diego and has been on the tour and said the Friday show was, in his opinion, the best on the tour.

Also present was Miss Andrea.  She is the most die hard of all the moe.rons and is acknowledged by the band.  It was a pleasure to meet her.

Then there was the Colorado crew that are fondly recognized as the “Old Ladies That Ride The Rail At moe.Shows”.  Irma, Judy, Lisa, Daia (she’s not old but they let her hang with them) and Julie show the youngsters how to rock and rock it hard.  They are truly an inspiration!

All over the Ogden, the moe.rons were in top form – dancing like there was no tomorrow, helping with lost items and open to whatever was going on at the time. The balloons in the second sets were great fun but some people must not like them as they Were making a point of popping them which ended up detracting from the taping that was going on.  Goddess bless the tapers, by the way.  No matter how euphoric one gets, there is always the set list available for perusal thanks to the tapers.  It’s so good to be able to burn the shows for future listening pleasure.

Saturday night found our crew in the balcony right behind the soundboards.  A great spot to see and hear all that was going on around us.  Even though we got there early, made the Sancho’s run and goofed it up with the other fun people inline, we had agreed to give up the rail for this show so we could enjoy the hijinks from afar.  It was a good choice. Watching moe. Interact with their fans is a fun time in itself.

Being in the balcony also allowed a much better view of the lights.  This tour features yellow and orange with bright white mixed in and a mind numbingly quick strobe effect.  This makes for some high energy, hot vibes in the room.  We’ve heard it will be known as the Yellow and Orange tour by some moe.rons.

Allie Kral from Cornmeal graced the stage both nights and added another dimension to the moe. sound.  Most guest artists tend to get lost when playing with moe. not just the “hey, where are we?” but the “can you hear me now?” issues arise.  Not so with Ms, Kral.  Her fiddle was bright, crisp and very haunting – a very nice addition to both nights. Kral joined in on “Paper Dragon” and “So Long” on Friday night.  She jammed out on “32 things” on Saturday night.  So much so, in fact, that it looked like a Battle of The Strings with Chuck, Allie and Al playing their rifts faster and faster until everyone was so spun out people were wondering where they were.  Most were pretty sure they were still on Planet Earth but there were a few that may still be spinning across the cosmos.  It was certainly a treat for all!

moe. was so tight they should squeak when they walk.  Twenty plus years of playing together has made them one of the finest acts in the jam band scene today. So much so, that fans now think there is something wrong with a song if it isn’t, at least, ten minutes long!  Their music is complicated, intelligent, fun, adventurous and capable of transporting one to an entirely different plane.  Grab a riff and hang on, you’re in for a ride.  Next up for the band is four shows in Japan. Boy, is moe. gonna’ rock their world!

moe. consists of Rob Derhak (bass, vocals), Al Schnier (guitars, vocals, keyboard),Chuck Garvey (guitar, vocals), Vinnie Amico (drums), Jim Loughlin (percussion).

Remember, a little moe. is better than no moe. So go see moe.!

Set List 2-4-11:

Seat Of MyPants >

Spaz Medicine >

The Ghost Of Ralph’s Mom

Suck A Lemon >

Hector’s Pillow >

Bring You Down

Plane Crash

Set 2:

Brent Black >

Tubing The River Styx >

The Pit >

Downward Facing Dog

Paper Dragon* >

So Long* >

Water >

Brent Black reprise >

drums >

drums n bass >

Brent Black reprise

encore break:

Time Again

Zed Naught Z

* withAllie Kral from Cornmeal

Set List 2-5-11:

Mexico >

Day Dreaming

Blue Jeans Pizza

Good Trip >

Opium >

32 Things*

Set 2:

Haze >

Dr. Graffenberg

One Life

Billie Goat >


Kyle’s Song >




Spine Of A Dog

* with Allie Kral from Cornmeal

Spring Tour Dates:

April 1st: The Pageant,  St. Louis Mo.

April 2nd: Madison Theater,  Convington, KY

April 3rd: Valarium,  KNoxville, TN

April 5th: Culture Room,  Ft. Lauderdale, FL

April 7th: The Ritz,  Tampa, FL

April 8th: House of Blues,  Lake Buena Vista, FL

April 9th: Charlotte Fillmore,  Charlotte, NC

May 27th: Summer Camp Festival 2011,  Chillicothe, IL

May 28th: Summer Camp Festival 2011,  Chillicothe, IL

May 29th: Summer Camp Festival 2011,  Chillicothe, IL

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