By Andy J. Gordon
It seems like each moe. live performance is a demonstration of technical and musical excellence. The show at the Music Box on January 28, 2011 was a nearly three hour sonic and visual roller coaster that kept the audience riveted. With a set list that covered their 21 year career, a light show that matched the psychedelic mood, and a pumped up crowd in attendance, moe. rocked the house.
The two set show at the Music Box (www.themusicbox.la/) gave the musicians plenty of opportunities to jam. The first set opened with the trippy “Wank” and segued into “Plane Crash.” Guitarist Al Schnier got the bulk of the featured solos in the opening set. In addition to Schnier, moe. (www.moe.org/) is made up of Chuck Garvey on guitar and vocals, Rob Derhak on bass and vocals, Jim Loughlin on percussion, and Vinnie Amico on drums. Everyone got a chance to shine during the extended jam of “Yodelittle” that transitioned into “Skrunk” then back to “Yodelittle.” Derhak, Loughlin, and Amico did impressive solos during the jam. The set closed with “Seat of My Pants.”
The second set saw the introduction of a few new tunes. The Schnier song “Downward Facing Dog” has a sweet Garvey slide solo and will likely be a live mainstay. Derhak’s “Chromatic Nightmare” is a nasty instrumental exploration. “Puebla” is a song that pays tribute to the people of the Mexican town that defeated invaders during the 1852 Franco-Mexican war. The second set closed with “The Pit” and long time standard, “Moth.” The band came back out for an encore and launched into “New York City.” “Crab Eyes” was a fitting way to close the show. Garvey, Derhak and Schnier shared vocal duties; Garvey and Schier played intense solos while Loughlin’s Caribbean infused vibraphone and Amico’s drums filled out the sound. The band, as always, put on a great show. With the fine new songs added to the mix from their extensive catalog, moe. live shows should continue to be a hot ticket.
Photo courtesy of Andy J. Gordon