Photos And Review | moe. Album Release Party | NYC

Images by: Rob Chapman
Words by: Scott Bernstein

moe. :: Stage 48 :: 5.28.14 :: New York, NY

After 25 years of playing a different set of songs each night, jam stalwarts moe. know a little something about going with the flow regardless of what's thrown at them. The JamBase favorites celebrated the release of their latest studio album - No Guts, No Glory - on Wednesday night at Stage 48 in New York City and had intended to perform all 11 tracks from the LP as the evening's third set. However, when Uncle Warren comes calling, you've got to accept the charges.

Guitarist Warren Haynes jetted from the Phil Lesh & Friends show in Central Park to Stage 48 to collaborate with moe. Haynes was supposed to guest on "Happy Hour Hero" in the middle of the second set, but when Warren ran late the moe. fellas improvised and threw in an audible to buy them some time before the guitarist arrived. Impresario Peter Shapiro ushered Haynes onstage just in time for a set-closing "Happy Hour Hero." "HHH" is a popular choice for moe. to perform with guests as its solo section allows plenty of space for the collaborator to shine. Warren took full advantage of his "Happy Hour Hero" solo to the delight of the audience. The collaboration went so well, moe. scrapped their plans to only play No Guts, No Glory material in the third set and had Haynes stick around for a cover of The Rolling Stones' "Can't You Hear Me" to start Set Three. Once again, Warren showed off his gritty and bluesy work on the axe for a phenomenal take on the Stones' gem.

Earlier in the evening moe. performed an acoustic set for VIPs, who had feasted on a latin-themed menu and enjoyed an open bar as they were serendaded by a mariachi band before the music started. The crowd was loose and rowdy as moe. took the stage with a rendition of one of their earliest songs - "St. Augustine." The acoustic setting let the vocalists shine and bassist Rob Derhak and guitarists Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey even took an opportunity at the beginning of "Blue Eyed Son" to gather around a single mic for a stirring a capella intro. moe. had a trick up their sleeves for their loyal fans later in the set as they dusted off a cover of Violent Femmes' "Blister In The Sun" for the first time since February 12, 2007. Fittingly, the five-piece ended the acoustic set with a rendition of "New York City."

The second set was jam packed with heavy-hitting versions of moe. classics spanning the entirety of moe.'s career. Schnier and Garvey's soulful dueling lead guitar riffs were on full display in songs such as "Water" and "Wind It Up," while "Bring You Down" featured some of the best jamming of the night. "Water," and the "Shoot First" from the acoustic set, saw an aerialist perform on a rope and swing that was hung from the ceiling in the middle of the dance floor and added a nice visual element to the music. The crowd went wild for "Wind It Up," with the audience nearly drowning out the band on belting out the "Be on my side, I'll be on your side" refrain. Yet nothing topped the response of the capacity crowd when Warren Haynes finally emerged.

After Haynes left the stage, moe. went on to perform 10 of the 11 songs off No Guts, No Glory. Rob Derhak's "The Pines And The Apple Tree" was the only track from the album which wasn't played in the third set ("Billy Goat" served as the encore) as moe. chose to have Warren return rather than ensure they'd be able to perform the album in its entirety. The material's a bit heavier than the songs found on moe.'s other recent studio efforts and the bombastic "Annihilation Blues" set the tone for the rest of the set. Schnier's "This I Know" shined in the live setting and his "Little Miss Cup Half Empty" was another highlight of the No Guts, No Glory material. The album's producer, Dave Aron, came out towards the end of the set to add clarinet to Derhak's "Blond Hair And Blues Eyes," though after listening to the horn section on the studio version it was tough not to miss their addition to the tune.

moe. keeps on evolving and changing as they pass the 25-year mark since the band was formed on the campus of the University of Buffalo and they showed off their current sound in front of a grateful crowd in NYC on Wednesday. Unlike some other groups in the jam scene, moe. continues to bring in younger fans. The audience at Stage 48 seemed to be an equal mix of those in their 20s, 30s and 40s and the five-piece may just be around for another 25 years if this keeps up.

Set One: St. Augustine, Not Coming Down > Wormwood > Okayalright, Blue Eyed Son@, Shoot First, Blister In The Sun#, New York City

Set Two: 32 Things, Water > Hector's Pillow > Bring You Down, Wind It Up, Sensory Deprivation Bank, Happy Hour Hero*

Set Three: Can't You Hear Me Knocking*, Annihilation Blues, White Lightning Turperntine, This I Know, Same Old Story, Silver Sun, Calyphornya, Little Miss Cup Half Empty, Blond Hair And Blue Eyes**, Do Or Die

Encore: Billy Goat

* - w/ Warren Haynes on guitar
** - w/ Dave Aron on clarinet
@ w/ al. on mandolin
# LTP > 2/12/07
First Set was acoustic for VIP ticketholders

JamBase | (Guts And) Glorious Night
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[Published on: 5/30/14]

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