Words by: Brian Bavosa | Images by: Dino Perrucci
moe. :: 6.16.08 :: Highline Ballroom :: New York, NY
Slightly over a year since being the first band to open the swanky, Westside venue that is the Highline Ballroom, moe. put concluded their mini-Northeast run this past Monday, hot on the heels of a smokin' show at nearby Governor's Island (read above). Opening with a 40-minute, acoustic set (at which no taping was allowed), the band ran through such treats as "Shoot First" and the appropriate "New York City." Closing with the segue of "Okayalright" > "Time Again," Rob Derhak and company reminded fans that this upcoming election is the most important one we've ever been involved in, and to please register to vote. The special, acoustic set was a very small, very limited engagement for roughly one hundred fans, in support of non-profit, voter registration outfit, HeadCount..
Al Schnier :: 06.16 :: Highline Ballroom|
After a rather lengthy break, allowing the rest of the rain-soaked masses to enter the building, moe. returned for the first of two proper electric sets. Opening with one of the best renditions of "Water" I've ever heard, guitarist and HeadCount board member Al Schnier absolutely tore through this number, which also featured the band's patented "we can jam harder than you" philosophy. With some newer material mixed in, the first set seemed to be all about Schnier. On the old school "Jazz Wank" and most prominently on the fan favorite, set-closing "Mexico," I was reminded of just how talented this band - especially Schnier - is.
After the setbreak, the band returned with a bag of cookies and two, full-size cakes that Derhak explained were made for the band by nearby Ruthy's Bakery. They then proceeded to hand out the cookies, while the cake was cut up and distributed to all in attendance. The second helping of music started off with another older tune, "Nebraska" off of 1998's Tin Cans and Cars Tires, and featured Frampton-esque mouth flugel effects from guitarist Chuck Garvey, while the band seemed to stretch the tune well past its normal length. It was so big that it enveloped the often played "Blue Jeans Pizza" in the middle and seemed to go on forever - much like the roads in Nebraska.
Not to be outdone, another jam vehicle (do they have anything but?), "Crab Eyes" featured Jim Loughlin on the song's signature MalletKAT, while Vinnie Amico held the steady pulse on the kit and Derhak pounded the relentless bassline. During "The Pit," Garvey entertained the crowd with some guitar antics and his best exercise in advanced shredding before leading his mates into the show closing "Moth." True to its name, "Moth" started slowly and rose to the flame created by the blistering work of all.
moe. :: 06.16 :: Highline Ballroom|
More comic relief filled the start of the encore when Schnier read some stage announcements written by fans, including a happy birthday wish to "creepy, douchebag Mike." A reading of "Threw it All Away" capped off six, consecutive nights of moe. on the road, and a one-two punch in the NYC area, which featured some highs, some lows and some mediocre jams. However, kudos to the band for supporting HeadCount and continuing to chug along as one of the scene's biggest jam outfits before a much-needed tour break after this upcoming moe.down, their annual festival held over Labor Day weekend.
moe. :: 06.16.08 Highline Ballroom :: New York, NY
Set I: Shoot First1, New York City1, Can't Seem To Find1, Okayalright1 > Time Again1
Set II: Water > Bearsong, Queen of Everything, Jazz Wank > Runaway Overlude > Mexico
Set III: Nebraska > Blue Jeans Pizza > Nebraska, Crab Eyes, The Pit > Big World > Moth
Encore: Threw It All Away
1 entire first set was an acoustic set benefiting HeadCount
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