moe. | 04.17.10 | Denver

Words by: Ray Bowden | Images by: Larry Hulst

moe. :: 04.17.10 :: Fillmore Auditorium :: Denver, CO

moe. with Kyle Hollingsworth :: 04.17.10 :: Denver
moe. has long been accused of endless noodling, but as any fan of the band would argue, "You either get it or you don't."

On Saturday night at Denver's Fillmore Auditorium, more than 2,000 moe. fans "got it."

The band hit the stage for the final show of their two-night stint at the Fillmore wearing suits and ties, dressed like stunt doubles from a Martin Scorsese movie, and leapt into three hours of their patented polyrhythmic rock.

The evening's first set began with a frenetic "Skrunk," punctuated by Rob Derhak's full-frontal bass assault. Following a cheerful wave from Derhak came "Captain America," which had everyone on the packed floor – including one fire marshal – grooving to the music and singing "You may be right, you may be wrong" during the chorus.

Without missing a beat, the band transitioned into "Akimbo," showcasing for the first time their ability to change musical direction with whiplash precision. After a brief pause to get everything just exactly right, the audience was rewarded with the Caribbean lilt of "Bring it Back Home," drummer Vinnie Amico and percussionist extraordinaire Jim Loughlin stirring the pot with their percolating rhythms while guitarist Al Schnier led the jubilant throng through the song's sing-along chorus.

During the slow transition into "Blue Jeans Pizza," String Cheese Incident keyboardist and opening act Kyle Hollingsworth, sporting a black and white bovine suit, joined the boys for a trip to "Mexico," his virtuosity shining through.

Jeff Austin with moe. :: 04.17.10 :: Denver
moe. began its second set sans Hollingsworth with a 15 minute "Water" which bled into "Tailspin," the audience dancing in tandem with the song's almost preternatural funk, before bounding into "Wind it Up." Schnier and fellow guitarist Chuck Garvey simply shredded during the instrumental breaks, wrestling fat chords and piercing leads from their instruments.

Loughlin's xylophone fills smoothed the jagged edges of the introspective "Letter Home," before Yonder Mountain String Band's Jeff Austin stepped up to the plate with electric mandolin in hand for "Happy Hour Hero," and "She."

"Jeff's a good dude," Derhak said with a smile while Austin tuned his instrument. "He's always up for a challenge."

This musical "challenge" lasted 40 minutes, the band riding the waves of "Happy Hour Hero" while Austin's mandolin riffs poured over the audience, adding splashes of color before turning the corner into the extended "She."

After Austin left the stage to prolonged cheers of gratitude, moe. wrapped up its second set with "Seat of My Pants." Quickly returning to the stage, they summoned their resources for one encore, an epic "Plane Crash," during which they explored nearly all the genres of music they had touched upon earlier in the evening.

moe. taper and audience member Jim McCready, a longtime moe. fan from Boulder, said he has followed moe. for a number of years and called the band's music "psychedelic rock on steroids. It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up," McCreedy said.

Indeed.

moe. :: 04.17.10 :: Fillmore Auditorium :: Denver, CO
Set I: Skrunk, Captain America > Akimbo, Bring It Back Home > Blue Jeans Pizza* > Mexico*
Set II: Water > Tailspin, Wind it up, Letter Home^ > Happy Hour Hero^ > She^, Seat Of My Pants
Encore: Plane Crash

* w/ Kyle Hollingsworth
^ w/ Jeff Austin

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[Published on: 4/21/10]

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