moe. – January 25, 2008 – Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL

moe. – January 25, 2008 – Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL

I woke up early in my St. Louis hotel room, showered, dressed and packed, and went down to catch the shuttle to the Amtrak station. I arrived there about 20 minutes before the train was scheduled to depart, only to find that it was delayed about 1 ½ hours. Argh! But it did arrive at last and I boarded without incident. The ride was fine but we had several delays on the way. I had planned on arriving in Chicago in time to catch a Metra train out to my brother Doug's place in Cary. We were then going to drive back to Chicago together.

Alas, such plans fell through when the Amtrak arrived 2 ½ hours late. I ended up taking the 'L' Red Line to the Lawrence Station, right next door to the Kinetic Playground. I hung out in a bar for a while until Doug & Ron arrived, then I stowed my suitcase in his trunk. It was starting to snow pretty good, so we went & grabbed a quick bite then went to the Riv. 

This is where things started to get really good. I was on moe.'s guest list so I was able to just walk in – very nice start to the show! I had also bought 2 pre-sale tix, so I gave them to Doug & Ron. In turn, they supplied me with beer all night long. What a deal - my own personal beer grabbers.

Shortly after entering and having a beer, I went to the merch booth to sign up to get on stage with the boys for the Raise a Glass promo. I was 14 out of 20! I made it!

  The preshow music was Richard Strauss "Also Sprach Zarathustra"
First set:
The Ghost of Ralph's Mom >
Spaz Medicine >
Conviction Song*,
Cathedral* >
St. Augustine* >
Salt Creek* >
St. Augustine*

* w/ Allie Kral on fiddle

Allie's fiddle made a great addition on several songs. She really jams. I managed to see Cornmeal last month and they kicked ass! I like Conviction Song and Cathedral was good, too. Overall a very decent, but not particularly exciting first set. During the set break I went back to the merch booth to get some instructions from a crew member and a special wrist band. I met a few of my fellow moe.rons who were going on stage, too.

Second Set:
Timmy Tucker >
Bullet^ >
32 Things^
Queen of Everything *>
Water >
Timmy Tucker >

^ w/ Brendan Bayliss on guitar
*1st time played

OK, now things were cooking! The second set came on strong with high energy. Brendan from Umphrey's came out to play on Bullet & 32 Things. I'm not a big Umphrey's fan, but I really enjoyed those songs. We were treated to the live debut of Queen of Everything. I think QOE has great potential, but needs a little work yet. The Timmy Tucker> Water was inspired!

So now the second set was over, so I made my way to stage right to line up with the 19 other people. We were ushered backstage where we stood for a brief moment, then we were led onstage! It was very exciting, but I was also very nervous. I didn't realize that there was such a narrow space between the performers and the front of the stage. Man those lights are bright! I ended up basically in front of Al, who was hooking up his mandolin. He has quite an assortment of effect boxes and I was afraid that I may step on something & break it. Anyways, after a bit they start playing Raise A Glass & we all join in on the chorus. Afterwards we're quickly led off as moe. breaks into Bring You Down. What an experience!!

Raise A Glass*
Bring You Down

* w/ Allie Kral on fiddle
postshow music was Jimi Hendrix "Axis: Bold As Love"

After the show, we all go over to the Kinetic Playground to see Jack Straw. They played a few good songs. I'm wondering around, talking to a few people, when who do I see but Kyle from John Street Graphics, whom I had met at moe.down back in September! Great guy, and the subject of Kyle's Song. He tells me that Rob was there, so I started to get a funny feeling… sure enough, pretty soon Rob, Al, Chuck & Vinnie are on the stage, along with Brendan! Yeah!!

They played:
Lively up Yourself
In the Street

Then Al sat in with Jack Straw on:
Big Boss Man
China Cat Sunflower>
I Know you Rider

Later, I met Al in the hallway by the bathroom. I know I spoke to him, but for the life of me I can't remember what I said. Hey, I'd been drinking for 9 hours by then. Wow, what a night! We finally left around 3:30 am. We were close to Barrington to drop off Ron when we heard a funny sound. Doug's Lexus had a flat. We got out in the cold & changed the tire. We then dropped off Ron, and Doug & I went to his place, where I crashed on a futon in his sunroom. I was asleep in seconds. What an excellent day!!!!!

Fri 2/15/2008 1:13 PM


crescentvale starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/16/2008 09:21AM
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Great review, for pictures and how the St.Louis show went down check out my journal for more moe. I enjoyed reading this review since it came from a hardcore fan. All other reviewers need to stop n let us take over.

AikoBearzly starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/17/2008 02:30PM
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Great review Russ,, good ta see you on here,,

chuckedup3 starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/21/2008 10:12AM
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Great Review. OMG amazing second set. I wish i was partying with you this weekend. When i saw this thread i almost died. Seriously. What a show. I'm so extremely jealous. moe. is going to have a great tour!!!! Cant wait for my show in albany! Until then keep rockin :)