I have always felt that moe. had never truly gotten the respect that they gratefully deserve. It is slowly dawning on fans of the jamband and other scenes that moe is for real. Coming off the release of an amazing new album The Conch, that even Rolling Stone gave 4 out of 5 stars to, moe. came to Philly to rock. So did the fans. I have never seen a more crowded and jolted Electric Factory in my life. In addition, after seeing moe shows since 1996, I have probably never seen a better performance from one of my favorite bands.
They opened this 3 set night with a surprise acoustic set featuring classics like "Nebraska" and "Tambourine." Al Schnier busted out the mandolin for the new "Blue Jeans Pizza" and also "New York City" and "Time Again." moe. continues to prove to that they are the hardest working band in the business by rewarding their fans with as much music as possible.
The second set opened and closed with my two favorite moe. songs, "Meat" and "32 Things," both bass slapping upbeat crowd pleasers. During "32 Things" Rob Derhak used a bow on a regular bass to bang out the pulsating beats.
The third set was one of kind. This is where the die hard moe. fans really connected with this show. They opened with the echoing lyrics of Chuck Garvey singing "Bullet," but they left it unfinished as they went into "Big World." This song is about the moment in 1997 when the band's guitar player Al Schnier met his parents for the first time. Sure enough this song captures an unexplainable emotion that is only found in moments like these. Then the insanity continued with a fierce "McBain," featuring Rob on an upright bass while bringing Aron Magner, Marc Brownstein, and Sammy Altman from the Disco Biscuits up to add a little local down beat to the mix. If you can believe it, they closed the last set out without stopping once the whole set with a three song rare combination sandwich of "Lazarus," "Dr. Graffenberg," and "Buster." The crowd was more then pleased. Finally, moe. encored with the bust out "San Ber'dino," which hasn't been played in 124 shows.
This is a band that needs to be recognized more for their dedication to their fans and to music in the community. After the show, I got the good fortune to tell the band how pleased I was at an after show signing. This is the commitment that I refer to. After playing 3 incredible sets of music, moe. makes themselves available for autographs and conversation. I interviewed a fan after the show named Sean Cushing, who is a talented musician from Long Island, and when asked his opinion of the show, he said, "After that, I never want to play my guitars again."