Review: moe. at Ogden Theatre, 12/7/13
MOE. at OGDEN THEATRE | 12/7/13
moe. opened its tour in Denver this weekend, and the time the guys spent in the studio really had them ready. Vocal harmonies were on point all night and the outfit played seamless transitions all night, along with offering a few moments of psychedelic exploration. Fusing many different sounds together, including non-traditional Christmas music of all things, the band, which is coming up on its 25th anniversary next year, played long and late (set two started at 12:10), and the constant changes in tempo and style kept the energy up.
The military march beat of "St. Augustine" started the night off. A searing rock and roll guitar solo got things going immediately with loud, sustained notes from Chuck Garvey. The arrangement dropped down to only the drummer Vinnie Amico and then segued into "Wind it Up," with percussionist Jim Loughlin xylophone playing adding a unique and twinkling element to the band's sound. Garvey once again took the spotlight, this time showing his guitar finesse and technicality, showering the crowd with fast paced notes precision.
Bassist Rob Derhak played the dreamy bass chord intro of "Blue Jeans Pizza," as guest guitarist Taylor Frederick, from opener Technicolor Tone Factory, joined the band on stage. There was a simultaneous guitar attack from Garvey and Al Schnier as they layered their guitar sounds over each other into major key bliss.
For his part, Frederick threw down a sweet guitar riff that sounded like Hendrix's "Third Stone from the Sun" before leaving the stage, letting the band get down into a thick, rock groove. The guys took the tempo down a notch and transitioned into "Waiting for the Punchline," with Loughlin bringing the energy back up with a washboard for the hoedown breakdown as a bright clear solo came from Schnier's Les Paul.
"We're a Couple of Misfits," from the classic 1964 Rudolph special, was fitting and fantastic on a cold, snowy night, and Derhak really nailed those bratty British pop punk vocal inflections. Up next, came older classic "Jazz Wank," with an underwater sounding bass line and quick high hat tapping allowing things to really build up into a nice peak. A calypso beat broke in as the group transitioned into "Buster" to close out the set. Derhak slapped the hell out of his bass in a final act of showmanship, as the lights strobed and guitars were shredded, leaving the audience pumped going into set break.