moe. Goes Star Wars For Halloween In Philly (SHOW REVIEW/PHOTOS)

Music fans streaming into the newly opened Fillmore in Philadelphia for the sold out Star Wars themed Halloween show by veteran jam band moe. were given paper Imperial Stormtrooper masks. Fans were asked, as a surprise for the band, to put them on before they took the stage. Nearly 2,500 Stormtrooper faces greeted moe., when they came onto the stage and launched into the “The Star Wars Overture”. The band was decked out in Star Wars costumes and, along with the Starfighter ships hanging from the ceilings, a giant screen with Star Wars visuals, and incredible lights. In other words, the Star Wars theme was in full effect. The cinematic Star Wars music turned into a freewheeling jam that drifted into the first song from the moe. catalog. “St. Augustine”, listed on the band’s set list as “Senator Palpatine”, received, like most of the band’s originals in the show, a Star Wars makeover with altered lyrics that added to the theme of the evening.

moe. played a string of never before played covers in the first set, including The Byrds’ “Mr. Spaceman”, “Cantina Band” (the song that the alien band played in Star Wars), and an excellent version of Frank Zappa’s “Cosmic Debris”, which featured percussionist Jim Loughlin on lead vocals and vibes. The clip of Han Solo shooting Greedo preceded “Han Shot First”, the Star Wars version of “Shoot First”. Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Space” and a Star Wars Bizarro World version of “Moth”, performed as “Hoth”, provided a big finish to the first set.

In contrast to the light uplifting “Star Wars Anthem” that began the first set, the second set began with the dark and sinister, “The Imperial March”. Chuck Garvey’s lead vocals and dazzling C3PO costume added to a brilliant version of David Bowie’s glam rock classic, “Ziggy Stardust”. A song from the band’s latest studio release, No Guts, No Glory, “Silver Sun” preceded a crunchy version of “Jazz Wank”. There were touches of Star Wars in “Buster” but “Yodelittle”, changed to “Yoda-Little” for the show, got the full Star Wars Yoda treatment.

A great show needs a great encore, and the music fans at the Fillmore, many dressed in Star Wars costumes of varying levels of splendor, got just that. An outstanding Star Wars-tinged version of “Plane Crash”, a cover of the classic Weird Al Yankovic parody of the Kinks’ “Lola” (“Yoda”) and topped of with the disco version of “Star Wars Overture” (“Disco Wars”) that would’ve made many cringe back in the late seventies. Thankfully, moe.’s creativity and musicianship and a touch of “Cantina Band” gave the disco tragedy new life.

The combination of an excellent band who really went all-in on an entertaining theme, the amazing variety of music fans, the costumes, decorations, and a brand new music venue, which by the way is awesome, made for a truly memorable Halloween performance.

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