moe. Kick Off West Coast Tour On A High In San Diego (SHOW REVIEW)

Since their first performances at small clubs in Buffalo, New York in the early 90’s, jam band sensations moe. have continued to push boundaries, from playing small intimate venues, to hosting their own festivals, moe.Down, Snow.Down, and more recently moe.’s Tropical Throe.down on the beautiful sands of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This past Thursday night displayed the continuous meticulousness and fine musicianship that the band has built up over the past twenty-five years.

Moe 4_7_2016 #1

The band rolled into San Diego Thursday night, on a rare rainy and dreary Southern California night, to open their West Coast, eight-city tour. Opening up the set with “Spaz Medicine”, the band sounded well practiced and ready to get the show on the road from the get-go. The intimate San Diego crowd was immediately as fired up as the band, as Al Schnier and company continued marching forward with moe. fan favorites “Nebraska” and then a much needed “Buster” to really set the pace for the rest of the evening. Co-lead guitarist Chuck Garvey, backed by the sonorous rhythm-devils Vinnie Amico and Jim Loughlin, elegantly ended the first set with a hard-hitting “Crab Eyes”, which left the crowd buzzing, eagerly awaiting another 90+ minute second set to follow.

Moe 4_7_2016 #2 

Set two kicked off with Chuck Garvey’s heavy guitar lead on “Defrost”. Taking no time to slow down, the fast-paced, sharp and concise jamming had already been well established since the band first stepped on the stage. Slapping the bass harder and faster than a locomotive rolling off the tracks, Rob Derhak shined all night on bass and vocals. After seamlessly seguing into  “Y.O.Y.” and newer staple “The Road”, the band kept it old school through the finish, building up a monstrous beast with “Brent Black” that lasted close to twenty minutes with a full drum break and Rob Derhak’s heavy bass groove, which eventually led to the rest of the band coming back to their positions on stage.

Ending the second set on a high, moe. flawlessly segued “Not Coming Down” into a scorching “Timmy Tucker” closer that included a rare and lengthy intro, keeping fans dancing and grooving as the jam climaxed and returned to the sweet sounding final notes. In moe. fashion, the band opened up the two-song encore with “Wormwood”, a song that has rarely if ever been played from a dead-stop, let alone as an encore or set opener. The heavy-hitter “Wormwood” was not enough though, as the band wrapped up the Southern California soul shakedown party with a rocking, blissful rendition of “Okayalright”. If the tour opener is any indicator of what moe. is ready to strategically pull out of their hats, the Bay Area, Tahoe, and Pacific Northwest should buckle up and get ready for the magical party that’s coming to your town!

moe. ~ 4/0716 ~ The Observatory North Park ~ San Diego, CA

I: Spaz Medicine >(nh) Nebraska, Buster, Zed Naught Z > St. Augustine >(nh) Mar-DeMa >(nh) Zed Naught Z, Crab Eyes

II: Defrost > Y.O.Y. > The Road > Brent Black, So Long > Not Coming Down, Timmy Tucker

Enc: Wormwood > Okayalright

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