For moe., New York City has always been a second home. While they had their start in the bars of upstate New York, it was the Big Apple and it’s downtown clubs where moe. developed its sound, swagger, and even more importantly, its fanbase. After first conquering the legendary, but now defunct, Wetlands, the band’s persistence ascended them through the hierarchy of New York clubs, selling out the Roseland and Hammerstein along the way.
Last Tuesday, moe. returned once again to the city that has played such an important role in their history, taking to the SummerStage with a gorgeous Central Park as their backdrop. With the sun shining, it was clear that summer had officially arrived as moe. played for a mixed audience of diehards, and those just looking to listen to music and enjoy a cold beverage in the park. After opening with “She Sends Me,” the band chose to play their ode to the city that never sleeps, “New York City.” Bassist, Rob Dehark sang, “New York City I am coming home again,” as the crowd roared with approval. But that roar eventually subsided as they lost a bit of momentum during the rest of the set, moving between a mix of newer songs (“Lost Along the Way”) and poppier old tunes (“Spine of a Dog”) that ultimately served as background music to a crowd still filing in and mingling with early evening chatter.
Not until the second set kicked off with “Meat” was the band able to get the audience’s full attention and really hit its stride. With the sun setting, the lights in full effect, and their signature mix of metal riffs, slap bass, and just the right amount of cowbell demanding our attention, moe. took control of the night. They even dropped a nod to Radiohead, – playing downtown at the MSG Theater – with their own rendition of “Paranoid Android,” sung by guitarist Al Schnier. It wasn