Kahlil Katool

Review: moe. Asbury Park / Bethlehem

moe. @ Stone Pony Summer Stage – July 15

Words: Kahlil Katool
Photos: Rob Chapman

The five guys named moe. gave the staple Not Coming Down > Wormwood as their opening offering to Asbury Park with bassist Rob Derhak’s signature slapping and dual lead guitarists Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey’s heavy metal shreddings. The New York-based rockers got right down to it and tightly made their way into a very patient, yet spacey segue filled with several teases that marked the transition into one of Schnier’s newer songs, Downward Facing Dog. Schnier then sat down at his Wurlitzer piano for the intro to a prime version of Garvey’s Wind It Up, which then saw, the human metronome, drummer Vinnie Amico, drop the band right into Timmy Tucker. With strong soloing from both guitarists and high-speed mallet-katting (electric xylophone) from percussionist/multi-instrumentalist Jim Loughlin, the band closed the first set nicely leaving the Asbury crowd wanting more.

[All photos by Rob Chapman]

Garvey’s melodic Hi & Lo opened the second set, which usually signifies that good things are yet to come as was the case at the Stone Pony Outdoor Stage. The jamming  segue out of Hi & Lo saw the band throw down some major Brent Black teases right before Schnier’s major riffs barreled into a solid version of Big World. This take was sans the big finish at the end, but rather featured another on-point drop into the instrumental Ricky Marten. Next, there was no more teasing about it, Brent Black had arrived and again the Jersey crowd saw the quintet firing on all cylinders, with exceptional work from all members of the band. During Derhak’s bass solo he even scatted along with his bass as he added a little Peter Gunn Theme from the ’70s tv show at which point Garvey used his Talkbox to scat very briefly (video).

Schnier then debuted a new one of a kind 1974 double-neck Gibson he recently added to his extensive arsenal of guitars. Giving a slightly different tone and being able to switch tuning and keys, the band closed the set with the newer rocking anthem Haze that went into the always crowd pleasing Rebubula.

moe. ~ 7/15/11 ~ Stone Pony ~ Summerstage ~ Asbury Park, NJ

{7:23 PM > 8:38 PM EST}

I:Not Coming Down > Wormwood > Downward Facing Dog > Deep This Time, Wind It Up >(nh) Timmy Tucker

{9:04 PM > 10:23 PM EST}

II: Hi & Lo > Big World > Ricky Marten > Brent Black, [email protected] > [email protected]

Enc: New York City

{BB included jim. solo > vin. solo > rob. solo > rob. playing and scatting the theme to Peter Gunn in which chuck. came out and scatted it as well for a minute before rob. finished his solo
@ al on brand new (to him) ’74 one of a kind Gibson double-neck guitar
al on wurlitzer for WIU}

READ ON for Kahlil’s report from Bethlehem…

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Review: Snoe.down 2011

Snoe.down 2011 @ Killington Resort and Spartan Arena

Words: Kahlil Katool
Photos: Wesley Rizzo

Moe., hosted their fourth snoe.down Winter Music & Sports Festival from March 24 – 27, a festival that captures the “.down home” feel the band’s events are known for. For the second consecutive year snoe.down was held in Rutland, VT as well as within the gorgeous landscape of mountains in Killington, VT. This year’s snoe.down brought out a lot of up and coming acts as well as several established ones to compliment moe., the upstate New York-based “ragers of improvisational rock.”

[All photos by Wesley Rizzo]

Showing musical excellence is exactly what moe. did with their two-night stand at Rutland’s Spartan Arena, where Keller Williams and Lotus opened. Snoe.down also featured an outdoor set on the side of Bear Mountain which took place in below-freezing temperatures with The Ryan Montbleau Band opening.  Moe. closed the weekend with an acoustic set that was open to VIP ticketholders, who were also treated to brunch. Not only did Keller open for moe., but he also had their dual lead-guitarist Al Schnier sit-in on his set.  This was later complimented by Keller sitting in with moe. as well. Snoe.down is a unique festival with an emphasis on skiing as lift tickets are sold as an optional part of the festival ticket package.

Thursday, March 24

Those early to arrive on Thursday were able to see either Twiddle at the Pickle Barrel or The Brew with special guest opener Lucid at the Wobbly Barn. The Wobbly Barn is an intimate bar-type venue that has an older, rustic decor as the floors and the walls are all wooden with a wrap-around upstairs balcony giving it a quaint, barn feeling. Lucid has an interesting sound and played a stimulating set. The dynamics of the sax player along with their percussionist, who also played a harmonica, added several interesting layers to the six-piece band from Plattsburgh’s sound. The highlight of Lucid’s performance was an unexpected but enthusiastically received cover of Beck’s Debra. READ ON for more from snoe.down 2011…

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Preview: Snoe.down 2011

The fourth snoe.down Winter Music & Sports Festival 2011, presented by Great Northeast Productions and headlined by moe., will take place March 25 – 27. Two pre-party shows are scheduled for March 24. This will be the second consecutive year the event is held at the Spartan Arena in Rutland, Vt. and in Killington, Vt. at the Killington Resort. Tickets are being sold with optional ski lift passes for those that want to hit the slopes as well as rock out at the concerts.

Moe. will headline Friday and Saturday night at Spartan Arena.  One-man-band Keller Williams will open the Friday show and progressive dance-party instrumental rockers Lotus will lead off the Saturday show. Moe. will also play one long set on the Swany Stage on the side of Bear Mountain on Saturday afternoon with the neo-folk  Ryan Montbleau Band opening.

On Sunday, moe. will play a special acoustic set for VIP ticket holders at the Wobbly Barn wrapping up the band’s scheduled appearances for the weekend. Brunch will be served along with infamous moe. banter for the VIPs.  VIP tickets are sold out, but festival tickets and single day tickets, with optional ski lift passes, are still available.

READ ON for more on snoe.down 2011…

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