The Boulder Theater
Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock
Audio By Chuck Miller (www.archive.org/ChuckMiller)
After spending a week in the big city, I couldn’t ask for a better homecoming than two nights of moe. at The Boulder Theater. This two-night run was originally scheduled for the Ogden, but due to the fact that Widespread Panic scheduled their Wood Tour a few doors down at The Fillmore, the shows were moved to Boulder. I honestly couldn’t be happier. I love that room and with the update to their sound system it really is a first class Front Range venue. Amy picked me up at the airport, we cruised around town and had dinner with some old friends before hitting the show.
We arrived at The Boulder Theater around 8:00 pm and I picked up my photo pass. I was slightly amused when I saw on the guest list that next to my name it said Summer Camp Counselor. I chuckled to myself as I walked in and found a spot Chuck side for the start of the show. I had been waiting for this night for months and it had finally arrived. I was almost giddy. moe. came to the stage and set the night off like a fuse racing towards a stick of dynamite with a crunchy "Skrunk."
moe. Live at Boulder Theater on February 10, 2012.
SET I: Skrunk, Nebraska, Zed Naught Z, Puebla> Darkness> Brent Black> Queen Of Everything> Brent Black
SET II: Deep This Time, Up On Cripple Creek> Blue Jeans Pizza> (nh) Smoke, Time Ed> George
ENCORE: Queen Of The Rodeo, Downward Facing Dog
moe. came out of the corner like a punch drunk boxer with something to prove. With this wake up call entitled "Skrunk" the crowd snapped to attention and started their two-day boogie strong. They settled into the set with "Nebraska." This track is one of my favorites from back in the day and I was happy to see it so early in the performance. The crowd was loosely packed, which made it easy for me to maneuver for photos. There was a distinct energy in the room, like everyone who made it to the show was meant to be there. Jim’s vibraphone bounced off the walls for "Z0Z" nicely and set up what would be the biggest jam of the first set. "Puebla," one of the tracks off of What Happened To The La Las, evolved dramatically in a live setting taking on a dark tone, again accented by Jim’s percussion. The sinister sound went deeper with the segue into "Darkness." They ended the first set with a massive "Brent Black" sandwich with "Queen Of Everything" taking the place of the roast beef. Clocking in at almost a half hour this was by far my highlight of set one.
They opened up the second set with a brighter "Deep This Time" with Rob maintaining his stoic expression belting it out properly. Al took the spotlight on an unexpected version of The Band’s "Up On Cripple Creek," which stretched well over the ten-minute mark. moe. transitioned beautifully into "Blue Jeans Pizza" and it was right around this point that I had a modest epiphany. Unlike many of the other jambands in the scene, moe. has never broken up or really even taken an extended hiatus. This is the reason they are perhaps the tightest band in the world of jam. They are all on the same page, they make it work well and in their twenty second year of performing live they are honestly sounding better than ever. After another new track off of La Las they gave us perhaps the best "Time Ed" I’ve ever seen them play. Stretching past the twenty-four minute mark it was one of those instances where they went so deep into the jam I had to ask myself, “Are they still playing Time Ed?” It was the epitome of sickness and only possibly equaled by the twenty plus minute "George" to close the second set. The end of the show was simply jaw dropping and proof that moe. may be one of the few bands left that truly jams. I mean you have to ask what other band out there in scene plays two songs for forty-five minutes to close a show? They encored with a quick "Queen Of The Rodeo" before giving us an extended take on "Downward Facing Dog."
The whole show came off incredibly well and again reaffirmed my love of moe. They shred and aren’t afraid to blow the backend out of their songs. I got to chill for a bit backstage after the show and let the boys know that they did Colorado right. I headed back to Fort Collins with a huge grin on my face and a serious feeling of anticipation for night two in Boulder.
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