The Boulder Theater
Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock
Audio By Chuck Miller (www.archive.org/ChuckMiller)
After night one of moe. at The Boulder Theater I couldn’t wait to get back into the room for round two. We got caught up in the day and ended up walking in just as the boys from New York ripped into "Bearsong." This song was on a five-year hiatus in the early 2000’s but has been making it into steady rotation since 2004. However I have never seen it as an opener and I can tell you it most definitely set the mood for the entire night. It felt like a virtual continuation of the power and energy present in Boulder on Friday.
moe. Live at Boulder Theater on February 11, 2012.
SET I: Bearsong> Runaway Overlude, One Way Traffic, Head> Hector’s Pillow> Bullet> 32 Things
SET II: Awesome Gary> Californ IA> Big World, Rainshine, Cathedral, Captain America> Mexico
ENCORE: Chromatic Nightmare> Rebubula
"Bearsong" was like jumping feet first into the hot coals of a raging fire. We got a chance to catch half a breath with the intro to "Runaway Overlude" before Chuck and Al went into dueling guitar solos. Al even made his way over to Chuck side for the musical battle. "One Way Traffic," a Rob song off of Welcome To The La Las, confused a few in the crowd, but I enjoyed it. As I said in my review from night one, I really dig how moe. transforms and expands on their newer songs in a live setting. They always seem to fit well into the overall mix for me and I’ve felt this way going back to Wormwood. "Head" saw Al taking the reigns with the ferocity that made me a fan of his way back when. It was the beginning of the massive jam that they would ride through the end of the first set. "Hector’s Pillow" took us back to the rage tone that dominated the majority of the show. The crowd was literally making the floor bounce as they danced fast and strong. Again, the energy in the room was powerful and contagious. It was slightly more packed than night one but still maneuverable. I know more than a couple of people who jumped ship from Widespread to get some electric-fueled moe. goodness rather than sit through another night of acoustic music. "Bullet" was definitely the highlight of the first set stretching well over the fifteen-minute mark and showing the crowd that moe. was there to play. They closed with a ripping version of "32 Things" that saw Rob slapping his funky bass sublimely.
moe. has been doing a second set opener contest on their Facebook page, picking up odds and ends from the tour and putting them in a box for the person who guesses the most correctly. I can only assume that the "Awesome Gary" opener was a curveball for their fans. This is yet another song that took an extended hiatus not being played for nine years and only recently making it back onto setlists. I for one had never heard it performed live so I was stoked to see them bust it out. "Californ IA" was a jam that let the audience settle into the set before an intense "Big World."
Vinnie was a rock all weekend holding down the changes and keeping the band in line. "Rainshine," another newer track which I got to witness the debut of at Summer Camp last year, was solid. This song just builds properly in a live setting and I dig the overall rock attitude. They went into my favorite song off of Sticks And Stones, "Cathedral." I could have left the show happy then, but the rest of the show would end up being classic moe. gold. "Opium" felt like a cool breeze washing over everyone in the room and "Captain America" could have easily been the second set closer. However the boys felt it would be prudent to toss in a seventeen-minute version of "Mexico" to shut her down correct.
They encored with "Chromatic Nightmare," which could honestly be the intro to just about any song in moe.’s catalog before absolutely blowing the roof off the place with "Rebubula." Now, the thing about "Rebubula" is that I edited my Summer Camp Counselor video to this track and they encored the last night of Scamp with it. They did the same in Boulder and I couldn’t help but feel it was another little pat on my back. I know it’s just a great tune to encore with, but a fat hippie can dream can’t he? Overall moe. came to Boulder and blew away all my expectations. The last few years they have worked hard to win over new fans and reinvigorate their fanbase in Colorado. I feel they accomplished just that and had an extremely successful two-night run on the Front Range. Now, I look ahead to another amazing run at Summer Camp and am ready to see them do what they do best at one of their home festivals.
I got a chance to interview Al after night two so stay tuned to MusicMarauders Live! for that. He gave us some insight into the recording process for Welcome To The La Las and talked about his involvement in Headcount as well as his concerns for this upcoming election year.
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