moe. 2.7.15

The Ogden Theatre
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)
Audio By Taper Corey (Kind Recordings)

After two amazing nights of music, moe. rounded out their run in Denver with a final show at The Ogden on Saturday. The unseasonably warm weather held out through the day and fans came ready for one more trip on the merry-go-round. After the sparks flew on Friday, we were in for a more relaxed adventure this time. moe. is continuing their celebration of twenty-five years as a touring band. They seem to be pushing the boundaries musically and welcoming back the things that made them memorable in the first place. Deep jams, fascinating song selections, stellar communication, and impressive musicianship were all on display at The Ogden Theater. Word of the incredible show on Friday must have spread because by the time we arrived Saturday, it was already sold out. On this particular night, their song choices leaned towards the lighter side of their catalog with a focus on intricate jamming. They eased into the evening with a beautiful “Jazz Wank” that seemed to build and build.

moe. Live at Ogden Theatre on February 7, 2015.

Set One: Jazz Wank> Buster, Deep This Time, Shoot First, Silver Sun> Deal

Set Two: Hi & Lo> Big World>Ricky Marten> Down Boy> Billy Goat#> Skrunk> McBain

Encore: 32 Things

(# Finishes the 2.6.15 version)

Musically every note seemed very purposeful and methodical. Finally “Buster” emerged from the rising tide. moe. was employing three large LCD screens as their backdrop. This aided in the visual and gave the lighting director something to play with. During “Buster” a giant cartoon pig became visible behind the band. Mr. Derhak took his turn at the microphone on a bouncy “Deep This Time.” They continued the tranquil tone with a vibraphone infused “Shoot First.” Silver Sun contained some extensive “Slipknot” teases, which would foreshadow what was about to take place. Somehow Al had gotten his hands on one of Jerry Garcia’s guitars. Known as the Travis Bean #11, it was created by a luthier from California of the same name. Prior to the Tiger and subsequently the Wolf Jerry played on a few assorted Travis Bean custom guitars. Suddenly Jerry’s face loomed large on the three screens as moe. blasted into an impeccably timed “Deal.” They seemed to relish in stretching it out and letting fans join in the sing-along before calling it a set.

Just prior to this run, moe. lost a longtime fan. A taper and unwavering supporter of moe., Eric Vandercar, was riding the North Metro train when it struck an SUV. He was one of five passengers who perished in the collision. moe. had taken time the two previous nights to dedicate a song in his honor. The inscription ‘4EV’ was on the marquee each night as well. Chuck took a turn singing an incredibly tight “Hi & Lo.” The second set would see more pervasive jamming, with moe. finally shaking off the dust. The transition into “Big World” was long and deliberate before it reached the tipping point. They continued the flow with a perfectly placed “Ricky Marten.” “Down Boy” began normal enough, but quickly morphed into a monstrous jam vehicle. moe. reprised the unfinished “Billy Goat” from the night prior. A spicy “Skrunk” which seemed to instantly transform the room into a mosh pit before went going into spacey territory. moe. closed the second set with an absolutely huge “McBain” that lasted for over twenty minutes.

After a rather lengthy Al.nouncements, the entire band made their way back to the stage to encore with “32 Things.” This song is pretty rare in the encore slot and this particular version featured some playful back and forth. Not to mention phenomenal guitar work from both Al and Chuck. Over the course of three nights, moe. treated fans on the Front Range to powerful series of shows. This run had it all. This final show at the Ogden was of particular interest given the homage to Jerry Garcia, as well as the unusual placements of songs. Once the second set began, moe. didn’t stop playing until it was all over. In their 25th year, moe. has already booked high billing on a number of nationally renowned festivals. Summer Camp, now less than 100 days away, looms large on the calendar as well. It’s looking very much like 2015 will be yet another high water mark for this unstoppable band from Buffalo, NY.

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