Review by Lindsay Jones
moe. brought much needed heat to their return to Utica on October 12th. The night was seasonably cold, with a hard frost forecast and temperatures in the thirties, but that did not stop the bundled fans from welcoming moe. back to Saranac Brewery in true Utica form. The weekend featured an auction benefiting Hydro Relief Web, a local Anti-Fracking group. Up for grabs were autographed merch and one of Al Schnier’s guitars, truly reinforcing how invested this band is in the local community.
The night opened up with a standard “Spaz Medicine”, however moved quickly into a jammed out 15+ minute “Dr.Graffenberg” that got the crowd moving. Heavy on the xylophone, it shaped up to be an impressive version of an awesome tune, topped off by a tight and high energy “Waiting for the Punchline”. It was a first set full of jams, and excellent flow, evidenced by “The Pit”> “Wormwood”> “OkayAlright” stopping briefly to fire into “Deep this Time”, and closing out with a dark “Downward Facing Dog”. The Saranac was flowing as the traditional brewery toast was bestowed upon the crowd, “To Great Friends, Great Beer and Great Music”, and there was more to come.
Second set opened up with “Captain America” as moe. brought the song far beyond the normal “sing along” that it has potential to be, instead thoughtfully jammed it out and stretched it to the limits and then transitioned seamlessly into a slowly building “Akimbo”. The thoughtfulness continued throughout the set, with a well balanced, and timed “Water”, a relatively mellow “Head”, and funky “George”.
“Spine of a Dog” had a rough start, with some apparent lyric issues that were quickly rectified as the crowd was more than happy to fill in the gaps. Spine’s most notable feature was the underlying drum current, with each band member building on the base until again, they seamlessly segued into “Buster”. The night closed with “Threw It All Away”, and the xylophone was busted out again for “Crab Eyes”, a personal favorite.
This show stands out for its well planned song placement, seamless segues, and overall high energy. Despite the cold weather, it was a scorching show with an amazing setlist to prove it.
Set 1: Spaz Medicine > Dr. Graffenberg > Waiting For The Punchline, Tubing The River Styx > The Pit > Okayalright, Deep This Time > Downward Facing Dog
Set 2: Captain America > Akimbo, Water > Head, George, Spine Of A Dog > Buster
Encore: Threw It All Away > Crab Eyes