& Ha Ha the Moose, 11/27/11, Sullivan Hall, NYC
Rob has a mustache.
Thanksgiving Run shows are a fantastic way to blow off the pent up steam of holiday stress, mostly because sitting at a table full of relatives for multiple hours can be incredibly difficult. However, this Thanksgiving, I spent the entire day in bed with an excruciating migraine. I'm not sure if it was less stressful than a Holiday Meal, but that depends on who is actually around the table, and how much one enjoys having the back of your skull bashed in with a baseball bat. It can vary from person to person. One thing is for sure: puking when you didn't earn it, is even more of a drag. Anyways, head-in-the-toilet, I wondered if potentially missing a moe. show at Terminal 5 due to physical incapacitation would make it an easier loss than say, if that moe. show were at the Hammerstein, or Roseland, or the
The apprehension I have towards seeing any shows at Terminal 5 is equal to, if not greater than the stress I get at the prospect of loading-in a weekend full of camping equipment to Gelston Estate for moe.down. The venue is an obstacle. I fucking hate Terminal 5. The sound is awful, the sight-lines are worse, the drinks are horrendously overpriced (even for NYC), and it's a fucking death trap that needs better exits^.
Which is why I'm so happy to report that this Thanksgiving Run (possibly due to the fact that I scored sweet spots to watch both nights from), moe. bent Terminal 5 over and completely dominated it in an unforgiving and unrelenting power move that would make Jerry Sandusky blush.
Friday night started out with Happy Hour moe.jitos. By the time I was pried away from those, it continued with the last 10 minutes of Dumpstaphunk's set, which turned out to be plenty for me (Dumpstaphunk that is, not rum & sugar-- I could have easily been talked into more rum & sugar). Terminal 5 had the 3rd floor closed off, which was a shame, as one of the (only) best viewing locations in the venue is up there. We wound up on the floor, about 1/3 of the way back on chuck.side-- not a terrible alt. Shit, it's Terminal 5, I was ecstatic to see the stage at all. Not going deafer in one ear was a perk.
moe. started building the tension right out of the gate, with a lovely Skrunk -> Bullet -> a super dirty Downward Facing Dog -> a rainbowy socks NYC. Fresh off supporting Yonder Mountain String Band on their Fall Tour, Andy Falco from the Infamous Stringdusters joined the boys on a Telecaster for a kickin' Waiting for the Punchline. Ivan Neville from Dumpstaphunk appeared on keys for Can't You Hear Me Knockin', which was fun, but felt like an impending setbreak-- which it was. Fun set, felt a little short, might have had something to do with all that rum & sugar. I should have had more.
Speaking of rum & sugar, despite having my glasses on, something was up with Rob's face. From my spot, I couldn't tell if it was a moe.jito fueled hallucination or not, but in certain lights it looked like Rob was sporting a mustache! In other lights-- not so much, which is when I thought the rum & sugar was toying with my brain. But, no-- it's all true-- ROB HAS A MUSTACHE. Or at least he did- he's been growing one for the Movember Prostate Cancer Awareness & Fundraising Month (donate to Rob's mustache here). It's pretty awesome and perhaps it's morbid curiosity, but I hope he keeps it a while longer. Description-wise, I'm torn between choosing the direction of the vibe of the mustache-- there was either a Redneck Trucker or an FDNY thing going on, but it's still in it's very early stages and it would be interesting to see how it matures. MUSTACHE!
For SET II, we relocated to a little nook on al.side, and sacrificed the FOH sound for a sheltered speaker (earplugs zone), closer view, and less elbows. And a fucking FANTASTIC Set. Billy Goat > a suuuuuper evil and ridiculously dark Tubing the River Styx -> The Pit. I never get sick of the boys belting this out. The room bubbles with toil & trouble. YOU LOVE IT. Letter Home was the oldie time raggae-ish version, very sweet. A delightful Spine -> Buster -> Haze (w/ Rob on vocals, which I like, not that I didn't like Al on vocals, cuz I did, but it changes the whole tone of the song which was an interesting switch). Encore was another dose of evil: Akimbo. Earlier in the night someone had asked me why Chuck is Satan, mid-way through Akimbo, I tapped him on the shoulder, pointed at our beloved Dark Lord, and screamed, "THAT'S WHY!!!"
A kickass moe. show -> Sullivan Hall for late night Floodwood (Al & Vinnie's bluegrass project) action. Their Brooklyn show in October was during ALDS Game 5, which is why I couldn't make it. In hindsight, Floodwood would have been the less depressing choice, but it didn't happen-- so I was psyched for the chance to do some late night Floodwooding post-moe.. I didn't realize just how late of a night it would be. The show didn't start til after 2AM (blame has been pointed at the venue for making us stand on line for like a fucking hour before opening the doors). By that point, I was too damn tired to care about the show. Knowing Saturday night was gonna be another late night, I gave myself a 3AM cutoff and enjoyed the portion I was there to see. Floodwood are great, it was a fun show, a little mellow for the fighting-exhaustion phase I was in, but still enjoyable. Andy Falco also sat in with Floodwood. At 3:05AM, someone offered me Molly. No. Uh... Thank you? It was Sleepytimes.
Also, I burnt the roof of my mouth on Joe's Pizza. It's wasn't the first time and it certainly won't be the last. Sometimes, you just can't wait another minute.
I: Skrunk > Bullet > Downward Facing Dog > New York City, Waiting For The Punchline# > Can't You Hear Me Knocking#%
II: Billy Goat > Tubing The River Styx > The Pit, Letter Home, Spine Of A Dog > Buster > Haze
# w/ Andy Falco from the Infamous Stringdusters on Electric Guitar
% w/ Ivan Neville from Dumpstaphunk on Wurlitzer
DOWNLOAD THE SHOW! Thanks, Scott Bernstein: http://www.archive.org/details/moe2011-11-25.tlm170.flac16
(When the Floodwood show goes up on the archive, the link to download it will be here)
The moe.jitos continued to flow on Friday. With no opener, moe. hit the stage an hour earlier, which would help pace us through what was surely going to be a loud, Freedom-Loving, Flag-Eating, all-nighter. Also, yes, the rum & sugar. El Herno tried to buy a new bumper sticker, but could not, as moe. were not allowed to sell stickers that night. Is this a venue-policy? What possibly could have happened? Ha!
After a 15 second Think Tank, we noticed that the 3rd floor was open and booked it upstairs-- just in time to secure one of the only GREAT spots in the venue-- 3rd floor, center rail! A great view, with great sound, at Terminal 5. BIZARRO! Shit. Yeah. There was no reason to wander around. And I mean for serious-- how fucking psyched were we? SO FUCKING PSYCHED. NIGHT 2.
Set I was great, Blue Eyed Son with Al on Mandolin was a sweet highlight. Big World -> Ricky Marten -> a HUGE Lazarus, which-- apparently they added a verse and are calling it "The Bones of Lazarus" now, but--- I mean, come on-- it's a duck, it's a dog, whatever, fuck you! MUSTACHE! GIANT DISCO BALL!
I was super pumped for Set II, annnd they started with Blue Jeans Pizza-- meh. Time to wander. This really only ended up proving once again, that when Terminal 5 is crowded, there are barely ANY good spots to see the show. I was back upstairs by the end of the voluminous and expanding Puebla (I like) -> to enjoy a fucking ridiculous, muscle-flexing, amphetamine ridden, Brent Black. The drum solos were brilliant and playful. Vinnie was out of control. Rob's bass solo was loud and bouncy. Good stuff. The middle of the set was great, but Rebubula hypnotized the room -> Where Does the Time Go? to tug at the heartstrings -> the triumphant ending to the love fest that is Rebubula. At one point, when the music and lights got low, the glowing blue LED beacon on Rob's pretty new bass, lit up the entire room. "The brightest things in the room at this moment, are Rob's balls."
They Encored with Together At Christmas, which was cute, but Christmas Season drives me fucking bonkers and I'm already sick of it, so... Thank the little baby Jesus for She Sends Me, cuz it brought the energy way back up and it was a stellar way to end the night! moe. fucking rocked Terminal 5. At least from where I was standing, they were able to eliminate the cold, industrial, emptiness of T5, and replace it with great vibes and that patented moe. love. Mad skillz.
We piled into the Quad Laser and shot down to Sullivan Hall to be abused by 3 men in capes and Mexican Wrestling Masks. Not the weekly League. It was time for Ha Ha the Moose. MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!!!!!!
From start to finish, the crowd seemed a bit too drained and too exhausted to come up with any creative insults to hurl at the mysterious Trio. There were a lot of "FUCK YOU!" 's and "YOU SUCK!" 's. But nothing along the lines of "HEY GUANO, WHY DON'T YOU STRETCH OUT THAT MASK OVER A WATERMELON AND LET IT SIT IN THE SUN BEFORE A GIG?" or, "YO JEFF VON KICKASS, LOSE THE STILTS, WE ALL KNOW YOU'RE AN ALBINO PYGMY!" and of course, "HEY SLUDGE, NICE PANTS, ASSHOLE!" Just some suggestions for next time, kids.
Ha Ha the Moose worked through some of their greatest hits, including, but not limited to: The Magnum P.I. Theme song, the surf guitar til your face bleeds Thirsty Carbunkle, Mr. Her, Ha Ha the Moose (the most classic of all), Devil Toad (the most face melting of all), Donkey Show (the most romantic of all), Redneck Trilogy, The Magnum P.I. Theme song (again). Despite the crickets chirping away, to add insult to injury, Ha Ha the Moose Encored. Don't Fuck w/ Flo was loud, messy, pretty fucking great-- and of course, Simple Mind's smash hit off the Breakfast Club soundtrack, Don't You Forget About Me. Especially appropriate because earlier in the evening, D.Mighty was reciting Emilio Estevez's monologue about taping Larry Lester's ass cheeks together. It was meant to be!
This night, Ha Ha the Moose tested the patience of even the most devout Ha Ha the Moose fan, and for that, I applaud them. Or rather, "MOOOOOOOOOOOSE!!!!!!" I can't believe we've been putting up with this shit for over a decade. And giving them money!!! Dr. Guano's Moostache was a fantastic addition to the Ha Ha stage. I would totally inspect his moostache... in the name of freedom. MOOOOOOStache!
I can't promise it'll happen again, but I actually really enjoyed a 2 nighter at the worst venue in NYC. moe. rocked Terminal 5. The post-show shows were stellar. And fantastic music with great friends is a always a killer formula for success. It all added up to a sweet (rum & sugar?) adventure that left me pondering a moe. NYE, which won't actually happen cuz I'm not driving to Maine, but ponder-- sure. The temptation is there.
moe. (& Floodwood & Ha Ha the Moose), 11/25 & 11/26/11, Terminal 5 (& Sullivan Hall): 9 HUZZAHS!!! MUSTACHE!!!!!!
I: Paper Dragon > Wind It Up > Captain America, Blue Eyed Son, Big World > Ricky Marten > Lazarus
II: Blue Jeans Pizza > Puebla > Brent Black, Not Coming Down > Wormwood > Rebubula > Where Does the Time Go? > Rebubula
Encore: Together At Christmas, She Sends Me
DOWNLOAD THE SHOW! THanks, Scott Bernstein! http://www.archive.org/details/moe2011-11-26.tlm170.flac16
DOWNLOAD Ha Ha the Moose! Thanks, T.J. Samulis! http://www.archive.org/details/hhtm2011-11-26.mk4.nbox
^ I'm getting old.