Sunday, November 18, 2012

moe., Bridge & Tunnel Tour 2012

moe., Bridge & Tunnel Tour 2012:
11/9/12: The Capitol Theatre, Portchester, NY
11/10/12: The Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ

The Capitol Theatre
Before we delve into moe.'s Bridge & Tunnel Tour 2012, I must pay mad respeks to the one and only Lyle Lovett, who played an awesome show at the Capitol Theatre on 11/8 with his Acoustic Group. He's not a pretty man, but he is a Southern Gentleman. After seeing him perform, I kind of get it, and am quite convinced that he is the one who dumped Julia Roberts, and not the other way around. That is an observation for 20 years ago. Can you handle it? Appropriately enough, the Lyle show marked the first time I'd been to the Cap since the mid-90's. My recollections are beyond foggy, but it does seem much nicer now than how I remember it (though, like most folks, I remember it fondly).

the Lobby

the wallpaper

FRIDAY, 11/9/12

And now moe.! But first-- Hurricane Sandy -> No Power/Heat -> Time Change -> 1 week of insane hours at work to catch up from the lost time and simultaneously wrap project / Election Night -> hangover (nh) -> Lyle Lovett -> I got out of work really late on Friday and didn't get to the Cap until moe. were almost done with the first set. FUUUUUCK. I knew I'd be late, but was hoping they open with Plane Crash or Blue Jeans Pizza (YEAH, WHAT?). They didn't. Amongst other things, I missed Flo, Pit, Shoot First. Also, my friends were already shitfaced and I had to catch up, which as it turned out, wasn't so hard, because I hadn't eaten dinner. If I had to choose between tacos or Jazz Wank from the chuck.side bar line again, I'd probably choose Jazz Wank from the chuck.side bar line-- or, check this out-- the Cap can start selling tacos from the chuck.side bar, and then EVERYBODY WINS!! My adrenaline was kickin'.  I was trying to settle down and warm up-- Buster was very much doing the job, and suddenly it was setbreak *insert sound of brakes screeching*. We all saw that coming. Timing is everything.

Did I mention Screaming Chicken himself was onstage? Yes, the Original Screaming Chicken, 2011 moe.ville Mayoral Candidate and brainchild of el Herno, was being proudly displayed on Rob's amp. How did he get there? So happy you asked-- you see, after the election in 2011 (where we all know, Screaming Chicken was TOTALLY ROBBED), Rob got so fed up with his screaming ass, that he went into a blind rage, and violently flung him offstage. Legend has it that the person who retrieved Screaming Chicken, was one Jon Dindas, who now runs the Capitol Theatre. And so, Rob and Screaming Chicken, Sr., met again, and it seems like they have worked some shit out, cuz they were getting along much better this time around.

"Rob must be so thrilled for Screaming Chicken to NEVER GO AWAY."
- el Herno

Chuck Screaming Chickens Rob, and no one gets punched in the face!

Set II got lit up with Threw It All Away, Suck a Lemon, Time Ed -> YOY. Sometime during that -> we lost Hern, Screaming Chicken made his Capitol Theatre debut on vocals, and I spied a wee spot on the chuck.side rail, glinting just so in the lights. I waited for what felt like a reasonable amount of time before relocating. My friends should be aware by now that if I disappear during a great part of the show, to check the chuck.side rail, which is exactly where I ended up during the Spine -> Time Ed -> Spine sandwich. Oooh, but it always happens--- to the point where I wasn't even surprised this time, so I finally claim some rail estate and they fucking break into -> Plane Crash. Without fail. Well, at least there was the encore-- and a super sick encore it was at that. In your face SOMP, then some fun Z0Z action -> raging Spaz Rx -> Z0Z. Wowza!

Al relating to the moe.rons.

Fun night at the Capitol Theatre. The sound was great, the vibe was really fun, the balcony could have been fuller, but overall, I'm totally digging this renovated and reopened historical venue, that could really use some tacos.

The Light Design gets it's own paragraph-- in addition to a band's regular rig, to supplement the experience, the Cap has a really cool in-house light system that projects images onto the walls and ceiling in an entertaining and sometimes psychedelic way (think Laser-Floyd w/ modern technology and awesome). I recall at some point a massive amount of floating eyeballs filling the walls, which was pretty neat. They did not use the floating eyeballs during the Lyle Lovett show. Eyeballs probably wouldn't have worked for Lyle. They could have projected an image of a lonely Texas desert road onto the walls to set the scene-- but apparently Lyle didn't want any supplemental lights. Anyways, the Light Design is really cool and there's lots of room to play with it, is what I'm getting at.

Oh, and was kind of hoping to hear Lyle Lovett, just to be able to say here that, "I heard Lyle Lovett two days in a row at the Cap." Oh well.

Nitrous Monkeys in full effect at the entrance to the train station, screaming, "DON'T JUDGE ME." Too late.

11/9/12, Capitol Theatre, Portchester, NY
I: Rainshine, Don't Fuck With Flo > The Pit > Shoot First, Lazarus, Jazz Wank > Buster
II: Smoke > (nh) Threw It All Away, Suck A Lemon, Time Ed > Y.O.Y. > Spine Of A Dog > Time Ed > Spine Of A Dog > Plane Crash
Enc: Seat Of My Pants, Zed Naught Z > Spaz Medicine > Zed Naught Z

(download link TBD)

SATURDAY, 11/10/12

You know what was awesome? There was no wait to fill up my gas tank on this Even day. And-- ANNND-- I made it to the show on time! Fantastic!!

Well-- it sure looks like the Wellmont sustained some Sandy damage.

Ten minutes before showtime, the Wellmont was absolutely packed. The floor was already a sea of people. The venue was already on the warm-side (good for those who still lacked heat/power, also good for those of us still trying to get our Bone Marrow back to avg. body temp). And after a long day of do-gooding^ in Staten Island Brooklyn, moe. opened with Rebubula. So, it was gonna be THAT kind of show. I seeee…

It was too noisy back by the bar, so after checking out both edges of the floor, I ended up front/al.side for the duration of Rebubula. When Hi & Lo started, I couldn't fucking deal with being way out on the wing anymore, and slid my way into the al.side/ I made some very cool new friends, met some other interesting people with way more energy than me, and simultaneously rocked out there for the rest of the set. Bullet drew a huge singalong. Tambourine was fucking SMOKING. Shit was getting hot on the floor. There was a lot of energy being released in the crowd.  moe. were providing a well-deserved break from reality in that classic moe. way.  The room was electrified. Great rest of the set.

Setbreak brought with it some shmoozing and a change of scenery: the balcony. Sitting after a very tiring two weeks sounded pretty awesome at that particular moment. Don't get pissy-- I stood right up when the band came back out, and a few minutes later, moved into some empty real estate: dead center, in the front row of the balcony. moe.symmetry (symmoe.try?). I am disappointed in my fellow moe.rons that this space wasn't already occupied, but also-- thank you for that. Four was so fucking sweet to my ears- it felt good-- beautiful.  Oh, Chucky... -> a really super Mexico-- one of those Mexico's that you're like, "I've heard Mexico a million fucking times, but this Mexico is a SWEET fucking Mexico." Then a minute later you're like, "Fuck yeah, Al." and you start singing along. -> a delightful St. Augustine, and Downward Facing Dog, with moe. absolutely going to town on that dirty 2nd half-- just huge. Opium was nice and tingly, before they had some fun -> Meat, which rocked the back walls of the Wellmont. I wasn't sure how they could top or add to that set with any encore-- though, Godzilla would have been perfect ("There goes Tokyo…" just sayin'). Instead it was a New York City, which-- cute, but ehh. Whatever. KILLER FUCKING moe. SHOW!


Two fantastic shows. I needed that. The 'burbs needed that. AMURRICA NEEDED THAT. Thanks, moe.. You so good to us, baby.

moe., Bridge & Tunnel Tour 2012: 11/9/12, Capitol Theatre, Portchester, NY & 11/10/12, Wellmont Theatre, Monclair, NJ: 9.6 HUZZAHS!!!!! I may have to go to Maine for NYE^^.

Rob is still waiting for announcements to end.

The wall-o-Sandy-relief-donations the crowd brought. Please note the amount of familiar plastic, yellow, Shop-Rite bags. 
You know you're in Jersey when…

11/10/12, Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ
I: Rebubula, Hi & Lo > Bullet, Tambourine, Paper Dragon, Not Coming Down > George
II: Four > Mexico > St. Augustine, Downward Facing Dog, Opium > Meat
Enc: New York City

(download link TBD)


^ Rob drove an SUV of donated disaster-relief supplies down from Maine, cuz he's dreamy.
^^ I attended a few moe. NYE's before The Great Flyers Skate Zone Debacle of 2000, after which I swore moe. NYE off completely-- so even considering it, at least symbolically, is huge.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Primus 3D Tour, 10/19/12, Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC

Primus 3D Tour, 10/19/12, Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC

"It's very heady. People that are going to be moshing around probably won't get any of this, but the heads will get it". - Les Claypool

Primus docked their 3D Tour at a packed Hammerstein in October and met the NYC crowd with some of their darkest jamming ever. Audience members were issued 3D Glasses after passing through the equivalent of a TSA search at the door (I was groped in a non-enjoyable way), and while we all knew the interactive theme of the night (the Tour also featured quadraphonic surround sound), none of us really knew what to expect. They were switching up the setlists and catering each experience to each venue. Does that mean the people in Rhode Island didn't get the Elephants bouncing on trampolines IN THEIR FACE like we did during Southbound Pachyderm? Cuz that was pretty cool. I mean, Elephants on trampolines. Providence missed out.

The size of the Hammerstein dwarfed the size of the screen in back of the dimly lit band, but from the 1st Mezz, we were able to watch a lot of the fun graphics reach out and dance above the audience on the floor. It started out really basic- like old skool Windows Screensaver style. It would not have been surprising to see a flying toaster pop up. However, as the show progressed, the graphics got more fun and the imagery more trippy. With each new effect, came a different reaction from the audience- most of whom were "glued to the set". I found the basic Fractal pretty satisfying, but the floating wedges of cheese were also fantastic. There was an Iridescent Lee Van Cleef layered on top of an old Western style building for Lee Van Cleef. But by far, the crowd favorite was an enormous FLOCK OF BIRDS that came SWOOOSHING across the screen and around the room towards the end of the night.  AAAAGGGH!!!! BIRDS!!!!

Setbreak included some classic Popeye cartoons (they've been doing this for at least a year now) that kept the crowd entertained. About the 2nd song into the 2nd set, I couldn't deal with sitting anymore^ (the Mezz was all GA seating) and found a nice spot in front of a Mezz column, so I could properly Rock. There was some moshing up towards the front of the floor, spontaneous mosh pits here-and-there for some of the heavier moments, and a few crowd surfers, but as far as Primus crowds go-- it was a pretty well-behaved Primus crowd. I'm still glad we were in the Mezz.

I alternated between glasses/no-glasses about 50/50 all night. Some of that was out of concern for getting a migraine and/or Pink Eye, and the other part was because I actually wanted to watch the band, who were FUCKING KILLING IT.  Primus were exploring deep, dark, evil jams. Les was relentless and was just letting us have it. Lal was shredding each lick as much as every solo. And Jay (who was not wearing glasses, "because he'll vomit") was making sense of it all. The sound where we were was slammin'.  It was unbelievably fun. 

This was absolutely one of the coolest Primus shows I've ever seen, and not just because of the 3D effects. The band was spot-on. Exploring new spaces. Playing with purpose. Having fun with the music and with the crowd. I'm continually impressed with how they embrace their jammier side, all while maintaining their Metal edge. Primus sucks. It's why I go back for more.

Primus 3D Tour, 10/19/12, Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC:
9 HUZZAHS!!!^^

SCTV: Dr. Tongue's Evil House of Pancakes

Setlist No. 6 of the 3D Tour
-New York, NY (10/19/12)

Set I:

1. American Life
2. Prelude to a Crawl
3. Last Salmon Man
4. Frizzle Fry
5. Over the Falls
6. Lee Van Cleef
7. Eyes of the Squirrel
8. Hamburger Train
9. Del Davis Tree Farm
10. Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers

Set II:

11. The Return of Sathington Willoughby
12. Moron TV
13. Southbound Pachyderm
14. Eternal Consumption Engine
15. Glass Sandwich
16. Jilly's on Smack
17. Hats Off
18. Over the Electric Grapevine
19. Hello Skinny
-(The Residents cover)
20. Jerry Was A Race Car Driver


22. Tommy the Cat

Brooklyn Vegan's got some awesome pics of the night. CHECK 'EM OUT!

^^ Points given for getting to hang out with my Metalhead buddies Heinz & Cif. Thanks to their wives for lending them out for the night.

Monday, November 12, 2012

State of Mind Music's Conversation w/ YMSB's Ben Kaufmann

Over the Summer, State of Mind Music asked me to interview Yonder Mountain String Band's Ben Kaufmann. The resulting Conversation was an open, honest, and sometimes silly look at what makes the Bass Player tick these days. It was a fun chat that took some unexpected twists & turns, so I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed wrangling it!