North Mississippi Allstar February 26, 2010 Highline Ballroom New York, NY Taped and Transferred by T.J. Samulis

Friday, July 24, 2009

moe. - 07/23/09 - Grand Opera House

"Hi, I'm in Delaware."

You would never know tucked in the heart of Wilmington there is a little gem of a live music venue. The Grand Opera House has more charm and character than most of the multimillion dollar blockbuster places built today. The Grand, built in 1871, has withstood the test of time. It has gone from hosting vaudeville acts at the turn of the century to welcoming moe. a hundred years later. Because of restoration projects from 1971 to 1973 the theater maintains the same mystique of when it first opened. I setup the mics right on the isle six rows from the stage. Having been here for Umphrey's McGee once before I knew this would be the sweet spot for taping. Turns out I was right because this is arguably my best recording of 2009. This is also due to the very respectful crowd around us.

The night began fairly standard with Tailspin, Shoot First and Bring It Back Home. Then, completely out of left field we are treated to Awesome Gary. "Ex-squeeze me? Baking Powder?" moe. blasted through only the second Gary they've played in ten years. It was, well...AWESOME!

Opium followed and segued into Spaz Medicine, which would be a taste of things to come in the second set. It was a nice patient jam complete with a Brent Black tease. Patience was the theme of the night from this point. The band seemed to play with a focus on not rushing things and letting the segues develop almost by themselves. A bouncy uplifting segue lead us into Buster to close the set. This Buster built gradually with some interesting themes about half way through.

It also gave Jason Huffer, moe.'s newly appointed lighting director, a song to light up this great canvas of a theater. His timing was slightly off, but he's only been on the job since Summercamp and will get better with time. He's a little more in your face than Hans and, in my opinion, a keeper.

The second set opened with the one-two punch of Seat Of My Pants and Dr. Graffenberg. I've been craving Dr. G for a long time and this one didn't disappoint. It wasn't the longest, but it built patiently until the climatic ending. These two songs were a great choice to start the second set because it got the tempo moving a little faster than the first.

The Water > Bearsong was another great one-two punch. You could tell the band was ready to jump right into Bearsong, but al. needed a minute to tune. His absence was unnoticeable as the other four found themselves into a nice Inna Gadda Da Vida jam. al. joined the impromptu jam and kept it going another minute before launching into Bearsong. Oddly enough the band also jammed on Inna Gadda Da Vida five years ago to the day at the Borgata (another GREAT show!).

The set ended with a thirty minute Jazz Wank > Skrunk > McBain. Similar to the Opium > Spaz during the first set, the segue from Skrunk to McBain developed nicely without urgency. Plane Crash was on the setlist to close the show, but I think the boys decided to dig into this segue and omit PC. Instead of rushing through McBain to get to PC they took their time letting the song develop. This gave them time to extend the ending more than usual.

Due to time constraints moe. only had time for a one song encore. Karma Police was a fine cover to end the night, I just wish they had another fifteen minutes! It was good to see the usual suspects: Elayne, Chase, Greg, Jared, Lizzie, Colin, Dave, Tommy, Mitch, Joe, Pat, Julie, Josh and everyone else.

That's all for now, until the biggest party of the year, moe.down 10: Something big. Something mega. Something copious. Something capacious. Something cajunga!

Download from the LMA


Anonymous said...

This was an awesome venue and show. The theater was beautiful eye candy that melded with, in my opinion, a great performance by the band.
The theater staff was pleasant and courteous, a rarity in today's venues. There were no theater goons detracting from the enjoyment of dancing in the aisles or other such "bad" activities.
I will gladly drive 2 hrs to see Moe. in this venue again!!

PS The good vibes created the scene for an incredible show!

Anonymous said...

excellent sound! excellent show! awsome gary :) enough said

Anonymous said...

David Bromberg lives up the street from the theater and plays there fairly often.He has guests join him on double bills.Jorma Kaukonen is the next guest joining Dave on January 21,2010.They like to book in advance a little.
The ushers are volunteers.They are not paid goons that you find at most venues.
The ticket prices tend to be on the lower side for the talent they manage to pull in.
It's worth getting on the mailing list if the venue is within a comfortable driving distance to keep up on the shows as they are added.Bromberg added a show with 3 weeks notice once.
moe. rules.I saw the Grateful Dead 200+ times from 80>90.If I had to choose a band to give that amount of attention to now,it would be moe.
Once someone asked how many GD shows I'd seen on the previous tour.I said "All 14."
They said "I can't afford to see an entire tour."
My response was "I can't afford not to."
It's much better to remember a show you went to than to remember one you missed.
Support them like you care.
It's not often a group of this much talent gets assembled.
Enjoy it for as long as it can last..............