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

Monday, August 3, 2009

U-Melt - 08/29/08 - Beer Tent

We are only one month away from the 10th annual moe.down. The music festival (hosted by moe. of course) will be held Labor Day weekend at Snow Ridge Ski Resort in Turin, NY. Snow Ridge has graciously opened their gates for every moe.down since its inception a decade ago. From humble beginnings, moe.down has continuously grown in size over the years. Every moe.ron knows if you can only make one show a year, the .down is the place you want to be. The tenth go-around is bound to be the best yet.

August can feel like an eternity for those waiting to make the pilgrimage to Turin. By the last week we are stir-crazy with anticipation. To help with the excruciating wait I decided to provide a complete review of last year's festivities leading up to Labor Day weekend. Luckily I have the audio recordings to accompany each review.

Last year I decided to attempt an impossible mission: Record every note played at moe.down. The motivation behind it was simple. Each year after moe.down there's always a couple performances that go untaped. I wanted audio documentation of everything. It would be a daunting task that required two recording rigs (one for each stage) and a lot of running up and down the mountain between sets. I set out with enough batteries and SD cards to last the whole weekend. With the exception of a late night moose sighting, it was a success.

We begin the retrospect with the three set performance by U-Melt on Friday at the beer tent. Its a very desirable slot to be granted because the band receives the most time on stage and are the last band to play before moe. hits the stage Friday night. If you're lucky enough to get it you have to bring your A game. U-Melt did just that.

The band took the stage while people were still gathering, but by the time they finished a captive audience had assembled. U-Melt wasted no time and got into some heavy jamming in their first set highlighted by Marvin the Pussy and everything that followed. The guys bobbed and weaved their way through A Portrait of Kismet. They briefly slowed down the tempo with Disclaimer/Disillusion only to build it back up with Schizophrenia. The bar was definitely set high for the next two sets.

The beginning of the second set showcased U-Melts versatility as they combined soaring guitar solos with blistering drum fills and funky riffs on keys. They maneuvered through Panacea > A Robbins Tale 1 and 2 > Escape > Pura Vida creating some unique jams as they went. They capped off the set with an ode to Michael Jackson for his 50th birthday (sadly his last R.I.P.). The medley had everyone getting down. The night was young, the freaks were out and moe.down had begun. U-Melt had people dancing atop picnic tables by the end of the second set. Thriller was an appropriate choice to end the second set, complete with Vincent Price's voice-over.

U-Melt wasn't finished with the segues and seamlessly combined Green Amber > Elysian Fields > Clear Light for their third set. This band really impressed me and continues to tour relentlessly. Their dedication has earned them some great gigs that gain them more exposure. This show marked their fifth year as a band. I think a couple years down the road this will be viewed as one of U-Melt's more memorable performances.

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