BEARSVILLE, New York — Upstate New York jam band moe. owned the airwaves on Saturday night — for an hour, anyway.
Hosting a slightly premature record release show in celebration of their upcoming album, Dither (due out on their independent label, Fatboy, on February 6), moe. played to approximately 350 die-hard fans in Bearsville and many beyond. The first set of the show was aired and webcast by local radio station WDST and featured several songs from the upcoming album ("Faker," "Understand," "Captain America"), one previously released tune ("Rebubula," from 1996's No Doy), and a brand new number the band called "Kids."
Perhaps too conscious of the unseen audience, moe. came off somewhat stiff during between-song banter, and bassist/vocalist Rob Derhak flubbed a couple of lyrics, smiling at the realization and quickly recovering. The boys seemed more relaxed during the second set, when the entire audience was visible, and the show took on a feeling of familiarity. During one older favorite, "Moth," moe. friend/megafan Sharon Shiner even took to the stage to recite a few lines.
moe. formed in 1991 and since have attracted a rabid fanbase with their jazzy blues-rock blend. Last summer the band put together the first "moe.down," a three-day festival in New York's Adirondack mountains that also featured Ani DiFranco.
Saturday's show in Bearsville marked the third surprise appearance moe. have made since the group's New Year's Eve tour-closer in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The band played Thursday under the alias Monkeys on Ecstasy in Albany, New York, and participated in an All-Star Jam at New York City's Wetlands Friday night.
So much for taking a break — the band hits the road (and the larger venues) again next month.
moe. tour dates: