moe. blew into Atlanta on a wintry gust for a pair of shows at the Buckhead Theatre this weekend, approaching the end of their 2018 tour. Following a rocking Friday night, the band invited special guests to join them on Saturday night, including Cracker frontman David Lowery and Atlanta Braves organist Matthew Kaminski.
But let’s start with Friday night’s two set jam fest. Starting the show off in harmonious unison with “Nebraska”, moe. seemed to make their cohesiveness a focal point of the evening. The dark, chilling overtones of “Tubing The River Styx” and it’s lilting vibraphone tones presented by master percussionist Jim Loughlin gave way to the hellish squeals and pleadings of “The Pit”, with, as always, a fun sing-a-round that showed how sublime the trust between members truly is. After a slightly cramped rendition of “Bullet”, moe. continued to keep the jams tight and under control. An uproarious and delightfully cheerful “Happy Hour Hero” and a set-closing “32 Things” greatly benefited from having time left in the bank to spend stretching out, including some serious bass slapping from a grinning ear-to-ear Rob Derhak.
Friday’s second set was no different, with some traditionally longer jams shortened to fit in and the bonus time towards the end of the evening lavished on set closers. After opening with the one-two-three combo of “Rainshine > Water > Montego”, the band gave way to a “Skrunk > McBain” that could have easily finished out the entire set. Somehow they managed to fit in “What Can I Say?” and “Sensory Deprivation Bank” before falling into what has become an audience favorite, the wildly psychedelic, multi-sectioned jam “Silver Sun” to close out the evening’s main set. Sending the crowd out into the cold, moe. had the generosity to give everyone the musical equivalent of chugging a mug of cocoa with a fiery “Seat Of My Pants.”
Saturday’s show saw several key factors outside of the band’s control, as a truly miserable, cold, drizzle-filled weather pattern locked over Atlanta, coupled with a city-wide shortage of Uber and Lyft vehicles thanks to the national Major League Soccer Championships, which saw 70 thousand fans attending, driving up ride share prices across the city. Though the crowd was late arriving and slightly surly, the lights went down and all problems were forgotten.
The second set opened with “Spaz Medicine” before welcoming out special guest David Lowery to perform “Loser” by the Grateful Dead. From there, moe. effortlessly found a groove and reeled off a classic-heavy set with “St. Augustine” flowing perfectly into a mid-set, crowd rallying “Wind It Up.” The cathartic sing-a-long that closes “Wind” gave follow up tunes like the similarly-energetic “Okayalright” a running mate and the tempo-mashing “Waiting For The Punchline” a fun whiplash effect before “Blue Jeans Pizza” closed out the first set. Atlanta Braves stadium organist took time off from trolling opposing team batters to lend moe. a hand with set-closer “Blue Jeans Pizza” in what was perhaps the most out of left field move of the evening.
The second set was an eye-opening look at the future, with an intriguing mix of the past, with “White Lightning Turpentine>Bring It Back Home” opening the stanza before a clutch of newish tunes helped close it. “I Can Never Remember,” “Prestige Worldwide”, and “New Hope For The New Year” provided some delicious sonic carbs before “meat.” gave the moe.rons in attendance some solid sonic protein.
Keeping in theme with the season, moe. started their last set of music for their two-night Atlanta run crooning “Blue Christmas” before a much-needed burst of mayhem with a wild “Crab Eyes.”
moe. | 12/07/18 | Buckhead Theatre | Atlanta, GA
Set 1: Nebraska, Tubing The River Styx > The Pit > Bullet > ATL, Happy Hour Hero > Hector’s Pillow > 32 Things
Set 2: Rainshine > Water > Montego, Skrunk > McBain, What Can I Say?, Sensory Deprivation Bank > Silver Sun
moe. | 12/08/18 | Buckhead Theatre | Atlanta, GA
Set 1: Spaz Medicine, Loser, St. Augustine > Wind It Up, Gone > Okayalright, Waiting For The Punchline > Blue Jeans Pizza
Set 2: White Lightning Turpentine > Bring It Back Home, I Can Never Remember > Prestige Worldwide, New Hope For The New Year > meat. > New Hope For The New Year
Encore: Blue Christmas#, Crab Eyes