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Best of 2002

Published: 2003/01/23
by Gregg Shepherd

moe., Beacon Theater, NYC, 9/21

"New York City, I’m Coming Home Again"
Whew, 2002! Just thinking about it amazes me because of how many great shows I’ve seen. Looking back at ticket stubs, I’ve been able to make it to at least one show every month. I wouldn’t even know where to begin: – Mike Gordon grooving with Trey Anastasio Band. – The Other Ones turning the FleetCenter into a giant dance party. – My favorite weekend of the year, the moe.down. – Psychedelic Breakfast jamming long past closing time at the Living Room.
But of all the spectacular shows I’ve seen this year, there’s on show that stands out as the most memorable experience. It was my first trip to New York City to see moe. at the Beacon Theater.
I was, as always, plenty behind schedule while riding the subway up to Broadway. We eagerly entered the venue to see that the opening band had already finished and the stage was all set for the boys. I grabbed a drink and made my way to the balcony where I bumped into a handful of acquaintances I’ve met throughout my travels. I reached my seat and the lights went off immediately sending the crowd into an uproar.
They started off like a bullet from a gun and fired off a few crowd pleasers. Okayalright started the show, followed by a tight Gone, and an always-welcome Capt. America. It was at that point where I realized this show was heading somewhere, so I left the balcony to find my brother on the floor. I found him with general ease and settled into a nice spot just in time for Mexico. It ripped in normal fashion, and I knew that wouldn’t be the last we heard of the diabolical genius that they call Al. Tambourine came next as I made my way to the front row, which I couldn’t have done at a better time because they finished the set with my personal favorite moe.tune, 32 Things.
Set break came and I killed the time by meeting up with some old friends and making new ones. After the typical overly long setbreak, the band came out ready to leave their mark on the old theater. They started off with the classic set opener Akimbo, which always gets the crowd loosened up. The following was quintessential moe. They started off with a tight Rise, which settled into a nice funk jam. Someone in the crowd tossed a cape to Al, which he put on and went into super-hero mode just in time for Recreational Chemistry. This song just never ceases to top itself on a night to night basis. Al fooled around on the synthesizer before taking the song into outer space on his guitar. The crowd was as alive as ever, and I even lost balance a couple times trying to keep up with Al’s madness.
What came next was pure unadulterated Chuckery. Satan ripped through a quick TGORM and blasted his way through a funked out Bullet(or Assfinger to some stubborn moe.rons). He didn’t give up for a second as they made their way into Meat. Chuck played a blistering solo, which led to him playing with his teeth and riding is guitar across the floor. Each member then followed up with his respective solo, and Al rode it home to close out the second set to a deafening ovation from the New York fans.
moe. took the.stage for the final stage of the evening and treated us to a rare Seat of my Pants encore, a tribute to the fabled venue’s location "On Broadway." I ventured out into the city streets completely fulfilled and spent the rest of the night meandering about the Big Apple. That night exemplified 2002 and the community I’m proud to be a part of.

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