moe. Looks To The ‘Bright Side’ And Winds It Up
moe. delivered its penultimate performance of 2008 this past weekend at its festival in Turin, NY. moe.down 9 offered six sets from the group, which has announced that other than an appearance at Farm Aid later this month, it will not perform again this year. While the fest offered well-received music from Levon Helm, Yonder Mountain String Band, Sparrow Quartet, Benevento-Russo Duo and numerous other groups, much of the excitement surrounded the host band.
Over the course of the weekend, moe. dipped into its catalogue and also the pool of available performers, with the results streamed online at iClips.net for viewing by thousands of interested viewers. The band’s single set on Friday night included the second-ever performance of Funky Reuben,’ which hadn’t been revisited since its debut on 2/15/92. Another highlight was the appearance of Bela Fleck (on hand with the Sparrow Quartet), who added banjo both to ‘Darkness’ and ‘Shoot First.’
On Saturday, moe. performed its customary three sets, one in the afternoon followed by two in the evening. The first included guest vocals by Swampdelica’s Nadine LaFond on ‘All Roads Lead to Home’ as well as appearances by Marco Benevento and Joe Russo during ‘Brent Black.’ In addition, the version of ‘Captain America’ that appeared midway through the set, included a kids parade (‘Captain America’ was the theme of the Kids Tent). LaFond later returned during the evening sets on ‘Sticks and Stones,’ ‘Deep This Time’ and a cover of ‘Voodoo Chile,’ while Jeff Austin guested on ‘Bring You Down.’ The version of ‘Voodoo Chile,’ which appeared late in the third set also yielded a full-band segue, with Fishbone taking over for an extended period before eventually handing things back to moe. and ‘Seat of My Pants.’ Saturday night also featured a brief late night stealth set from Ha Ha The Moose (moe.‘s Chuck Garvey, Rob Derhak and Jim Loughlin), as after the main stage wrapped up, they performed a brief set on a platform behind the soundboard before sprinting off into the night (songs included ‘Ha Ha The Moose Theme,’ ‘Redneck Trilogy’ and ‘In The Name of Freedom’) .
Sunday brought moe.‘s final two extended sets of 2008. The first started out with a strong run from ‘Tailspin’ into ‘Timmy Tucker’ and then ‘Understand.’ Another highlight came at the set’s close as all of Cornmeal stepped up for an extended version of The Conch’s ‘MacIntyre Range,’ followed by a bluegrass-infused ’32 Things.’ The final set included two segued segments; the former featured ‘George,’ ‘Happy Hour Hero’ and ‘Recreational Chemistry’ (with Shannon and Terry Lynch adding brass to ‘HHH’), while the latter included ‘New York City,’ another run through ‘George,’ ‘Roll’ and ‘Plane Crash.’ moe. then returned for a fitting ‘Wind It Up’ encore and then stepped away before closing out moe.down 9 with a second encore, offering the group’s fans an optimistic and amusing take on its future with ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.