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moe., Circus Maximus, Caesar’s Tahoe, Stateline, NV- 4/13

The Caesar’s Tahoe Showroom stagehands have never failed to impart a bit of wisdom or two about the music business. The moe. April 13 show in Stateline, Nev. was no exception.

After ambling away from a CSI Las Vegas episode on the stage TV at 9 p.m. when moe. was supposed to take the stage, a 15 minute hold for the lobby line to file into the showroom gave a little shooting the bull time.

One of the hands asked another if he saw he "Framptonator hose" on Chuck Garvey’s mic.

"Framptonator hose?" the other hand echoed.

"Yeah," said the hand. "The guitar is wired to pipe the sound through the hose into Chuck’s mouth so he can distort it by moving his mouth around."

And sure enough, there on the mic stand was a length of surgical tubing snaking up to the microphone. I hadn’t even noticed it before. In the second set during the song "The Pit" Garvey lit the thing up and went to town with the "Framptone."

Finally, I blurted into the amplified air around me, the great Peter Frampton "Do You Feel Like We Do" mystery from the 1976 album Frampton Comes Alive is solved.

At least to me anyway. And now my life is that much less mysterious, but it’s a lot more obvious why I like this band so much.

After crossing paths with "The String Cheese Incident" in Park City, Utah at an Incident on April 3, and a live DVD recording of the second night at Denver’s Fillmore on April 2, the guys from moe. delivered a loose, relaxed two sets of music with an encore.

The atmosphere on the shores of Lake Tahoe lends itself to mellow moods, and Wednesday was no exception. The mood may have had a little something to do with the 6,500 foot elevation of the venue, or it could have also been from the night before’s show in Eureka in Humboldt County, Calif. where only 400 showed up. The coastal redwoods outnumber the people in that part of the state, but lend to the quality and cultivation of kind crops.

The second set opener "Lost Along the Way" started to liven the crowd after a quiet, pensive, reflective first set. The show opened with "32 Things," followed by "New York City," then a new song by Schnier that debuted in February, "She," into "Seat of My Pants" and ending with a "Biblical Proportions" into "Sensory Deprivation Bank."
"Lost along the way" launched the second set when Garvey brought the house down with his solo during the last part of the song.

In my limited number of times seeing moe. live, this was the first time Garvey lit my hair on fire. I had been involuntarily holding my breath while he went off and the inhale at the tail of the solo snapped me back to the reality of what I had just witnessed. A few seconds more may have permanently damaged my brain … it was good stuff.

"Spine of a Dog" about midway through got the crowd chiming in during the chorus and conjured a little sarcastic clapping from bassist Rob Derhak. "So Long" into "Plane Crash" received a lot of layering on the keyboards from guitarist Al Schnier.

The encore, "Spaz Medicine" and "Where Does the Time Go?" delivered a nice nightcap shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday.

That same night moe. would deliver a monster show in Santa Cruz complete with a sit in by Marc Brownstein of the Disco Biscuits.

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