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Published: 2015/01/14
by Scott Shaver

moe,, Palace Theatre, Albany, NY- 12/30-31

On December 30 and 31, moe. returned to the Palace Theatre in Albany, the site of 2013’s New Year’s Eve run, to close out 2014.

While the first night offered no real “breakout songs,” it was a fine evening nonetheless. The band opened with “Skrunk,” leading into the great story of “Timmy Tucker.” The set ended with a segued sequence that featured “Do Or Die” > “Water” > “Puebla” > “Wind It Up.” Coming out from the break, the band kept the energy up, starting with “32 Things” all the way through the flying pig closer, “Buster.” For the encore, bassist Rob Derhak invited his son Zach out to the stage to play cowbell (“I need more cowbell!”) on Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper,” which led into a sizzling “Captain America,” that teased the crowd into a frenzy for night two.

New Year’s Eve started the way it did last year as the boys rose from the orchestra pit for an acoustic set, playing a local folk legend “Low Bridge” (locals might remember it from elementary school as “The Erie Canal”). The rest of the first set contained songs typically performed with electric instruments such as “Queen Of Everything,,” “Shoot First” and “Turpentine,” which translated well into an acoustic setting.

Set two had the guys plug back in and buzz through “Downward Facing Dog,” Billy Goat” > “Bullet” and then “Silver Sun,” which symbolic of their 25th anniversary, climaxed with the eruption of silver confetti cannons. This then led into the bust out of the night (and first appearance of the evening for the Conehead Buddha Horns) “Ugly American” which they had not played since 7/15/2010. This was followed by another first for the band, Steely Dan’s “My Old School.” “Same Old Story” from the band’s most recent CD, No Guts No Glory was next, before the always rocking “Happy Hour Hero” closed the second set and let the guys get ready to ring in the new year.

After the last break, the band strutted onto the stage, decked out in what can be described as wearable disco balls. They also had a silver motif going, again symbolic of 2015 being their 25th anniversary in existence as a band. Rob led the countdown based on the clock on his iPhone, which seemed to be off from the stage clock by a second or so, but that didn’t matter to the thousands of “rons” in attendance. As midnight hit, the band started rocking and up from the orchestra pit rose Baby New Year (Peter Prince, from Moon Boot Lover) in his diaper, moon boots, and a flying V guitar, leading the guys into Hendrix’s “Stone Free.” They maintained this energy throughout the set, aided at the close by the horns during “Little Miss Cup Half Empty,” “Annihilation Blues” and “Dr. Graffenberg.”

moe. began their encore with Pink Floyd’s “Time” which segued into their own ”Tubing the River Styx” and then “The Pit,” which proved fitting as the five musicians left the stage the same way they started the evening, singing the refrain of the song as they stepped onto the orchestra riser and were lowered into the pit. It was an entertaining end to two awesome nights of music.

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