After a nearly two-year absence from Madtown, moe. will grace The Orpheum’s stage Sunday in the first leg of their 2005 winter tour.
This New York-based improvisational band has conveniently skipped over Madison in recent tours, stopping in Chicago or completely ignoring the greater Midwest area. However, this time around both Chicago and Madison are getting a show.
Moe.’s run has begun rocking old favorites like “Rebubula,” “Captain America” and “Meat” while sticking to the norm of recent tours with a steady flow of Wormwood material released in 2002. Wormwood showcases songs that were recorded live over an extensive tour and reworked in the studio, creating a one-of-a-kind album.
But dedicated moe.rons are getting a tease of new material as well. Moe. debuted “Blue Pants and Pizza” in Scranton, Pa., Feb. 13, sandwiched between “Waiting for the Punchline” and “Wind It Up.”
Running on 15 years in the industry, moe. has created a substantial name for itself in the jam scene. Guitarist Chuck Garvey, guitarist Al Schnier, bassist Rob Derhak, drummer Vinnie Amico and percussionist Jim Loughlin have been changing styles, segueing songs and have thus created a steady moe. following. Moe. has perfected the segue — mixing two songs flawlessly — which is something admired within the jam scene. Their ability to segue plus random jams makes every moe. show original.
They may play the same songs concertgoers have been hearing for years, but the show will be different. The band feeds off the fans, and Derhak shoots his fair share of odd facials into the crowd while Garvey and Schnier banter back and forth.
However, over the past few years, moe. has delved deeply into festivals, playing all three Bonnaroos, headlining Summercamp, moe.down and moe.cruise while constantly touring. That’s how the jam scene goes.
The summer months may be primarily devoted to festivals, but moe. takes advantage of consistent tour runs during the fall, winter and spring. And they constantly bring a following. So old and new moe.rons alike, join together Sunday and show the boys a good time. For God’s sake, it’s been two years … let’s make sure it’s not another two before they show their faces again.
There may be a competing band just down State, but moe. will surely provide a stellar couple of sets. Let’s just hope moe. doesn’t treat this as a practice show and gives us something to cut a rug, too. Yes, this isn’t New York, but we Madisonians still know how to kick it.