Some people prefer to travel somewhere warm for the holidays, like the Caribbean or Hawaii, for many moe.rons though the compass pointed north. The New Year’s Eve run moe. was hosting in Portland, Maine at the State Theatre was the place to be. The venue closed down in 2006, only to be reopened in 2010 as an expansion of New York’s “the Bowery Presents.” In October of last year moe. put on an immaculate show during the venue’s grand re-opening weekend and to ring in the New Year here displayed their love for this theatre. Another important detail regarding this weekend was that other that the band’s annual festival moe.down and the Thanksgiving run in New York City, these were the only Northeast dates of the later half of the year. This brought even more anticipation to these shows, for the band has a great following in this region.
We filed in and got ready for the show, the band went on close to 9:30, opening with a run from an unfinished “Zed Nought Z” into “Head” and into one of my favorite newer songs, “Billy Goat.” When the band began playing “Head” though I was in shock, I new already this show was going to be great. The song debuted in ‘97 and in later years has been saved for only a few special occasions throughout the year. Stretching over the twenty-minute mark, this masterpiece of a jam had already made my night. After concluding “Billy Goat” the band began another run from “Crab Eyes” into “Down Boy” and then into another near twenty-minute jam, this time pushing the limits of the classic staple “George” that would eventually close the set.
The band opened their 2nd set with a run that would sandwich “The Road” with great takes on both “Ricky Marten” and then “Time Ed” before returning to “The Road.” The band was on fire tonight to say the least. I was also enjoying hearing songs they do not play as much in the regular rotation, like “Head” and “Time Ed.” As if the show could not get any better though they began a set closing run from “Four” into fan favorite and regular “Plane Crash.” Both of which stretched close to twenty minutes each but the playing on “Four” left me in utter disbelief. Another song that does not get as much frequency in the rotation, the dimensions of space were breached during this jam and Chuck Garvey gained even more praise than I gave him before. The diversity of songs in this show and the jams that accompanied them set the tone for a great weekend and made me grateful I took the trip north to catch these shows.
Night 1: State Theatre; Portland, Maine
I: Zed Nought Z>
II: The Road>