July 17, 2007
words by Bill Whiting
New York-based rock band moe. brought searing intensity to their set at Cincinnati’s Coney Island theater, the Moonlite Gardens on July 17th. Noting the illustrious history of the Gardens, a venue that played host to a variety of jazz and big band luminaries in the 1940’s and 50’s, bassist Rob Derhak looked around and simply said, "This place is cool."
Opening with "The Ghost of Ralph’s Mom," the band leaned heavily on the dual guitar framework of Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey. From "Tailspin" into "Runaway Overlude," Garvey and Schnier held the audience in rapt attention as they harmonized on vocals over the din of screaming fret board workouts. A nod to their recent Warts and All Vol. 5 release was grounded in the form of the swirling rocker, "George."
Vinnie Amico’s powerhouse drumming fed off the accentuated beats of Jim Loughlin’s African influenced percussion on "Seat of My Pants" and "Sensory Deprivation Bank." A segue run through of "Kids" into the altered contexts of "head" and "Kyle’s Song" found many heads bobbing along to the jangled rhythms as a house-like light show filtered into the center of the large dance floor.
A rapturous ovation brought moe. back to the stage to pay tribute to the facility, a favorite of resident Garvey with "Wicked Awesome," as moe. sent many happy travelers scooting their feet to waiting cars with heads full of the many pulsating melodies that the improvisational architects played on July 17 at Cincinnati’s Moonlite Gardens.
Setlist: The Ghost of Ralph’s Mom, Shoot First, Tailspin > Runaway Overlude, George, Nebraska, Seat of My Pants > Sensory Deprivation Bank, Kids > head > Kyle’s Song > head > Californ IA > Kids
Encore: Wicked Awesome