by Joe Schwartz
Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh
Wednesday, Nov. 4
Last Wednesday was the perfect night for the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh to begin selling liquor, as moe. stamped the night with its melted notes, dueling guitar solos, driving bass and a blend of lights of all colors. The crowd of glow-stick bearing "moe.rons"—some still dressed for Halloween, or maybe they were just dressed for a jam—dove into the new offerings quickly, several enjoying Jager shots along with their beers. Then, through beams of rainbow light and beer goggles, the assembled mass
witnessed two sets of one of the leading acts on the jam-band scene.
The first set was mainly a sing-a-long, even if you didn't know the songs: moe. kicked off with a run of "Okayalright," "She Sends Me" and "Pinball Machine," all of which feature the same line in a row at least four times. It allowed those who'd never seen moe. to feel welcomed and to bend their knees to the predictable pace.
Soon after, the band changed direction, playing deep and winding voiceless tracks, as white lights pulsated and a disco ball spun a pattern on the ceiling. As is their wont, moe. doubled the pace of some songs, adding a surf-band element while cutting the rhythm in half for others to create a lulling effect.
Intermission passed quickly, especially while watching a fan with a glow-in-the-dark Viking helmet encouraged upstairs revelers to play two-story ring toss on his head by linking glow sticks together. To his left was a guy with a Woody Woodpecker hat. A group dressed like jesters circled them.
The inflatable monkeys and toucans came out for the second set, each fan figuring out something more ridiculous and inappropriate in nearly ever other realm of life to do to the blown-up creatures. Besides that, moe.'s 25-minute rendition of "Timmy Tucker" highlighted the latter part of the show as the remarkable slap bass skills of unassuming frontman Rob Derhak stood out most. Every facet of the song was broken down, brought to the front, exploited and then tucked back beneath the beat.
All in all, a standard night with a band that's helped advance a genre that's anything but standard—I'll drink a Jager shot to that.