New moe., who dis? moe. returned to their beloved concrete jungle last Thursday to start their three night run at Brooklyn Bowl with a reincarnated Chuck Garvey on guitar and invigorated new band member, Nate Wilson, on keys. Characterized as a preeminent jam rock band, moe. originates from Buffalo, New York, and is known for conquering the soundscape of multiple genres including progressive, neo-psychedelia, alternative, funk, rock, and more. Needless to say, the six piece ensemble came to captivate as all eyes were on Chuck making a miraculous return after taking time off to recover from a stroke in 2021. And what a return it was: the crowd at the Bowl was fired up and ready to rock as the band didn’t waste any time getting down to business laying down treasured originals and classic covers.
An introspective cover to start the first set, the group began with Bob Dylan’s “The Man in Me” which made for a lyrically poetic start to the night. They then transitioned into a raging “Seat of my Pants” from their album, Loaf, with an electrifying guitar solo from Al Schnier and a light show that made you feel like you were on a boat ride through Willy Wonka’s Tunnel of Terror. Other notable first set jams included a rock fueled “Tailspin” which dove right into another original, “Jazz Cigarette,” a glockenspiel tale lead by percussionist and xylophone player, Jim Loughlin. The six guys named moe. rounded out the first set with a massive “Buster” shaped by bass heavy melodies from bassist, Rob Derhak, and improvisational beach grooves that drove fans wild.
As they say, the music never stopped, as moe. jumped right into the second set with a four-song uninterrupted audio storm. They started with an alternative and imagery-rich track “Kyle’s Song”
which fed into an enigmatic and experimental “Livin’ Again” with reminiscent musical motifs of Pink Floyd and RadioHead as well as fresh Moog jams from Wilson. From there, they dove into a soulful “Down Boy” and then steamrolled into a multigenre massacre of electronica, progressive, and hard rock with “Mcbain” which included an insane Xylophone solo by Jim and what sounded like teases from the Talking Heads “Crosseyed and Painless.” The brigade ended the second set with a funky “Sensory Deprivation Bank” including lyrical wordplay comparable to Les Claypool’s Primus, and then a more contemplative soft rock tune, “Bring You Down,” to finish.
Between the second set and the encore, Brooklyn Bowl owner, Peter Shapiro, came on stage to pay tribute to Chuck with a special bowling pin trophy award to recognize his fast recovery and axe shredding resurgence also exclaimed, “Chuck Harvey is the only person we can give this to.” The band came back out for a two song encore starting with “Letter Home” and ending with a bust out cover “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin. Jim took the lead on vocals and the performance included a sit-in with Tim Palmieri (from Lotus and Kung Fu) who recreated his best rendition of Jimmy Paige. A perfect ending for this true rock and roll revival of a night.
📸: shot by Owen Labate