Rob Derhak - bass, vocals; Al Schier - guitar, vocals, keyboards; Chuck Garvey- guitar, vocals; Vinnie Amico - drums; Guests from Leftover Salmon:; Guest: Jeff Sipe - percussion; Guest: Drew Emmitt - mandolin; Guest: Vince Herman - guitar; Guest: Mark Vann - banjo
Drawing from material from their first four albums, the four guys from Buffalo known as moe. open their Mountain Aire show with the musically curious "Jazz Wank" before moving into all modes of music—from Southern rock and improvisation to psychedelic jam. In other words, moe. are all over the map and the vibe is all good.
You could call it the year moe. found themselves, or maybe it was the California mountain air, but in the spring of 1998 after four albums and tons of touring, the band had honed its live act into something powerful and unique among jam banders. A decade since forming in upstate New York, moe. was far from home, high in the mountains of Nor Cal, but there's something very familiar about the fresh styles they created onstage with their elongated jams. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that their modern genre blend of improv sound found a welcome home way out west in the land of a thousand hippie dances.
"Buster" (about a flying pig) from the No Doy album, has an easy, breezy Allman Brothers rock feeling, while "Stranger Than Fiction," from '98's Tin Cans and Car Tires has a Dead-like boogie quality to it. But make no mistake, moe. gets its own unique groove on as it increasingly incorporates more and more improvisations into the fold. At the time moe. were Rob Derhak, Al Schier, Chuck Garvey, and Vinnie Amico; not long before that (as well as shortly after) Jim Laughlin added beats to the band. During this stand, it was Leftover Salmon's Jeff Sipe who sat in on percussion for a jam or three (as on the laidback jazz jam, "Big World," the dynamic "Plane Crash," and the frantic "32 Things"). The rest of the Salmon guys—Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman, and Mark Vann—also stepped up on the slap bass and banjo tour de force, "32 Things," making for a jam band summit in full effect.
"Plane Crash" from the album Tin Cans and Car Tires is arguably the crowd pleaser, but whatever they play, you can't keep the boys from Buffalo down: moe.'s got it.