moe.‘s third of four stops across the sunshine state found the band in St. Petersberg, Florida at the beloved Jannus Live ready to stretch out a little bit and have some fun with special guest Roosevelt Collier. This stretch of shows, with its special sit-ins, bust outs, and incredible jams have almost felt like a gift to the moe.rons. of the area. With a small Christmas tree onstage, the band is in full celebration mode–though that spirit has been easily misplaced in the sunny skies and 80 plus degree days the run has seen.
Bassist Rob Derhak, whose mischievous grin has always given him an air of childlike charm, wasted no time tearing off the wrapping paper of the show and diving right in with a poppy, energetic “Spaz Medicine”. Following “Spaz” was the full-on sonic stampede of the merging of Frank Zappa and country-western music, rocker “Waiting For The Punchline”. Luckily the band had a spacey, tripped out “Kyle’s Song” up their sleeves to give everyone a chance to get caught up and back into groove mode. The bouncy, wistful music and lyrics of “Kids” delighted a few young fans in the front row while the epic solo taken by Al Schnier gave grins to the adult supervision they and a few of the rowdier crowd members needed.
After one more upbeat song, “Blue Jeans Pizza”, it was time for the big surprise gift of the evening, a visit from the always jolly and smiling master of slide guitar Roosevelt Collier. Eagle-eyed fans up front had spotted the extra amplifier onstage and the cheers for this local hero were well deserved. In keeping with the almost all ages sense of wonder that permeated the first set, the band played kid approved fave “Moth”, with Rosie and moe.’s own fierce slide proponent Chuck Garvey. Though he had to dash away after only one song to his after-show, Collier gave everyone in the audience a taste of the fun to come after moe. finished their antics. Garvey, Schnier, Derhak and Schnier bunched up center stage and seemed to have as much fun passing the musical baton around as the fans had listening to the joyful noise.
A quick set break later and moe. was back to it, though Garvey clearly wasn’t done with his fun with the slide guitar. No moe. run in Florida is complete without their ode to “St.Augustine” and the long peals of guitar that serve as the intro were counterpointed perfectly by the rolling thunder of drummer Vinnie Amico, who once again managed to give every song it’s own distinct flavor. From there, the band segued perfectly into “New Hope For The New Year,” reinforcing the holiday theme of the night. Garvey, with some massive seasoning from percussionist Jim Loughlin, then delivered a heartfelt take on the moe. song that best exemplifies the spirit of the holidays, the big sky sing-a-long ode to friendship and family “Wind It Up” that brought the crown together in both voice and spirit.
With the sold-out crowd roused and rallied to the cause, moe. took that energy for a fun in-and-out intertwining of “Threw It All Away” and “Crab Eyes”, likely a nod to parents’ feelings just after the frenzy of Christmas morning and the annoying clean up of torn shiny paper, bows, and no sleep. Obviously still in nostalgia mode, moe. closed out the second set with one of their earliest standards, a harmony-laden jam fest version of “Brent Black.”
After the first Florida installment of the love it or hate it “Al.nouncements”, the band had one last gift to sneak in, an encore version of “Johnny Line-Up” with a special revisiting of their Halloween cover of the Super Mario Brothers theme. The game song was a surprise but a perfect fit given the holiday feel of the evening. After all…who doesn’t enjoy finding some video game fun under the tree?
Special thanks to taper Marcus Flarcus for the speedy turnaround from last night’s show, that you can check out in the playlist below via the Internet Archive:
[Audio: Marcus Flarcus]
Setlist: moe. | Jannus Live | St. Petersberg, FL | 12/1/18