When you think about it, October 2016 was a completely different, far less stressful time for moe., the United States, and the world at large. Barak Obama was still president, though not for long, any mention of Corona in a bar would result in you being handed a beer and not a mask, and even though Hurricane Matthew had just blazed up the North Carolina coast and wiped out the last show of the run moe. had been on they still had one last concert in the waterlogged New Mountain Amphitheater in Asheville, NC.
My name is Rex Thomson, aka Rex-A-Vision, and I’m a writer and videographer who covers shows and fests around the country. At the time I was following the tail end of the moe. tour and documenting their run for this very site, before deciding to hunker down in the scenic mountain town of Asheville for a couple days while wreckage crews assessed and cleared as much of the debris and destruction from the mountain roads leading back home.
Even though I was sad to lose the weekend’s Mustang Festival where moe. was set to headline, I was happy we had one more night of tunes to go as the band was whip-sharp and playing pure fire. That said, when I arrived at the venue I was sad to see a lot of the places I would normally set my gear up were either a puddle or blocked by a bunch of hastily moved outdoor gear to keep it safe. It was a totally logical and sane move on the venue’s part and it simply meant I was going to have to frame my work in a skewed manner.
The best chance I had of even catching glimpses of the full band was to shoot stage right to left or, as moe fans would put it, I would be shooting from chuck.side. The term was a show of love and respect for guitarist and founding member of the band Chuck Garvey. It also meant that Garvey, currently recovering from some health issues, would be front and center throughout the footage.
Though I can’t remember exactly what I said just before the show started I do know I warned him “It’s all on you to make these videos look cool tonight,” and he handily obliged with his trademark fix of smiles, intense focus, and fretboard fireworks. The entire first set was strung together in an unbreaking hour that saw moe. reel off classic jam after classic jam, filling a “Bearsong” sandwich with a dense and hearty selection of “Bullet”, “Ricky Marten”, Time Ed”, and “Head”.
Just because the rest of the band was obscured doesn’t mean that they didn’t take care of business all night long. Guitarist Al Schnier wowed on “Bearsong” and second set highlight “Crab Eyes”. Drummer Vinnie Amico and percussionist Jim Loughlin provided not only a rock-solid floor for the rest of the band but plenty of chills and thrills through various fills and even a turn on vocals from Loughlin on the always fun cover of House of Pain‘s “Jump Around”. Throughout it all bassist Rob Derhak happily slapped away at his bass, sang his share of the leads, and generally alternated watching his boon companions on guitars flanking him like the happiest guy at a tennis tournament ever.
I recently had some failed hard drives repaired and regained access to whole terabytes of concert video I worried lost forever. With the glad return of this irreplaceable footage, I have been re-editing it when time allowed, with improved audio. Realizing that it might be nice to take a couple hours to truly appreciate the magic that Chuck Garvey means to the band and the world as he recovers I thought it was the perfect time to bring this show back to the world.
I invite you to sit back and watch these two videos and let yourself slip back to simpler days when sleeping in your car with thousands of dollars in video gear, praying you don’t get swept off the highway by winds and waterfalls seemed like the worst thing that could happen to a traveling band, their fans, or a simple videographer on a mission to share the music he loves.
Get well soon Chuck! All the rest of you…Enjoy!
moe. – “Bearsong” > “Bullet” > “Ricky Marten” > “Time Ed” > “Head” > “Bearsong” – 10/6/16
moe. – “Water” > “Montego”, “Crab Eyes”, “Wind It Up”, “The Road”, “McBain” > “Time Ed”, “Jump Around” (House of Pain), “In The Flesh” (Pink Floyd) – 10/6/16
Setlist: moe. | New Mountain Amphitheater | Asheville, NC | 10/6/16
Set One: Bearsong > Bullet > Ricky Marten > Time Ed > Head > Bearsong
Set 2: Water > Montego, Crab Eyes, Wind It Up, The Road > McBain > Time Ed
Encore: Jump Around (House of Pain) > In The Flesh (Pink Floyd)