Last night, moe. made a stop at Orlando, FL’s Plaza, the first of four shows on the Florida leg of their fall tour. The tour opening show in Charleston the night before had demonstrated the band to be in fine form, leaving the Orlando audience with high expecations. It’s been a bit since moe. showed the Sunshine State some love, and the moe.rons were out in full-force to support the band last night. Part of the reason for the lack of Florida shows was moe.’s short hiatus, which allowed bassist Rob Derhak time to fight a winning battle against cancer, which we only note here, as this show was held on the one year anniversary of his successful treatment.

moe. opened up the first set with “Billy Goat”, before moving into “Tailspin”,  somehow gaining speed into the beautiful lull that separates the sections all roads lead to home. moe. welcomed special guest Tim Bryant, a late-eighties stalwart of the Buffalo, NY music scene, as well as friend and wise adviser to moe. in their earliest days, for a special take on the Camper Van Beethoven classic, “Good Guys & Bad Guys.” Bryant clearly enjoyed seeing his friends again, and during a short chat with us during set break, he noted, “The big thing moe. did which really helped them take off was as soon as they had a set or two of original tunes they hit the road and just stayed out there.” Bryant is now a resident of Orlando, and asked us to note that he is looking for players who want to get a band together, so heads up local players!

Versatile drummer Vinnie Amico stole the show, dazzling the crowd with a wide variety of tempos and rhythm patterns from seemingly every genre and facet of the music world, all with such complete calm and resonance. Amico is truly the ticking heartbeat of the band and he showed it with every tick and tock of his furiously flying sticks. “Prestige Worldwide” and “Who You Calling Scared?”came next, two newer tunes that are both continuing their live evolution into battle-tested tracks. The band brought set one to a close with “Bear Song”, picking up both momentum and fan energy as the show careened towards a short break.

The second set, a seamless procession of old school moe. classics like “Seat Of My Pants,” “Meat,” “McBain”, and “Lazarus”, was a perfect early Christmas present to the old school fans in the house.   Guitarist Al Schnier melted faces and souls during “Seat,” though Derhak flirted so heavily with the brown note, that the audience collectively worried about the seats of their pants. Moving into “YOY,” vibraphone mayhem erupted from percussionist Jim Loughlin‘s corner of the stage, while again showing powerful melodic chops.

As we mentioned earlier, last night was the one year anniversary of bassist Rob Derhak ringing the cancer free bell at his Boston, MA treatment center. As Schnier made his heartfelt shout out to his brother-in-musical-arms, Derhak danced an exaggerated jig before the band launched into an energetic and appropriately no-frills take on The Ramones classic “I Wanna Be Sedated”, before closing the show with a crowd rallying, all smiles take on the moe. ode to summers past “Okayalright”.

Though he had mocked the attention and affection minutes earlier, Derhak took the mic as the encore cheers faded, and gave a heartfelt personal thanks for the loving reception the crowd had given them showered the band with throughout his medical procedures. It was a moment of complete sincerity that reminded everyone, that the love shared at a show is a circuit, and what you give is reciprocated back in an amplified manner.

Luckily for fans, there is an audience recording of last night’s show that you can enjoy below!

moe. – 11/29/2018 [Full-Show Audio]

[Audio: marcus]

Photos from Thursday night’s show in Orlando can be seen in the gallery below thanks to photographer Rex Thomson.

moe. will continue their end-of-the-year tour tonight (Friday) with a show at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, FL. In addition to launching their final tour of 2018, the band also announced recently that they’ll be returning to Red Rocks Amphitheatre next May and June for two nights of music with support from Mike Gordon and White Denim. For a full list of moe.’s upcoming tour dates and ticketing information, head to the band’s website here.

Setlist: moe. | The Plaza | Orlando, FL | 11/29/2018

Set One: Billy Goat > Tailspin, All Roads Lead to Home, Who You Callin’ Scared?, Good Guys and Bad Guys, Prestige Worldwide, Down Boy, Bearsong

Set Two: Sensory Deprivation Bank > Seat of My Pants > Meat > YOY > McBain > Lazarus

Encore: Alnouncements, I Wanna Be Sedated, Okayalright