Collaboration was always the expected outcome for moe.‘s run of 4th of July shows with Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country and Neighbor. And while the prospect of cross-generational jamming drove interest in the shows, spirited improvisation took a backseat last night in Westport, CT to a tearjerking sit-in by moe. bassist Rob Derhak‘s daughter Emma, who joined her father on Traffic‘s “Dear Mr. Fantasty“.

This weekend’s run of concerts marked moe.’s first shows in almost three months after the band suddenly canceled several dates due to extenuating family circumstances. On May 19th, Rob, Emma, and the Derhak family tragically lost their son and brother Eddie Derhak at the age of 25. The band immediately canceled appearances at Northlands Music Festival and its own Solshine: A Music & Arts Reverie. In their absence, tributes abounded from moe.’s Solshine co-hosts Umphrey’s McGee and from Andy Frasco & The U.N. who took the vacated slot at Northlands and showed their support by covering moe.’s “Happy Hour Hero” and leading the crowd in the traditional Jewish dance the Hora in moe.’s honor.

On Friday, Emma Derhak emerged from the wings a few songs into the set at Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts to lend her pipes to “Dear Mr. Fantasy”, which according to the band has not played since October 12th, 2005 in Portland, OR. Rob’s daughter has become an increasingly common presence at moe. shows in recent years, sitting in throughout the band’s emotional two-night run at The Capitol Theatre in December 2021 shortly after guitarist Chuck Garvey‘s stroke. Friday’s appearance was of even greater significance, felt throughout the crowd as tear-stained eyes watched the father and daughter perform together.

Emma wasn’t the only special guest of moe.’s headlining set, with young gun Daniel Donato joining the band for its improvisational behemoth “Moth” and Neighbor’s Richard James lending a hand on the show-closing encore of the Grateful Dead‘s “West L.A. Fadeaway”. Elsewhere, collaborations filled the air as Neighbor brought out Connecticut staple Tim Palmieri (Lotus) on guitar and Donato multi-instrumentalist Nathan “Sugar Leg” Aranowitz on keys for The Beatles‘ “Elanor Rigby”.

Check out some image galleries from moe., Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country, and Neighbor at Levitt Pavilion below courtesy of photographer David Gray. The joint run concludes tonight, July 6th, in Jay, VT. Find tickets on moe.’s website.

Setlist: moe. | Levitt Pavilion For The Performing Arts | Westport, CT | 7/5/24
Set: Not Coming Down, Wormwood, Okayalright, Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic) [1], Tamborine, Downward Facing Dog, Moth [2] > The Pit > Living Again > Seat Of My Pants > Sensory Deprivation Tank
Encore: West L.A. Fadeaway (Grateful Dead [3]

[1] w/ Emma Derhak
[2] w/ Daniel Donato
[3] w/ Richard James

Setlist: Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country | Levitt Pavilion For The Performing Arts | Westport, CT | 7/5/24
Set: Sittin’ On Top Of World (Walter Vinson, Lonnie Chatmon), Broadside Ballad > Hangman’s Reel, Hi-Country, Free Wheelin’ [1], Down Bedford, Sunshine In The Rain (Strange Presence), Luck Of The Draw > Sugar Leg Rag
[1] Will McGee On lead vocals

Setlist: Neighbor | Levitt Pavilion For The Performing Arts | Westport, CT | 7/5/24
Set: Mighty Apple Tree, Old Dog, Don’t You Cry, Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) [1], Thunder Island, Take Me Alive
[1] Tim Palmieri on guitar and Nathan “Sugar Leg” Aronowitz (Daniel Donato) on keys.