Fans attending the University of Albany men's basketball game must have been scratching their heads last Saturday in Albany. You see, it was mischief night in Albany and the freaks were out celebrating Halloween a month late. Due to unforeseen circumstances moe.'s annual Halloween show, originally scheduled for October 30th, needed to be moved to December. Similar to last year, the theme of the show was voted on by fans on jambands.com. Anyone who purchased a ticket could submit one theme. The top 30 selected by the band were included in the vote. The Winner: The Electric Lemoe.nade Acid Test.
The possibilities were endless as the band could take this theme anywhere. I was certain it would be one for the ages considering December 4th 1965 marks the Grateful Dead's first performance. It was on this night 45 years ago the Warlocks changed their name to the Grateful Dead and performed at a Ken Kesey Acid Test. The stars were aligned, but my assumptions were way off. moe. had other plans for the test and executed them perfectly.
moe. delivered a psychedelic ride mixing old and new. When all was said and done the band performed five new songs for the first time. What made things more exciting is the fact each member wrote one: Chromatic Mind (jim.), Suck A Lemon (chuck.), No Refrain (rob.), Mar-Dema (vin.) and Silver Sun (al.). The new songs were intertwined with quintessential jam vehicles. Not Coming Down and Wormwood were first performed in 2002 and the rest have been around forever. For good measures moe. added Pink Floyd's Interstellar Overdrive to round off a jam filled evening.
moe. brought in a ton of additional lighting for Huffer to play with and even incorporated some technicolor lights created with colored liquid and glass. The crew of Big Nazo were invited to perform during the second set to maximize the sensory overload. It got weird as the band morphed into half alien creatures too. I'm told their was a storyline to all the antics, but I was too caught up with how great the band performed to follow.
The twenty year anniversary for moe. is already marked with so many highlights, but this will rank among them. The musical moe.ments of true improvisation and psychedelic jams are all here: WW > Interstellar Overdrive, meat > Mar-Dema > meat, Silver Sun > Rec Chem, and one of the best Busters I've seen recently. The production value of the evening could only be fully enjoyed in person. We passed the test with flying colors.