EDITOR'S NOTE: Dearest End Hits Readers: We take our show-going duties very seriously here. But sometimes we like to mix things up and combine our two true loves in this world: live music and illegal gambling. That was the initial motivation behind The End Hits Concert Challenge, where upon losing a bet, a blogger of ours will be annexed at a show (of someone else's choosing). Also, they must partake in this activity sober, alone, and stay for the entire show. Plus, the added salt to the wound comes in the form of a 500-word review to be published here.
Yes, it's cruel, but much like the firm hand of discipline we all longingly crave, these concert challenges keep our staff sharp and alert. It also makes us afraid to bet on anything. In the coming weeks and months, we'll all partake in a series of these dares, but for now, enjoy our second post of The End Hits Concert Challenge.
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I lost a bet. It might have had something to do with an Estelle Getty movie, but that is not important. What is important is that our Ned Lannamann thought it would be hilarious to send me off to see multiple Jammy Award winning band moe.
Granted, I had never heard a single note of moe's music previous to last night's superfuckinglong performance, but I was ready. Because friends, deep down, I secretly want to be a hippie. In preparation to meet my new peace and love brethren at the Crystal, I wrote up something I like to call my "Hippie Resume." (I skipped a cover letter, because I assumed hippies are informal and don't like reading anything in non-bullet point fashion)
• I have a beard.
• I have been a vegetarian for close to 15 years.
• If I wore a skirt, I'd totally wear it over a pair of jeans.
• I was most likely conceived at an outdoor music festival.
• I own one Grateful Dead record (American Beauty).
• I live in a house with a organic composting system, rain barrels, and a multiple garden beds. We are this close to getting chickens. We do not have a chore wheel. Yet.
• I don't think patchouli smells all that bad, shoes are kind of overrated, and carob chips are better than chocolate chips. Also, I'm really fascinated with Burning Man, but never have enough money to attend. (If this isn't the most hippie statement ever, I don't know what is.)
So, did I get the job?
Here's everything you need to know about moe. They play for a really long time. Hell, they still might be playing for all I know. Theirs was an endless set that dragged on so long that it transcended all notion of time and caused my cell phone battery to die on the spot. All of this is significantly worse when you factor in the 40-minute break the band took between sets. Yes, they play multiple sets. A break? I just saw Bruce Springsteen play for over three hours (without a single break or encore) and that man is pushing 60, yet poor moe needed to kick off their Birkenstocks and rest awhile. [Insert lazy hippie joke here.]
Being the lone sober person at the jam band show is akin to wearing an abstinence ring—or stainless steel chastity belt—to an orgy. I felt out of place, uncomfortable, and kind of creeped out by the whole thing. I clearly did not belong, and any hope I had that moe would wrap up their jam-tastic set under the three hour mark was very
quickly slowly dashed. It was apparent why moe did not have an opening act, because there just are not enough hours in the day to have a band like this share the stage with anyone.
But the biggest letdown wasn't the jam-a-lam-a-ding-dong endless noodlin' of moe, it was their rather pedestrian fanbase. Where were the clouds of weed smoke? The acid casualties splayed out all over the stairwell? Hippies fucking on the floor? Did the Woodstock movie lie to me? My mind was more bored than blown by the cosmic rock stylings of the upstate New York band, and their fans, because while I was expecting music that justified such a rabid following—get your $105 tickets to moe.down 2009 right now!—all I got was a wanking guitar rock band with songs that never seem to end. It wasn't as frightening of a night of clown rap, but it was pretty boring.
moe, by the numbers:
0 - Number of "foot bag" games witnessed
1 - Number of times I was offered a pot.
0 - Number of times I accepted (because our stupid sobriety rule)
1 - Number of dogs sleeping in the guitar case of buskers outside the show.
$0 - Amount I gave to said buskers.
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