moe. and Orgone played at the Fonda last Friday and Saturday, and I was at the Friday night show. This was undoubtedly one of the greatest concerts I have ever been to! Orgone kicked off the show with a groovin' hour-long set. They immediately laid down some heavy, instrumental funk jams that got me and the audience dancing. Their grooves were intricate, punctuated by horn stabs and carried forward by Latin percussion from a guy that looked like Dr. House. Then, Orgone brought up guest vocalist Fanny Franklin whose soulful and upbeat singing complemented the music beautifully, and got the crowd to get down even harder. As their set went on, Orgone revealed another side to their unique sound by turning up the fuzz and playing some more spacey stuff, hearkening back to Pink Floyd's funkier jams, setting the stage perfectly for the main act, moe.
Orgone rocking out, joined by guest vocalist Fanny Franklin.
moe. started off with the rockin' "Paper Dragon," a song off of their recent release "What Happened to the LaLas?" During their second song, moe. entered into cosmic improvisation land, with the rhythm section creating a soft, finely textured accompaniment reminiscent of electronic music for a fantastic solo by one of the guitarists. The band carried this energy forward, segueing into the next song, and the song after that, with every band member having their chance to shine, as is characteristic of jam bands. Also true to the jam band tradition were moe.'s two (!) drummers, one of which took several mind-blowing marimba solos. The crowd was super into it too, cheering and applauding when the jams got particularly intense...but this was just their first set.
moe. navigating space with their epic jams and vibrant lights.
During their second set, moe. brought back the energy with more astronomical rock'n'roll. This time they had some surprises in store, bringing up the trumpet player from Orgone for a song, but with a banjo! The highlight of the show for me, though, was when moe. Played "The Other One," a song by seminal jam band and personal favorite, the Grateful Dead, which drove me and the crowd crazy. Right before their inevitable encore, one of the band members gave shout-outs to audience members who had reached milestones in their moe. concert attendance - it was one fan's 51st show! The fans' adoration of the band was endearing, and the music they created can only be described as transcendental. moe. is definitely a band I will be seeing again; in the meantime, the recording of their entire performance that night which I bought at the concert should keep me good company.
Trumpeter from Orgone pickin' some banjo with moe.!
-Simon, No Singles