moe. (2 Nights / 2 Sets Each Night)
Al Schnier (guitars, vocals) * Chuck Garvey (guitars, vocals) * Rob Derhak (bass, vocals) * Jim Loughlin (percussion, vibes) * Vinnie Amico (drums)
Praised by American Songwriter for its “mind-bending musicality,” moe. is treasured for its mesmerizing musical synergy, unfettered showmanship, and smart, resonant songcraft. Over the years, the iconic jam band has alchemized a myriad of musical forms into a truly original journey rich with crafty, clever songwriting and astonishing resourcefulness.
It’s hard to believe that over 30 years ago moe. recorded its foundational album, Fatboy (part of a of a now hard-to-find cassette release series) in an apartment studio above Buffalo’s Top Shelf Guitars with a bird’s eye view of Mighty Taco. Who would think three decades later this posse of party-hard University of Buffalo-based musician-friends would still be at it?
“We liked music, we liked to party, and we wanted to put those two things together,” shares co-founding bassist-singer-songwriter Rob Derhak. He continues: “Our career just very subtly unfolded, and the idea that all these years later I would be a dad, paying a mortgage and earning a living based on our band, with the same guys no less, never even crossed my mind.”
Three decades later, moe. remains founders Al Schnier (guitars, vocals), Chuck Garvey (guitars, vocals), and bassist-singer-songwriter Rob Derhak. Rounding out the band are longtime drummer Vinnie Amico, since 1996; and Jim Loughlin on percussion and vibes who, besides a four-year break, has been with moe. since 1992.
The band’s longevity is no doubt due to the family spirit shared between its members, and reflected in its deeply engaged fanbase, the Famoe.ly. Together, they’ve been through many of life’s trials and tribulations, including bassist Rob Derhak’s harrowing battle with oropharyngeal cancer during which fans started a fundraising initiative to offset his medical bills—he’s been cancer free since 2018. More recently, the moe. camp has rallied behind Chuck after he suffered a stroke which will, unfortunately, keep him off the road for the summer 2022 dates. Close friend, guitarist Michael “Suke” Cerulo from Schleigho, will be subbing in alongside keyboardist Nate Wilson from Percy Hill and Assembly of Dust. Fans of the band can follow Chuck’s recovery on the zany new “moe.’s Podcrash” podcast series, an upcoming program that will address all things moe.
moe. has spent almost as much time in the studio as it has on the road, mastering its delightfully vibrant blend of inventive musicality and genre-blurring reach on now-classic LPs like 1998’s Tin Cans & Car Tires; 2004’s Wormwood; 2007’s The Conch (which reached #1 on Billboard’s “Heatseekers” chart); and 2012’s critically-acclaimed What Happened To The La Las. In 2020, the band released its 12th studio album, This Is Not, We Are and the Not Normal EP. Additional releases include a wide range of archival live releases, a Christmas album, a re-recorded collection of greatest hits, 10 live albums, and a live DVD. The moe. canon has been released largely through its own Fatboy Records, as well as via two label deals, one major, the other independent.
Select highlights over 30 years on the road include innumerable headline tours, international festival sets from Bonnaroo to Japan’s famed Fuji Rock, music-themed cruises, and sold-out shows alongside such like-minded acts as the Allman Brothers Band, Robert Plant, members of the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, The Who, Gov’t Mule, and Blues Traveler, to name but a few. In addition, moe. has both promoted and headlined at multiple festivals of its own, including snoe.down and moe.down. In 2020, moe. officially celebrated its 30th anniversary—it was a bittersweet accomplishment as the band marked the milestone stuck at home during the pandemic.
moe. first tasted buzz-band exposure through being a part of the burgeoning jam band scene centered around NYC’s Wetlands, a grassroots revolution that embraced freewheeling genre fusion – spanning funk and free jazz, country and classic rock, prog, new wave, calypso, pop and everything else under the sun – fan interaction, and unrestrained improvisation.
“We adapted to what was happening,” Derhak says. “Initially, we didn’t have quite as much of the same ideal—we didn’t jam or have extended solos. As we went from being an opening act to being a headliner, however, we realized we needed more material, so our songs started to stretch out and we grew into being a jam band.”
From there, moe. worked tirelessly to establish an international profile. “We built our own career,” Amico affirms, “These days we are able to play places like Radio City in New York, the Fox Theater in Atlanta, and Saratoga Performing Arts Center, my hometown venue where I saw concerts as a kid. We’ve played Red Rocks eight times or nine times.” He continues: “The fact that we built a career, played these places, and sustained playing these places is very meaningful to us.”
Today, this impossible-to-pigeonhole band is celebrating a rich legacy with a full calendar of tour dates, spanning summer 2022 and beyond. “Thirty years is a long run to be with the same guys—I haven’t even been married for thirty years,” Derhak says. Amico chimes in: “I’ve had this job longer than I probably would’ve had any job in the real world.”