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Top 5 reasons moe.down 7 was a success!

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moe.down 7 Festival Review

photos and article by: Lara Purvis

[float:right] 1158618424-Rob__Saturday_night..jpg

Rob Derhak of moe.[/float]Just enough madness to keep our minds off the weather...


While the weather may not have been particularly giving at the 2006 moe.down, the bands were certainly generous. Considering the caliber of musicianship this made for a spectacular weekend of music.

moe.down is held in Turin, New York. Jambands.ca attended along with a large flock of returning Canadians. This year it can be acknowledged that many returned home complaining about the cold dampness that permeated their beings, and the mud that would inhabit their fingernails for the next year. Well, fair enough. [/blurb]But if those complaints overshadowed the good memories then here is a reminder, five reasons of why moe.down 7 was simply delightful, despite the weather.

1. moe. 6 sets.

‘Nuf said… but I’ll say more simply because they actually rocked and you need to know this. Saturday’s afternoon set was the expected warm-up set. The band played a decent set, but definitely gave the feeling that they were saving it for later. Saturday night’s two sets were the depth and beauty of moe. They wandered through an epic 'Head', played a powerful 'Bullet' and shared the moe.down signature 'Rebubula'. Sunday all hell broke loose. moe leapt out of the gates with 'Moth' and took off. They were in full force and the hill rippled with the joy of dancers. Through an incredible three sets including highlights, 'Down Boy,' 'Punchline' and 'Plane Crash.' The band poured a vibrant energy over dancing fans, up the ski slope and across upstate New York. I had forgotten why I loved moe. It happens. But standing there, light and gorgeous sound blasting over me, I remembered.

2. One hell of a Line-up.

As always the line-up was meticulously scheduled with new buzz names like Grace Potter and The Nocturnals scheduled for Friday evening to encourage festival-goers to arrive early. The never-fail-names (Umphrey’s McGee, Page McConnell and Jon Fishman, Ramble Dove with Mike Gordon) did not disappoint and play fabulous sets. But some of the real stars were big surprises. moe has always been good about scouting and showcasing new talent. This years beer tent stars were Moonshine Still. They were scheduled to play during moe’s Sunday night set-breaks which resulted in an overflowing tent, mad dancing and exceptionally impressive tunes that could be heard anywhere in tent-city. Other more serene, drizzly afternoon highlights included Banyan and the lovely country band, Before Cowboys.


Crowd at moe.down[/float]

3. Sit-ins Galore!

moe.down has always encouraged collaborations. 2006 completely blew that out of the water. Friday night featured Page McConnell joining moe. during 'Buster,' 'Mexico' and 'Blue Jeans & Pizza.' On Saturday the well known moe.-Umphrey’s love affair continued with Rob replacing Stasik, Vinnie stepping in for Chris, and Al on guitar, supporting Brendan's vocals in 'Fool In The Rain'. Chris Meyers joining Stephen Perkins during moe.'s 'The Faker' on drums in a heady beat extravaganza with Jake Cinninger and Jim on percussion, while Bayliss joined moe. for Rebubula. Banyan’s Stephen Perkins (previously Jane’s Addiction drummer) gave moe's 'Lazarus' an extra nasty edge and supported Umphrey's during 'Hurt Bird Bath.' Sunday saw Gordon Stone on pedal steel bring a gorgeous depth to moe’s 'New York City' and 'Waiting For The Punchline.' There’s something about moe.down, maybe it's that slight chill in the air and that final summer fling feeling...whatever it was, it had the bands throwing caution to the wind and joining together noisily.

4. Creativity.

Ah moe.! Once again you thought of just about everything! moe.’s handler, Jon Topper commented before moe.down 7 in an interview with Jambands.com, that one of the most rewarding things about moe.down is that the older fans feel comfortable bringing their new families. So true. There were more children at moe.down 7 than any festival I’ve ever attended. So many in fact, that they had a daily dress-up parade in full party attire from the children’s jumping castle all the way around the beer tent led by a very, very tall lady (supposedly on stilts) dressed in amazing silver garb. Well Jon Topper, I definitely concur. The fact that we feel comfortable bringing our children to moe.down gives it that special edge, nudging it to position as my favourite festival. But there’s more. Not only did the children’s activities rock. There were creativity designed for adults as well. Well sure, the lighting during the moe. sets was incredible. But that has become par for the course with moe. I’m actually talking about the Jerry Garcia Art Show. This took place in the indoor bar and therefore out of the rain which made it even better. The bar was clean, warm and surprisingly spacious and for a few delicious minutes I soaked in the simple and beautiful paintings of Mr. Jerry Garcia. Somehow this became one of my favourite memories.


Brendan and Jake of Umphrey's McGee[/float] 5. Mayor of moe.ville.

Each year several upstanding moe.rons run for the highly regarded position of Mayor of moe.ville. With their entourage they campaign throughout the weekend doing whatever it takes to win the respect and admiration of their fellow moe.rons. The election is a meticulous process, carried out at the start of the last set of moe. on Sunday night. Through the most accurate of measurements, applause measured by the band, a deserving moe.ron is selected. This year’s candidates included Marcy, a 100 show dedicated moe.ron, even endorsed by State of Mind Magazine. Despite her qualifications Marcy was not elected Mayor. Word has it the winner was actually a stuffed squirrel hugging a beer. The crowd loved his platform and what can I say? It was worth a laugh. Besides American’s have certainly learnt not to expect democracy during elections. Not to worry, moe. is certainly working on bringing real democracy to the United States with their part in Headcount, registering voters at moe.down 7 for the next US election. I guess the Mayor of Moe.ville election is just a touch behind the times.

moe.down 7, just enough musical madness to keep our minds off the weather. As always it seems the festival was so long anticipated and gone so fast! For the laughs, stellar music, horizon-broadening moments I am grateful. Till next year!

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Mayor of Moe.ville? That's funny. That reminds me of a town I've spent lots of time in out west. "South Jacton". It's more of a suburb, but you get the picture. We also have a mayor (actually the second official) who was elected last Saturday.

I saw the two moe. shows after moe.down. They Kick ass!

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