moe. “Do It Again” in St. Petersburg, with Chuck!

If you’re looking for the condensed version of this review, here it is:


Because that was the key word Saturday, March 18, at the moe. concert at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg. People shouted it, chanted it, yelled it, wept it throughout the superb show. And, as if we needed a reminder, before the encore, Al Schnier said, “First of all, welcome back, CHUCK!” And we erupted with joy.

Chuck Garvey returned to performing New Year’s Eve with moe. after more than a year recovering from a stroke. Seeing him on stage was so reaffirming, so joyous, so wonderful.

The St. Petersburg show fell smack dab in the middle of the group’s 14- date Southern swing, which began March 9 in Nashville and which will end with a pair of shows at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. The setlists to date drew songs from throughout moe.’s storied career, with great covers in the mix.

In addition to the return of Chuck, we were delighted to see that Nate Wilson is still with the band. Wilson, a keyboard wizard who also plays flute and sings, worked with the band during Chuck’s absence. He adds such a great dimension to a band that has never before featured a keyboard player.

Nate Wilson – moe. – 03.18.23. 📷: Silent J Studio

Every member of the band was on fire all night long, and that goes double for percussionist Jim Loughlin, who was immediately all over his vibes and washboard during the opening “32 Things.” Wilson also made his presence known early, and Al Schnier ripped a great solo. Following that was the short jazzy instrumental “Jazz Cigarette,” Loughlin again on vibes and Chuck with the first of his magical solos.

Jim Loughlin – moe. – 03.18.23. 📷: Silent J Studio

We have complained in the past about lousy sound at Jannus Live — too loud, too muddy — but were completely blown away in January with superb audio for Papadosio and Guavatron. The sound engineers did it again! No need for earplugs, and you could hear ALL of the instruments — clearly! BRAVO, and thank you!

moe. – 03.18.23. 📷: Chris Casciano

A fine “Seat of My Pants” rolled into a tight “Sensory Deprivation Bank,” Wilson on Hammond B3 and Schnier soloing. Very slow, bluesy electric piano led to Rob Derhak’s bass introducing “West L.A. Fadeaway,” a long, slow jam that yielded to “Tubing the River Styx,” with Wilson playing flute. Set one closed with the crowd singing along to “The Pit” — “All the way down, to the bottom.” We sounded OK, the band a whole lot better.

Chuck had the first word when they returned on a slow “Skitchin’ Buffalo,” with Schnier joining him later in the tune for some fine twin guitar leads. There were smiles all around, but as usual Derhak’s shone brightest. “So Long” highlighted some great interplay between drummer Vinnie Amico and Loughlin on congas and Wilson on flute. Further into the tune, his B3 evoked Eastern sounds, such an ethereal 15 minutes.

We had seen moe. in December at North Beach Music Festival bust out “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys,” a song that absolutely demands a piano player. As the band launched into Steely Dan’s “Do It Again,” Wilson was singing, and it was his mastery that sent the crucial organ solo into the cosmos!

“Captain America” was clearly a crowd favorite, Wilson with superb electric piano. That segued into “ATL” with a distinct “That’s it for the Other One” vibe, Schnier on vocals and guitar. Eventually that morphed into a great long intro into… “Timmy Tucker”! Chuck proceeded to melt faces and blow minds with a killer solo. At some point, there was a reggae vibe, and Loughlin was a monster on marimba (xylophone?). The 23-minute “Timmy” romp alone was worth the price of admission.

moe. – 03.18.23. 📷: Silent J Studio

They went off stage — briefly — before returning. That’s when Schnier reminded us that Chuck Garvey is back with us!! How do you close out such a great night? How about a break-out, the band’s debut of Deep Purple’s “Space Trucking”?!?


Chuck Garvey – moe. – 03.18.23. 📷: Chris Casciano

[moe. 03.18.23 SET ONE: 32 Things, Jazz Cigarette, Seat of My Pants > Sensory Deprivation Bank, West L.A. Fadeaway, Tubing the River Styx, The Pit; SET TWO: Skitchin’ Buffalo, So Long, Do It Again, Captain America > ATL > Timmy Tucker; E: Space Truckin’]



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