The Fillmore in Philadelphia hosted moe.’s annual halloween bash this past weekend, featuring two back-to-back nights of movie-themed fun. After last years epic Star Wars theme, the band and their crew knocked one out of the park with a celebration based on movies and characters of Hollywood writer/director, Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino‘s gruesomely violent and detailed story writing presented the band and crew with an incredible amount of inspiration for set lists, costumes, and stage design.
Leading into Friday evening, moe. held a special one-hour meet and greet at The Foundry, a smaller venue located above the Fillmore, giving fans a chance to hang out with the band and enjoy some of their signature Saranac Hoppy Hour Hero beer at special pricing, including some specialty cocktails named after a few of moe.’s songs. Shortly after, fans dressed in various character outfits began to fill the venue in anticipation for the party to begin. The stage, subtly dressed with red velvet crowd control rope, stanchion posts, and a popcorn machine gave the appearance of a movie theater. Some lucky guests in the front row were even treated to some buttery popcorn as they patiently waited.
Within moments, Vinnie, Chuck, Jim, Al, and Rob all appeared on stage dressed to impress as the five main Reservoir Dogs, with black suits, sunglasses, and narrow ties. Moe. then kicked off the two-night event with the popular surf tune “Misirlou” the opening song to Pulp Fiction, before playing an alternate version of their own song “Crab Eyes” called “Crazy 88.” The three front men did a miraculous job re-writing lyrics to their own songs to fit the story line of some of Tarantino’s most popular movies. Next up was “Django,” an original score by Al, which he recorded and submitted to the producers of the movie Django Unchained. Although the song was liked and considered for the movie, it never made its way to the final cut. Closing out the first set with a crowd pleasing “Stuck in the Middle” from Reservoir Dogs, the group followed with a simply altered yet hefty version of “meat,” titled “gimp.”
The best surprise of the evening was Vinnie Amico singing “Magic Carpet Ride” which segued into a lyrically altered “Bear Song” before reprising the ending of M.C.R. Dialogue samples from Pulp Fiction were in abundance both nights as “Buster” began with a conversation clip between Jules and Vincent Vega about how filthy dogs and pigs are. The dancing continued as the guys jammed into “Jazz Wank” with a slightly altered but tasty “Four” following before finishing the set with an energetic “Pussy Wagon.”
To everyone’s delight, Al appeared for his usual encore announcements dressed in a sparkly gold dress with matching blonde wig. The dress appeared to look quite uncomfortable as Al suggested that everyone give props to women, he then proceeded to blow the lid off of The Fillmore with “WooHoo” from Kill Bill and “Godzilla” to close out night one.
Night two exceeded expectations with better attendance, more costumes, and higher energy than the previous show. Front of House Sound Engineer Steve Young and the crew, did a smashing job on creating a visually and purposeful set which included a chopped up Cadillac, separated into two pieces. Repainted and polished, the front and back of the caddy lit up with color-changing LED lights while the headlights and brakes lit up in sync with different sections of the songs. Stuffed with a cooler full of beverages for the band, the trunk provided some fun entertainment. A camera linked to the video screen on stage hid behind the cooler capturing moments of the guys smiling, waving, and showing off their beer cans to the crowd. The immensely thought out detail also included personalized “moe.ron” license plates with moe. stickers neatly stuck to the bumper, two walls designed like Jack Rabbit Slims restaurant and Crown Pawn Shop from Pulp Fiction, and a window cutout that displayed the bands’ extra guitars like they were for sale. It was a job well done, for sure!
The first set began with “Battle Without Honor Or Humanity” from Kill Bill and without huddle, the group blasted into a power-driven “Annihilation Blues.” Bringing back the cool surf energy, the group played out The Centurions’ “Bullwinkle Part II”. Chuck cleverly changed “Shoot First” into “Shot Marvin,” before they rocketed through “CalifornIA,” and closed out the set with a thrilling “Head” turned into “ear.”
After leaving enough time to mingle, have a drink and hit the bathroom, the house lights dimmed and a hilarious video montage of the band acting out a murderous gangster scene entertained the audience until moe. emerged to the stage with new costumes, appearing as if they just committed the slaying backstage. While Jim and Rob simply added masks to their black suits, Chuck morphed into Jules Winniefield, Vinnie into Vincent Vega, and Al into Jackie Brown (once again wearing a dress). But the dress didn’t stop Al from firing on all cylinders that night, especially while singing “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon” to the solos in during the “Vinnie Vega” and “Budd.”
The funkiest dance number of the evening was “Jungle Boogie” which featured a collage of Samuel L. Jackson samples, interestingly timed by Jim. A laid-back instrumental jam helped the band lead into “Watching Pulp Fiction,” finishing up the last segue of the night. Starting with an audio clip from the movie, moe. rounded up the second set with “Kill Bill,” the altered version of “Billy Goat.”
For the last hurrah of the weekend, contestants for their “dance off” twisted around stage as the band played “You Never Can Tell,” to remake the iconic Jack Rabbit Slim’s dance scene. Audience cheered to whom they thought was the best, thus eliminating one pair at a time to become the winners of the grand prize, a band-signed bowling pin and their own table at the side of the stage to enjoy the last song. Moe. then finished off strong with a lengthy rocking “Recreational Chemistry” before thanking everyone they possibly could for making the weekend so special, especially the fans.
See the band-made video clip from the show on their Facebook page.
Friday Set – 10/28/16
I: Misirlou*, Crazy 88^, Cissy Strut, Django#, Stuck In The Middle**, gimp.^^
II: Magic Carpet Ride*** > Wolf Song^^^ > Magic Carpet Ride***, Buster > Jazz Wank > Four > Pussy Wagon^^^^
Enc: Woo Hoo****, Godzilla
* FTP (cover – Dick Dale) > Pulp Fiction
^ alternate lyrics Crab Eyes
# FTP (original – al. song)
** FTP (cover – Stealers Wheel) > Reservoir Dogs
^^- alternate version of meat.
*** FTP (cover – Steppenwolf) > Reservoir Dogs
^^^ alternate lyrics for Bearsong
^^^^ alternate lytics for Paper Dragon
**** FTP (cover – 126.96.36.199.’s) > Kill Bill
Saturday Set – 10/29/16
I: Battle Without Honor Or Humanity* >(nh) Annihilation Blues, Bullwinkle Part II**, Shot Marvin^ > CalifornIA > ear.^^
II: Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon***, Vinny Vega^^^ > Rumble**** > Budd^^^^ > Jungle Boogie% > Watching Pulp Fiction#, Kill Bill#
Enc: You Never Can Tell%%, Recreational Chemistry
* FTP (cover – Tomoyasu Hotel) > Kill Bill
** FTP (cover – The Centurions) > Pulp Fiction
^ alternate lyrics to Shoot First
^^ alternate lyrics to head.
*** FTP (cover – Neil Diamond) > Pulp Fiction
^^^ alternate lyrics to Timmy Tucker
**** FTP (cover – Link Wray & His Ray Man) > Pulp Fiction
^^^^ alternate lyrics to Bring You Down
% FTP (Kool & The Gang) > Pulp Fiction
# alternate lyrics to Stranger Than Fiction
## alternate lyrics to Billy Goat
%% FTP (cover – Chuck Berry) > Pulp Fiction}