Review by Mary O’Hara
If you love watching your favorite musicians become a band of late night time traveling trash talkers donning capes and Mexican wrestling masks, you may have already seen Ha Ha the Moose. For those unfamiliar with the genre, the band consists of moe.’s Rob Derhak – Dr Guano (bass, vox), Jim Loughlin – Sludge (drums, vox), and Chuck Garvey – Jeff VonKickass (guitar, vox) and prides itself on being anything but a great show. However it always is and the joke was not lost on fans when last Saturday Ha Ha the Moose performed at Irving Plaza following moe.’s New Years Eve in Albany and offered up as a late night option during Phish’s 4 night run in NYC.
As with most HHTM shows they begin with booing from the crowd and insults tossed from the stage and in this instance went right into a ripping’ “Awesome Gary” to start the show followed by a longer than normal “Mr. Her,” a song about a transvestite that they dedicated to Caitlyn Jenner, for whom 2015 truly was her year. The boys also debuted two new songs this year: “Courtesy Flush,” a ripper about coming back through time to warn mankind the dangers when one does not have the courtesy to flush. Chuck’s sweet guitar arrangement alongside Rob’s powerful message has turned this tune into a beautiful reminder to always be considerate of others.
With no setbreak the boys kept it going with “The 10 Things Vin’s Most Likely to Say,” “(Ha Ha the) Moose Theme,” and “Thirsty Carbunkle,” an instrumental that gives a nod to garage rock and makes you feel like you’re on nothing less than a heavy metal surf adventure. The second new song of the year, “F*** me, F*** you,” was dedicated to the fans and is probably the most exciting new tune from HHTM. This song featured not only hilarious lyrics, but some very heavy bass lines not recognized by the normal moe. trained ear. This song is a rager and while HHTM sticks to similar setlists each show, they are making time to introduce new material showing they like what they’re doing and hopefully continue to do it!
The Moose proved there isn’t much one wouldn’t do at 3 am in NYC in the name of freedom, closing out the show with, “20lbs.,” “Devil Toad,” and “Redneck Trilogy.” There’s a saying when a Ha Ha show is announced that “the moose is loose”. Seeing Jim, Chuck, and Rob explore their musical boundaries all while keeping a casual atmosphere of belligerent antics, one can see the definition gets left open to their interpretation and for the fans, all for their benefit!