Above: Moe. performs at Saranac Brewery this past weekend in 2016.It was an amazing and fun night of music as local Upstate New Yorkers Moe. and Binghamton favorites Driftwood jammed out Utica this past Friday night. It was part of Moe.'s annual two night stand at Saranac Brewery, which has become legendary.
If you haven't seen Moe. before, Saranac Brewery is by far the best place in the area to see them. Not only is it a hometown show for the band, but the group has a long history with the brewery that clearly shows whenever they perform there. The crowd and the show Friday night was fantastic. Afterwards, Driftwood jammed out an after party at the Celtic Harp to a fun and an enthusiastic dance crowd. They proved that yet again they are an amazing local talented group with incredible muscians. That show was just as good if not better then Moe.'s.
The sky was threatening rain all day, but the weather held off for when Moe graced Saranac's stage for night one at around 8PM after a performance by Ryan Mountblue and his band. While the opening band did sound good, they seemed a bit lukewarm and the crowd seemed somewhat less interested in them.
As soon as Moe. came on stage, everyone seemed to snap out of the haze and began to dance. Haze indeed as by the middle part of the set, the venue was filled with smoke. Moe. themselves were on fire last night, giving Utica, NY a great time with an amazing set list.
The sound in particular was incredible. You could clearly hear every instrument and the vocals were perfect. Moe.'s sound guy and the combination of Saranac Brewery really did an amazing thing that Friday night.
New to Moe.'s annual two night stand in Utica, NY was the band's own beer, 'Hoppy Hour Here,' named of course from the song. While the beer first was released as a very limited summer time offer last summer, now it's officially out and sold out the Brewery.
"We love beer and have a long relation with Saranac Brewery. Things just fell in place when we decided to first make our own beer," explained Moe. drummer Vinnie Amico during an Interview with Wildfire Reviews the next day. The beer is delicious, a perfect flavor for a summer night of Moe. Although it is hoppy, a good amount of fruit flavor provides a welcoming taste that's easy but dangerous to drink since it's near 8.0.
Vinnie also was the one that hand picked the setlist Friday night. "Each night, every member of our band picks out the setlist. It alternates between us, and that's why the set lists can be so different each night."
Moe. opened up with favorite 'Timmy Tucker' Friday night. However, the highlight of the night came when the band performed 'Fame' by David Bowie. It was a magical experience with the crowd being extra fun and eccentric when Moe. played that song by near perfection. It was a great fit. The band also performed a great version of their song 'Water' during the second set, a good fit as most New York State is in a severe drought right now.
The crowd Friday night were all young concert goers with a good mixture of both male and female people from all around the area, not just Utica. Surprisingly, there were just as many non hippies in attendance as hippies giving a great feel to the show.
Directly across the street, Birmingham NY based group Driftwood began playing shortly after Moe. The outside stage at the Celtic Harp was a great way to see the band versus their usual performances at the Westcott Theater. The summertime night was still warm and luckily with no rain as Claire, Joey & the gang picked up their instruments and delivered an amazing performance that may even have been better then Moe.'s. They proved to be an excellent after party choice, despite their music being majorly different than Moe's.
As their performance, it was obvious that the crowd was there to see local Upstate NY fiddler and vocalist Claire Byrnes. They constantly cheered and shouted her name after each song. Bassist Joey Arcuri was also a highlight of the performance and a crowd favorite, however everyone in the group was exceptionally good.
Combined with Moe., Driftwood made a night out in Utica a fun and amazing experience Friday night. They were two shows well worth going to that defined listening to music on a great summer night.
Setlist by Moe. night 1:
1) Timmy Tucker
2) Threw it All Away
3) Timmy Tucker
4) Don't Fuck with Flo
6) Fame (David Bowie)
9) Hector's Pillow
10) Bring you Down
12) The Other One
16) Plane Crash
Sensory Deprivation Bank