There's so much to be said about the show, my mind is filled with bits and pieces of little moments that will always stay with me. And as Moby wrote, he got a kick out of the day.
The whole day I was telling people that I didn't get one panicky e-mail or phone call the whole day -- something is wrong with that. People are suppose to be late, things forgotten, egos are not checked at the doors, needs aren't taken care of. The only problem I had to deal with was the air conditioner was blowing on the performers making them uncomfortable until I had it turned off. If that's the only problem, then I guess this show went off without a hitch.
I guess I should start with Moby, who treated me like I was one of his friends from the start. Everyone told me how gracious and chill the man is and I can confirm that he is indeed an warm individual.
"Thank You" doesn't suffice in this case, so I making it a mission of mine to promote a organization Moby is involved with called the Institute of Music and Neurologic Function at Beth Abraham Hospital. Dr. Oliver Sachs is heavily involved with it as well. The recent Beastie Boys show at Terminal 5 was a benefit for them. I'm going to do what I can to help this cause.
What I said on stage when I introduced him was totally sincere and I thought about it on the scary cab ride to Maxwell's. The great artists of our generation have played the Maxwell's stage -- Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana, New Order's first U.S. show was at Maxwell's, R.E.M., Pavement, Sonic Youth and David Byrne. Moby joins those ranks and that's the gift I give to him. I asked him when he and his crew got there, "Why are you doing this?"
He just smiled and said, "I just like to play."
- Extreme Ways
- Natural Blues
- I Like It
- I'm On Fire
- Run On
- Walk on the Wild Side
- That's When I Reach For My Revolver
- Slipping Away
- New Dawn Fades
- Disco Lies
- Encore: Rebel Yell
- Drunken Encore: Immigrant Song
- I Shall Be Released
I purposely didn't see sound check because I wanted to be surprised as you were at what was up his sleeves. I did come up with the idea that all the bands and special guests join on stage for the encore to do a Last Waltz style closer. Moby suggested "Rebel Yell," David from Salt & Samovar suggested something from The Last Waltz like "I Shall Be Released" or "The Weight," and I was thinking, "Horse With No Name." That's why I'm not a rock star. I do find it ironic that he didn't play "Body Rock," which I mentioned in the video.
With all that said, when I was watching Moby on stage, I kind of wish I was just a concert goer and not the guy organizing this thing. I had my best friend from high school next to me and we've both seen him twice, at that y100 Festival in Philly in 1999 and later at the Electric Factory in 2000 (where I brought my girlfriend at the time, who said upon entering "Where are the seats? You mean we have to stand up?")
Me and my friend agreed that his set was probably one of the best things we've ever seen. That's because Moby is backed by a bunch of his friends from a band called The Little Death. There's Daron on bass/guitar/harmonica, Laura is the amazing singer on the right of the stage (she sang on Moby's Hotel), Aaron throws down on drums, Cherie is the other sexy singer on the left and Luci handles the keys.
It was great to see people's reaction when they began with "Extreme Ways" because people knew that it would be a full rock show, not some wimpy thrown together the day of performance. For me, the high point was "Honey" which seemed to last for 20 minutes because everyone got to show of their mad music skills. The crowd just went bonkers for that. Laura was just insane, I say. She gave the song a whole new meaning to me. Please, somebody have video of that.
Moby played a song off Hotel called "Slipping Away" which he dedicated to a fan, who passed away recently, and the family requested that he play that song for her. I was truly moved to tears, and that's all I can say about that.
Drunken cover songs were played as promised, Lou Reed's "Walk on The Wild Side" which makes Moby want to go down to Port Authority and do drugs,Bruce's "I'm On Fire" and "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" from Mission of Burma.
It was great that he played "Disco Lies" from the new album, Last Night. It puts the fun in funky! It's a sweet disco number. One of the things that stands out in my mind is Jennie, Ashley and Heather from The Sweet Divines, all in shimmery dresses, doing their dance moves in the middle of crowd. LOVE IT!
The encore with me jumping on stage -- I knew I would do it, but I just didn't want to bring attention to myself. On the other hand, how many opportunities do you get share a stage with these guys? I was getting worried because David was a little tipsy when he started with "I Shall Be Released," but then magically, it all came together. I'm looking at the pictures and I think it's time to get a haircut. I also lost 10 lbs because of my illness, but man what's with the pudginess? EEEK!
Anyway, I handed my camera off to friends, so I could enjoy the show to its fullness and run around and take care of things.
As I said to everyone in the beginning of the show, this show was not mine any more. I think somewhere around Monday when the word got out and my inbox was flooded with questions, it became something else, which is fine by me. The show was about the people from all walks of life who are tired of paying Ticketmaster service fees, who are paying $11.99 for a new CD at Best Buy or Walmart, who are sick of Clear Channel ruining radio with their redundant and bland playlists of songs you've heard a thousand times, who are sick of bearded, hipster, flash-in-the pan bands who wear hoodies from Brooklyn and just want to discover new music and see shows.
Yes, tonight's show cost $11 for those who attended. In return, you got the show of a lifetime and a poster. The people who came -- I am forever in your debt and blessed that you choice Maxwell's as your Thursday night activity.
One of the many things I am proud of about the show was how Salt & Samovar and La Laque just nailed their sets and hopefully gained some new fans.
Me and David had been e-mailing back and forth since Monday about how we can take their set to the next level. He said off hand something along the lines of getting people to join in on their big rendition of Hank Williams' "Ramblin Man." Instantly, I had visions of the Grand Ole Opry where random guests who come on for songs, "Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Loretta Lynn ... Miss Tammy Wynette."
David heard my ideas and was 100% game and a flurry on e-mails were sent to my favorite female singers. Poor David, I took precious time away from his girlfriend. The idea was that we wanted to bring singers from different styles of music together. It sends a message about willing to break genre-boundaries and coming together in music, friendship and free dinner and beer.
Here's who we got:
-- Clare Muldaur from Clare & The Reasons: She was the first person I thought of for this. Her voice and look is so distinct that I felt she would understand what we were trying to do. Once she was on-board, I knew this could work.
-- Greta Gertler from Greta Gertler & The Extroverts: This Australian singer makes goofy orchestral pop music mixed with ragtime and jazz. I'm glad she embraced the idea as well.
-- Julie Potash (aka Hesta Prynn) from Northern State: Ohhhhhh girl. Yeah, my crazy buddy from Long Island was down like a discount for trading in the rap lyrics for some ole timey honky tonk.
-- Jennie, Heather and Ashley from The Sweet Divines: Three out of four ain't bad. I love the look on people's faces when they saw the girls in those dresses walk on stage among band dressed as preachers.
A couple of last minute cancellations, but I don't blame Nicole for wanting to focus on recording with a legend in music. Then, Olga Bell (a.k.a BELL) was having some voice problems, but sent her regrets. You should have seen who else I tried.
The end result was that it worked. Honestly, I knew it would. David, Fiore, Dane and Kelli were besides themselves with their set. That's something they'll cherish and hopefully propel them to new creative endeavors. I'm so proud of them, they took the stage and owned it. Paula Abdul would have cried if she'd seen it. Even Moby told everyone that David was a "Young hotshit slide guitar player."
Again, I can't thank them enough for being behind the idea and for sticking by me through the process.
La Laque, La Laque, La Laque. What can I see about these lovely, sexy people? They are like the Don Cheadle of the New York music scene. If you can cast Don Cheadle in your movie, then get Don Cheadle. If you can get La Laque to play on your concert bill, get La Laque to play on your concert bill. They'll the only band in town that look and sound like they do, a Francois Hardy, shoegazer, Stereolab entity
If you didn't get there early to see them, you missed it. I love what happened when they took the stage. There were a handful of people in the crowd when it started, and slowly people were filtering in see what was going on. Next thing you know, the room has a sizable crowd. Even Moby was interested to see what the hub bub was about. I'm calling this effect from now on the La Laque effect. Definition: when a room fills up slowly to see an opening act after they have started.
After the show, me, my friends, the Maxwell's staff and some concert goers were hanging in the restaurant and were kept on talking about amazing their set was, especially the drummer, while eating my leftvoer vegan brownies and cookies I made for Moby and crew.
I also find it funny that people booed when lead singer Devery announced the last song. She had this look on her face like, "I'm sorry. That's all the songs were have." That's actually a great compliment, and I had to her to get upstairs because they want the CDs. She had a big stack that was steadily getting smaller. Good times. Somebody sign these people!!!!
Yeah, people, you can see why I had La Laque on the bill -- they throw down ... in French no less. I wanted them to open just because I hadn't seen them in a while. It also cracks me up to see Michael scream into the mic during one their powerhouse, dramatic songs.
You can download their EP on iTunes and also you can see them again at Club Europa in Brooklyn on the 17th.
Some final thoughts, the staff at Maxwell's went above and beyond the call of duty. You can see why it's my favorite venue of all time, they know how to treat you right.
I got a kick out of talking to concert goers who were just as thrilled as I was with the results. Like me, they still can't believe Moby played Maxwell's. There were some college kids who came to Hoboken for the first time for the show and it reminded me of when I came at that age to see Ben Folds Five. Awwwwww
What do I do now? Do I parlay this into something bigger. I told myself at the beginning of the year that I had three goals. One was to get a new e-mail address. Done. Two was too put on an anniversary show. Done. Three, I would like to join the Sirius blog radio line-up on Left of Center with a show. That way, I can play Monkey Swallows the Universe at the beginning of every show.
Now for the 4th anniversary show ... Ben, Win and Kate. My offer is still good.