In A Musical Galaxy Far, Far Away: moe.’s Star Wars Halloween Extravaganza
Halloween. It’s one of the few days a year you can get away with dressing up as just about anything you could fancy. If you’re a fan of live music, you’re doubly lucky – your favorite band just might dress up themselves, and their music, right alongside you. Some bands are more likely to go all out than others, and the improvisational ragers that make up moe. have fallen into that category on more than a couple of Halloweens. However for 2015’s spookiest day of the year, moe. didn’t just take it to a whole other level; they took it to a whole other galaxy. One that was far, far away…
To call moe.’s Star Wars themed Halloween show at Philadelphia’s brand new Fillmore a success is somewhat of an understatement. Much more an epic feat than a mere success, the show disguised itself in its Star Wars costume in every aspect imaginable. The bandmates, of course, had their personal costumes, with details to the letter – guitarist and keys player Al Schnier as Obi Wan Kenobi, drummer Vinnie Amico as Yoda (in full mask), bassist Rob Derhak as Han Solo, guitarist Chuck Garvey as C-3PO (I’m talking full-on gold body suit complete with robot head), and percussionist Jim Loughlin as Luke Skywalker (Episode VI version). The band’s SBD engineer Steve Young, an avid Star Wars fan, went so far as to dress the venue in its own costume, building an X-Wing Fighter and Tie Fighter with working lasers that were suspended from the ceiling above the crowd. Quite impressive indeed, Mr. Young!
As one would expect, moe.’s music donned the costume as well. Covers of the Star Wars Overture, the Cantina Band Song, and the Imperial March from the movies (originally written and directed by the iconic composer John Williams) were huge hits with the crowd. Never-before-played, outer-space-themed covers including “Mr. Spaceman” by the Byrds, “Cosmik Debris” by Frank Zappa, “Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie, and “Yoda” by Weird Al Yankovic were equally well-received, and had fans at home taking to the internet to express deep regret for missing the performance. The band also incorporated audio and video clips from the movies, as well as still images.
However, the quintet did not stop here. moe. expertly altered the lyrics of the majority of their own songs played that night, transforming them into stories about Star Wars. These songs received creatively-invented names in the form of Star Wars puns. Fans seemed to put in some thought about songs that would make for good Star Wars references beforehand – the guy handing out “Yoda Little” stickers (a play on the song “Yodelittle”) during the show probably lost his mind when the band played “Yoda.Little.Leia.” I’d venture to guess that few bands have disguised their musical performance for Halloween quite as deeply as this. In the universe of bands that take their Halloween game to the next level, the force was certainly with moe. this year.
Both the band and its fans seem to agree – this was not a Halloween show to be missed. If you couldn’t make it out to Philly that night to witness firsthand this impressive accomplishment in musical costuming, be sure to check it out. You can purchase the set from LiveDownloads here.