Monday, 25 April 2005

Could there be a more perfect place for Moby to play in the Twin Cities than First Avenue? No other venue could offer the right combination of atmosphere and occupancy to host a show by the venerable artist.

Hjalmer and I met up at our usual pre-concert stop: Copeland’s, then headed over to the show about 7:15. Doors opened at 7:00, so the initial crowd of club-kids had dissapated. Once inside, we discovered that there was no opening act (cool), and that Moby wasn’t scheduled to come on until 9:00 (not so cool). Realistically, that meant he wouldn’t start until almost 9:30, giving us a two-hour wait.

That was to be the only disappointment of the evening, although I did meet someone I’ll never forget.

Her name was Evelyn. She was fairly attractive, quite friendly, and talked my ear off before the show. At first I thought she was hitting on me, but then she mentioned her boyfriend with such emphasis that I realized 1) she was remarkably drunk, and 2) I’m not that hard up. She turned out to be fairly harmless. After a while, Evelyn’s friend, whom I’ll call Sheila (because I can’t remember her name, but it started with an S. Maybe.), asked Hjalmer for help finding Evelyn. Sheila had enlisted his help because he’s tall and would be able to see over the crowd. Almost immediately Sheila turns around and discovers that Evelyn is standing not 6 feet away, talking to me. Sheila had assumed we were a couple and walked right by. I won’t say she was quite as drunk as Evelyn, but Sheila had a good buzz on.

Mercifully, Moby took the stage and put on a great show. It was loud, but visually stunning and well worth it. Besides, I had my ear-plugs, so the noise level was no problem. The lighting was well done and he was an engaging performer.

What struck me most was that the show wasn’t as pre-programmed as I thought it would be. For some reason I expected it to be Moby, a DJ rig and some keyboards. Moby actually had a band (bass, drums, keyboard) and played guitar and did vocals.

I’d put a set list here, but I can never remember them after the show. Certainly not with any kind of accuracy. Sure, I could carry a notepad and keep a list during the show, but I’m not great at naming songs based on the music or lyrics. Some are easy, like when the song has a distinct chorus, but others don’t come so readily. Going from song title to lyrics or tune, no problem. The other way around—hopeless. Besides, trying to take notes would preclude any dancing I might want to do in the unlikely event that I want to completely rock-out.

I do remember that Moby played several of my favorites including “Natural Blues,” “Feeling So Real,” “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?,” “Bodyrock,” and “Find My Baby.” He also did a couple of his more popular songs like “Southside” and “We Are All Made of Stars.”

Of course, since this was a tour to promote the new album, I’m sure he did a few songs from there, but since I haven’t picked it up as yet, there’s absolutely no way to recall what they were.

Hjalmer was able to fill in a few more from the show. He added “Go,” “Move,” “Next Is the E,” and “That’s When I Reach for My Revolver.”

At some point during the show, Evelyn wandered off. After that, Sheila gave me grief because I didn’t keep track of her. Excuse me! I just met the woman! You’d think the friend she came to the show with (Sheila) would be the responsible party here. I came to have a good time, not babysit strangers.

After the 90 minute set, we hung around the club for a little while. It was worth it, because Moby came out to talk with fans and sign autographs. It turned into kind of a madhouse with girls pushing their way through in an effort to give Moby a hug, profess their undying love, and call their friends over.

As I got to the front, another young woman started to shove in front of me saying “I’m going to have him sign my breast. Want to watch?”

I could only reply “Sounds tempting, but I just want to get his autograph and thank him for a great show. How about I go first then get out of your way?” I won.

Of course later I thought of other snappier, and more unseemly, comments. Comments which I shall decline to share at this time.

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