Legendary jam band moe. is in town tonight to rock a place the group knows so well, it’s been immortalized in one of their very personal songs.
“It’s definitely one of our favorite venues to play,” founding member Al Schnier said of the band’s affinity for the 9:30 Club — the group even recorded its live double album “L” there — touting the “great sight lines” and “terrific energy” as welcome amenities for road-weary performers.
The image of that safe haven was almost shattered a few years back on the night their buddy Kyle got blindsided by a reckless driver as fans emptied out onto Ninth Street Northwest after a show. Luckily, Kyle survived the scrape and moe. got another festival favorite out of the unexpected drama.
According to Schnier, their ability to roll with the punches and desire to constantly evolve is what’s kept his crew relevant over the past quarter century. “We’re the kind of band that is always on the road … and it’s different every single night,” Schnier said.
To wit, Schnier said the group, which is never afraid to improvise, decided to have a little fun during a recent show in Scranton, Pa., by treating attendees to a pop culture shout out: They slipped a cover of “The Office” theme song, which they learned Wednesday afternoon, into their set list.
The band also kinda sorta went the unplugged route not too long ago, trading in its instruments for app-enabled iPads upon which the musicians tapped out a musical tribute to Apple guru Steve Jobs.
The spectacle, of course, took some doing.
“We all came to the table obviously knowing the song and what we were supposed to do. But nothing worked the way it was supposed to or responded the way we expected,” he said of the fairly steep learning curve they all experienced.
Would they ever consider doing another tablet-only show?
“I think we’re about due for another iPad song,” Schnier quipped, noting that moe. actually did a fully computerized show at a Macworld Expo.
As for what’s in store for D.C. tonight, it sounds like everything is on the table.
“We don’t have anything in mind right now,” Schnier openly admitted, stressing that the band tends to develop the nightly set list during their marathon sound check sessions.
“That’s the wonderful thing about what we do,” he stated. “Maybe we’ll cover Fugazi.”
Tickets to tonight’s all-ages show are $28; doors open at 7 p.m. with moe. scheduled to take the stage at 8 p.m.
Roll Call After Dark is about what Washington does when it's not at work.
The District of Columbia is a cultural capital where you can you get your kicks from movies projected on the National Mall, lectures on vermouth or Russian avant-garde art. There's always something to do.
Jason Dick is the Hill Life editor for Roll Call and has also worked at Greenwire, CongressDaily and National Journal Daily during his time in Washington. @jasonjdick