We want more moe! ( Interview with Vinnie Amico )

moe live at the Town Ballroom

*( Interview with Vinnie of moe. bold text at the end of the recap )*

Wow. That is the best word to describe moe’s two night run at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo, NY September 27 and September 28th 2013.

It’s been well over a year since they took control of the Ballroom, one of my personal favorite Buffalo venues. There is something about that venue that never disappoints! Floodwood opened up the night on Friday and I was lucky enough to catch about half their set. That was the third time I have seen them and by far the best. The energy level was already rising each song they played in anticipation for what was to come both nights. For those that don’t know, Floodwood is made up of moe’s own Al Schnier Vinnie Amico as well as Nick Piccininni, Zachary Fleitz, and Jason Barady. They recently released an album, This is Life.

Floodwood really got night one off on a great start and the crowd was buzzing. moe finally came out, and they started off strong. moe started off with Wind It Up, which was a great way to start it all off. It really got everyone grooving like crazy!

moe. live at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo, NY

Night one’s set list:

 

I: Wind It Up, Lost Along The Way, Deep This Time, Crackers*, Waiting For The Punchline**, Timmy Tucker > Tailspin

II: Silver Sun > Havah Negilah > Long Island Girls Rule, Chromatic Nightmare, meat. > Seat Of My Pants > meat. > Brent Black

Enc: San Ber’dino > Sensory Deprivation Bank

{* w/ Nick Piccininni on violin ** w/ Nick Piccininni on banjo & Jason Brady on fiddle}

Having the guys from Floodwood out there with moe was awesome! The added instruments really added an awesome diversity during the first set.

The real treat night one was the second set. EVERY single song was beyond anything I have ever seen moe do. It was a night to remember! A real treat for sure.

Al Schnier of moe

Night one really had me breathless at the end of the night. moe is one of those bands for me personally that never sounds off. Every time I see them, they are always right on target. Night one is at the top of my favorite moe sets.

Night two was not to be forgotten about! There was no set opener for night two, however the crowd was pleasantly surprised as Joe Bellanti came out on stage. Joe is a pianist from Buffalo. He announced that although the ticket said there would be no opener, he was it and was more then thrilled to be with us.

 

Joe Bellanti

He played a solo set for about 15 minutes before moe came out and joined right in with him and came out strong! Moe’s second night set list was as follow:

I: New York City* > Bearsong*, Yodelittle*, Casey Jones*, Captain America > Recreational Chemistry

II: Billy Goat > Bullet > Kyle’s Song, Opium, hi & lo > Mexico

Enc: , Rebubula

moe with Joe Bellanti

 

I really enjoyed the songs that Joe played with moe. The piano added an awesome zest to the set that really got me groovin! Joe really killed it with them during Casey Jones.

I always enjoy seeing Captain America on their set list as well. I don’t hear it often live but there is something about the energy of that song that gets the crowd going.

I was grinning ear to ear after the two night run and I’m already sitting here excited thinking about the next time I can see them!

I was fortunate to catch up with moe’s Vinnie Amico after the first night for an interview. Vinnie is moe’s drummer.

Vinnie Amico of moe

 

Kyle: Buffalo is considered your hometown shows. Does it feel different playing here compared to other venues?

Vinnie: It does. Probably for everybody I know for me because I got my start here even pre – moe. Musically, this is my home. This is where I got my start. I probably would have never been a professional musician at all if it wasn’t for Buffalo. By the energy in the room last night and most of the shows we end up doing here, it just rages. The energy level was freaking ridiculous.

Kyle: Do you guys ever have any plans to play Buffalo for the New Years or other holidays in the future?

Vinnie: It’s funny you ask that question. After the show last night, Al and I were talking and I told him I forget how awesome this room is until I come back and play it. You know, the stadium seating part of it, how close everybody is with great seats, energy level everything. He says to me, we should just do our New Years shows here, ya know do like a 5 or 7 day run. It’s actually on the radar now, you know there’s always a chance that can happen. I don’t think we can play Shea’s, we got kicked out after that Halloween show a couple years ago. It wasn’t our fault .. One of the fans had burned a hole in a drapery, and you know how nice that place is. I don’t think they want us there. I don’t think we could even fill that place, it’s huge. It’s hard to sell 3,500 tickets.

Kyle: You guys are partnering with Carly’s Club of Rosewell for your Buffalo dates. Do you guys do stuff like this often on tour?

Vinnie: We haven’t in a little while, but we do tend to get behind things like this. Especially local stuff. We do tons of local charity work for moe.down every year. With the golf tournament, all of the proceeds go to, ya know this year was the library, last year was the school district. We do food drives, or book drives for moe down, and for a lot of other things we do. If someone approaches us or someone in town has a worthy cause that we are interested in, we get behind it.

Kyle: That’s awesome, I think that’s an awesome thing to do.

Vinnie: A friend of mine is a researcher for rosewell and she has been working on Cancer shes with RNA, and they took some big steps last week. They’re trying to remove it from the gene pool. Ways to remove it from your RNA which is pretty amazing steps.

Kyle: That’s really amazing.

Kyle: Summer Camp is a very unique festival. How does it compare to other festivals that you guys play?

Vinnie: I think it’s one of the best festivals there is. Between us and Ian Goldberg, we pretty much have built that thing from the ground up. I don’t know how everyone feels about it, but it’s sort of our festival. It’s something that Ian, Jay, Don, and Tom and us have been working on for 14 years. To see how it’s grown and to see the vibe there and how much everyone freaking loves summer camp. We work our ass’s off for it. I played 12 sets this year. I don’t really have much time to even think about it because I’m always working. The fact that I put in that much work and people give a crap about me and appreciate what I’m doing there, and how awesome the festival it. Yeah, I think it’s one of the best ones around.

Kyle: Summer Camp has an awesome vibe, I love the set up and the Moonshine stage you guys play on is great.

Vinnie: Yeah I think it’s one of the better summer festivals, and it feels really good to have had a part in building it and seeing where it has got. It feels pretty damn good.

Kyle: You deserve that!

Vinnie: Thanks!

Kyle: What’s one of your favorite venues in america to play at?

Vinnie: It’s crazy, there’s so many. Of course Red Rocks is one of them. I like playing at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. It’s one of those venues that I saw all of my rock gods at. Radio City was also great. We haven’t played a lot of those bigger ones lately. Most of the places we play are really awesome. Boulder, Colorado has a great vibe there.

Kyle: Yeah, they have an awesome music scene over there.

Vinnie: Yeah, certain places in California. I’ve had good times at the Fillmore in San Fransisco. Red Rocks, SPAC, and Radio City are the cream of the crop.

Kyle: I can’t wait to get to Red Rocks! Floodwood just came out with a new album entitled This is Life, which by the way you guys killed it last night. I had a great time dancing. Anyways, is it hard to split up time writing new material for floodwood and touring with both bands?

Vinnie: It sort of is. The hardest thing about it is the time it takes away from home, for me anyway. Al and I both love that kind of music, we love music, we love playing together. So if I didn’t have a wife and two kids at home it’s all I would do is be on the road with moe or floodwood, making records and doing all that. It’s hard juggling all that with your home life.

Kyle: I can imagine. How old are your kids?

Vinnie: They’re teenagers, I have a 13 year old and a 16 year old. They’re old enough now they understand. These last couple months with how much floodwood and moe have been touring, and recording with flood wood and going to the studio with moe. It takes a lot of time. I’m not home much, so I’m just waiting for my wife to be like get your ass home!

Kyle: What’s some of the biggest musical influences that got moe to where you guys are now.

Vinnie: Hmm…Good question. There’s a lot of them. Everyone has different influences. I was big into the dead, and led zepplin and classic rock and roll, as was everyone as we grew up in either long island or up state new york. Jim was into some more heavier stuff like 80’s metal acts. More so everyone but me was into frank zappa. Rob, Al, and Chuck were into some of the 80’s pop music that was happening. I wasn’t really into that, I was stuck with classic rock and the dead. I have a background in Jazz as my Father was a jazz musician. I was brought up around that. That’s sort of relayed in everything I play. We all bring in these different elements that kind of make us.

Kyle: I always find how everyone brings everything to the table interesting!

Vinnie: Yeah for sure!

Kyle: Any crazy road stories that stick out in your mind?

Vinnie: Unfortunately for you and this interview, my memory is shot! I don’t really remember a lot of stuff.

Kyle: Yeah I can imagine it’s hard to keep track after all these years.

Vinnie: Pretty much every Summer Camp, the late night parties. If we aren’t playing, we just get all F*cked up and have a blast. We run around like crazy at that place. The last 13 years there are endless stories of great fun.

Kyle: You guys killed it in the barn this year!

Vinnie: Thanks. Yeah every year is crazy. All those festivals are places we run into our friends that we have met on the road in the last 15 years. Hanging out with guys in bands you haven’t seen in a couple of years, it’s just a great time.

Kyle: That’s awesome! What’s the biggest tip you have for aspiring musicians?

Vinnie: Don’t do it! haha No, usually what I say to everyone is listen to every kind of music you can. Take something from everything. Play a lot, play as much as you can. Especially with other players. I don’t like playing alone, I like playing with other players so always be out playing. Work, play play play, listen listen listen. Use your ears. Listen play, listen play.

Kyle: Awesome! Well I really appreciate your time!

Vinnie: Awesome! Cool man, thank you!

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moe will always hold a special place in my heart, especially seeing them play their hometown show.