Tag Archives: winter tour

moe. February 19th 2017 SweetWater Brewery

Um….moe. and beer.  I could really just have this post be that one sentence and I think everyone would understand my most recent trip to Atlanta.  A while back moe. announced their winter tour closer, SweetWater Brewing Co. in Atlanta.  Their flag ship beers are available in our area so I am familiar with their beer and having moe. play was a combo to good to pass up.

Thankfully the festival was happening over the long Presidents Day weekend so I didn’t need to take any time off.  I spent all day Saturday driving down and then Monday driving back home.  For some reason I thought Atlanta was only 8 hours away but it ended up being closer to 10.  Not to worry.  I had plenty of time in the city to enjoy some culture, beer, and a concert from a kick ass band.

Saturday driving down was thankfully uneventful.  Got into down around 8 and the worst part was finding a place to park to be honest.  I picked a hotel that was close to the brewery in mid-town and I think it was a good choice.  I was only a few blocks from a MARTA station, near the High Museum of Art and lots of nearby restaurants.  I wasn’t that hungry so I spent the remainder of the night just walking around the city.  After such a long as drive I had no desire to site any more.

Now this is my kind of lounge.

Sunday was the main event.  Doors didn’t open til 2pm so I had all morning to relax and enjoy the city.  I started off with a relaxing cup of coffee at the Starbucks next to the hotel.  I spent my time here looking for a new job and working on my resume in fact.  I was also killing time till noon and the opening of the High Museum of Art.  I have been on this art kick recently so I was excited to try a museum outside the DC area.  The Smithsonian art museums here in DC are really nice, and free.  They generally focus on one particular style with everything relating back to that central theme.  The High Museum I thought was a more typical museum with a wide selection but not very deep in any one artist, style or era.

There are four levels with each level having a different collection and in fact each area of each floor is something different.  I thought the flow and design of the space was nice as with lots of open areas and exhibit space for all types of art.  Of course there are paintings on the wall but also large art installations, antique furniture, sculptures, and American cut glass but to name a few things.  I was really impressed with the place and enjoyed strolling around.  They have a couple Claude Mounet’s too.  His House of Parliament in the Fog immediately jumped out at me because the National Gallery of Art has two in this series.  Regardless, its a nice find at the High Museum.

I quickly ran out of time at the museum and started making my way to SweetWater Brewery for the concert.  I grabbed an Uber and let me tell you the place was smashed getting in.  The event was sold out and later I found out that was 4000 tickets which is a huge number.  In fact the road leading to the brewery was backed up and eventually I just got out of the car to walk the remaining distance which was quicker.  I was personally here to see moe. and drink beer but many were here to drink beer and see moe.  I was talking with a local and he said these events at the brewery are always packed and that most people come for the beer.

All over the place were beer stands offering a variety of beer.  The brewery was also open to the public so you could get a good look at the operations and depending on where you where, sample some beer.  I unfortunately didn’t drink as much as I would have liked but then again, I was really here to see moe.  During the set break I did manage to walk through the main tasting room to see some of the assembly line and of course grab a beer.

The entire show was pretty damn good I must say.  moe. loves their beer and have done a few of these brewery shows before.  They even partnered with Saranac to make their own beer.  Haven’t had it but I am sure it is good, lots of hops it would seem.  Before the second set Freddy Bensch came out and made a challenge to moe. for a three song second set.  Unfortunately that didn’t happen but it would have been kick ass if it did.  The weather all day was absolutely perfect as well.  In fact it was in the upper 60’s during the entire performance and I actually had to take my sweatshirt off I was so freaking hot.  Just a great day of beer and music, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

The brewpub is on the bottom floor of this building. Really well designed.

The festival ended at 6 and after that I started making my way to Wrecking Bar Brewpub.  The walk from SweetWater to MARTA was pretty long as was to Wrecking Bar but let me tell you, not having to drive was freakin’ awesome!  I picked this place because I could get some food and the reviews on RateBeer where really good.  In fact I agree with them, this place is awesome and worth a visit.  I sat at the bar and the only weird thing about this was the food menu.  I don’t know if it was just because of when I arrived but it had only one app, two entrees and two desserts, not the full menu.  The bartender was really slow to act and didn’t seem to care much about me.  The food was incredible and the beers I had solid.  The place is in the basement with exposed wood and brick all over the place.  The ceiling is rather low but adds to the charm.  Certainly stop here if you are doing a brewery tour of Atlanta.

Monday was a holiday, my only objective was to drive the 10+ hours home.  I started with some coffee at Starbucks next door and made it a goal to apply for at least one job in Portland before I left Atlanta.  I sat outside as the weather was still absolutely perfect and went to work searching for a new job.  I can say I meet my goal and applied to a job in Portland and then hit the road just after 11am.  Thankfully the drive home was also uneventful and around 10 that night I pulled into my garage.

I must say this was a fantastic trip.  I have been to Atlanta several times over my life and this was the first trip that didn’t suck.  Something always happened on my other trips that would taint my experience.  moe. was simply amazing, the breweries top notch and the High Museum a great way to relax Sunday morning.  moe. is playing the SweetWater 420 festival and I would love to come back for that.  Trey and Panic are also playing but with my job situation in limbo, I don’t want to commit to that just yet.  If I am still in the area come April I think I just might make another trip to Atlanta.


moe. SweetWater Brewery – Atlanta, GA
Sunday, February 19th 2017

Set 1 start at 2:32pm
1. Happy Hour Hero > (nh)
2. Stranger Than Fiction
3. The Road > (nh)
4. St. Augustine
5. Puebla >
6. Shoot First >
7. 32 Things
Set over at 3:41pm

Set 2 start at 4:24
1. Plane Crash
2. Annihilation Blues
3. Not Coming Down >
4. Wormwood >
5. Opium
6. Spine Of A Dog >
7. Rebubula
Set over at 5:37pm

Encore starts at 5:44
8. Downward Facing Dog
Encore over at 5:55pm


Phish John Paul Jones Arena December 5th 2009

copyright: UVA
copyright: UVA

The very weekend after I got back from Panama, I was traveling again. Staying home and getting things done around the house would have been nice, but I had a concert to see. Heck I needed to unpack my suite case and do a mound of laundry. But that didn’t matter, Phish was on their winter tour. Every time they tour I try to catch as many shows as possible. For winter the closest show to my house, and the tour closer, was happening at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. I have seen several tour closers by Phish and they are always good, in fact this past summer I saw the summer closer in Saratoga Springs and it was fantastic.

The night before was spent at Nancy’s house so it would be a slightly longer drive to get to the stadium. I was giving myself what I thought was plenty of time because of the pretty heavy snow all morning long. When I actually left Nancy’s house there were a couple inches on the road already and very slow going to my house. Once at my house I got a few things done and headed out about 4 hours before the show for what is normally a 2 hour drive. Leaving from my house I cut through the state on a route I have never taken. The whole time I was driving it was snowing, thankfully it got lighter the further south I got, but that didn’t make traffic any easier.

After getting lost in Charlottesville, I was coming from a different direction than normally, I found the arena and it was smashed. Fans littered the streets and where slowly filtering in past security. Some hard core people where tailgating, I just wanted to find a place to park and get to my seat. I skipped the $20 cash lot next to the stadium and instead parked in a garage right next door for half price.

snowy_road, creative commons
it snowed most of the way to Charlottesville

When I got through security and to my seat it was about 7:30pm so I could relax for a few minutes before the show started. My seat was stage right, almost parallel to the band. Not the best seat in the house, but it was a different view, allowed me to get a good view of the arena. My seat was the first row behind handicap seating which was nice. If my ankle started to bother me I could always sit down and still see.

When the show started the set started off pretty good with a few standards and Stealing Time from their new album. When Ya Mar started I quickly looked down at my iPod to scribble the song tittle. (As an aside, I remember writing set lists by hand many years ago.) All of a sudden I hear the crowd start to cheer, nothing to unusual, but it only gets louder. When I look up to my surprise I see a naked guy running around the stage. First time I have seen someone rush the stage at a Phish show. The crowd loved it and the band didn’t seem to phased by the act. All through the night they made references to the naked guy.

Other set 1 highlights included Divided Sky (because of the snow) with a super long break in the middle. Trey is just looking around the arena and the crowd volume went up and down, building to a crescendo when they finally started the song back up again. A good bluesy version of Sneakin’, something I don’t think I have heard since my first show over 10 years ago at Merriweather. Cavern, David Bowie with a mighty jam, and the Wedge were all great versions. I thought the closers of Bold as Love was lame. I hate it when they close a set with slow and melancholy songs. Set closers should be upbeat, leaving the audience wanting more.

Intermission was a time to rest and get off my ankle. I was standing for the entire first set and I could use the break. As the crowd around me thinned out I also spread out some. I always look around at every show during the set break. You see nothing but tired, yet happy people milling around. They might be headed to the restroom, talking with friends, smoking, what ever. But they all have smiles on their faces and are just having a great time.

Set two was much more of a jam session with the first four songs flowing one after another. Tweezer was a great start and jammed for a long time. When it lead into Light I could tell the song changed, but I didn’t know what it was. The guy next to me provided the song title. We actually traded songs a few times, he was really good with the new stuff and I was nailing the old stuff. Near the end of Light the jam turned very dark and cosmic. It just blew my mind away, especially with the transition into Piper, I was floored. The guy next to me also caught the transition too and we both agreed it was stellar.

Once you build it you must sometimes destroy what you love and start all over. That’s what I thought of Sweet Virginia. Yeah it was great to have a song reference the state, but I thought it completely killed the mood by slowing things down. Moving on. Harry Hood had a pretty decent glow stick war and Golgi was good but way to short. By the end of the show Antelope was a great choice. When they eventually walked off the stage the crowd went nuts. After what seemed like an eternity they came back for Loving Cup (bah) and a Tweezer Reprise (no surprise there). All things considered it was a very memorable night, lest of all because of the naked guy.

I was not planning on staying the night in Charlottesville so that meant a 3 hour drive home. Because of the snow on the way down I decided to stick to the highways. Longer distance but safety out weighted the extra time I would spend driving. Bleary eyed, I arrived home well after 3am and went straight to bed with visions of naked woman dancing on stage.

Set 1: 7:58pm start
01. AC/DC Bag
02. Chalk Dust Torture
03. Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan
04. The Divided Sky
05. Ya Mar
06. Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley
07. The Old Home Place
08. Cavern
09. Funky Bitch
10. David Bowie
11. The Wedge
12. Bold as Love

set 1 ends at 9:24pm

Set 2: 10:00pm start
01. Tweezer >
02. Light >
03. Piper >
04. Free
05. Sweet Virginia
06. Harry Hood >
07. Suzy Greenberg
08. Golgi Apparatus
09. Run Like an Antelope

set 2 ends at 11:18pm

encore: 11:20 start
10. Loving Cup >
11. Tweezer Reprise

show ends at 11:31pm

• At the start of Ya Mar, a naked guy jumped onstage and ran around for a bit before being rounded up by security, prompting Trey to observe that “Naked Guy’s” antics “took a lot of balls.” During Ya Mar, Mike changed the lyrics to “he was a naked pa.”
• Sneakin’ Sally contained a vocal jam.
• Trey sang the verses to Light out of order.
• The sound for Mike’s bass dropped out during Golgi leading Trey to label it the “trio version.”
• During the ensuing Antelope, Mike took a bass solo to make up for the bass everyone missed in Golgi.
• Antelope also contained several lyric changes referencing the naked stage crasher.

Congratulations! scored my fall Phish ticket


Well after the initial three show home coming in Hampton and the first part of summer tour, getting tickets to Phish was difficult to put it mildly. Years ago I always got my tickets via mail order. Back in the day you had to send money orders for each venue and I loved that method. Then they turned to the web and were one of the first to do so, I was always able to get tickets.   I never saved money by doing this, but it was a good feeling knowing I wouldn’t have to jump through hopes with Ticket Master to get tickets. So for the second half of the summer tour, and now the fall tour, I didn’t have any problems getting tickets via pre-order.

After looking at the schedule only one show was in my neighborhood, Jone Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. I was hoping to attend the second night in Albany, but I will be in Panama that weekend.

Nice thing about the Charlottesville show is again I will be seeing a tour closer. I have seen several of these over the years and they are usually pretty damn good. SPAC summer 2009, Tweeter Center summer 2004, and Greensboro Coliseum winter 2003 just to name a few.  They are always full of energy and something different and unusual is always thrown in for good measure.  I look forward to making a long weekend out of the trip and do a little hiking in south west Virginia on Sunday before heading home.

See you all on tour!