Saturday, February 6, 2010

Live Review - Moby @ St. Anne's Warehouse

Just underneath the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge and on a very cold night, as the city was preparing for what they were calling "Snowmageddon," the heat cranked up and energy was alive at a private concert at the small St. Anne's Warehouse in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. New York City hit and beat maker, the multi talented and eclectic Moby gave a performance for the ages showcasing his talents, style and technique. In a taping for the PBS series Soundstage, Moby pulled out his bag of tricks and broke into a great two hour long set. Coming on stage with his guitar strapped on, Moby and his seven piece band sounded pitch perfect. Within the first 30 minutes, the famous band musician did not sing much he let that duty go to his amazing and showstopping backup singer Inyang Bassey, a woman who is as voluptuous as Jennifer Hudson but has the voice and soul of Billie Holiday. She was simply breathtaking to watch and listen to. Yet, once Moby got onto his vocal duty, the hits kept coming. Moby broke up his set into sections, in the first 30 minutes it was guitar oriented rock and roll, then within the second part of first hour he broke into an acoustic set spanning covers from Johnny Cash to Led Zeppelin to Nirvana and a few fresh re images of his own work. Yet, once the second hour came, it was hit after hit after hit. From "Porcelain," to "Body Rock," to "South Side," to "We are Made of Stars," I forgot how vast his catalogue actually went. He even got into his old school ways and did live mixing and electronic work on stage with his band.
As the small crowd of invite only guests got into it, we all realized there was one major problem - This was a seated venue! The idea that it took place in a Warehouse sounded like a great idea at first, lots of space to pack people in and move around, yet unfortunately with chairs bolted to the ground, it proved to be a challenge to get into the dance friendly set. However, his fans managed. In between songs Moby would discuss his love of cover bands, give out weird trivia questions and talk about his upbringing, he is a nerd through and through, but you have to love him. Insecure, introverted at times when he is just speaking to the crowd, yet once the music kicks in Moby is a changed man, alive with the glory of sound. As his set winded down, playing disco tracks off his brilliant 2007 release Last Night, the generators inside St. Anne's died and all the lights went out in the house. After closing the show in partial darkness and back up lights, Moby in true showman fashion came back on stage for a 20 minute encore and drove the set home.
Moby may not be the radio friendly artist that we have seen and known at the top of last decade, yet he is comfortable doing what he does and still one of the world's premiere entertainers.