moe. Superfan Details The Incredible Journey To His 200th Show At Red Rocks

first_imgIf you are lucky enough to find someone or something that fills your life with light, frees you from your bonds and burdens, and gives you the inspiration to carry on, then you’d be a fool not to embrace it with all your heart. For eighteen years, from the first time I experienced the band called moe., to my recent magical 200th show at the revered Red Rocks Amphitheatre, I have done all I can to lose myself in the musical spell they cast. It’s safe to say you wouldn’t be reading these words if it wasn’t for the five friends from upstate New York and the wizardry they work.My name is Rex Thomson, and I’m a writer/photographer/videographer working for Live For Live Music. I’ve been given this opportunity to step out from behind the lens and the third person narrative voice, to get a bit personal on a topic that means the word to me: the band moe. For almost two decades, bassist Robert Derhak, guitarists Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey, percussionist Jim Loughlin and drummer Vinnie Amico have been performing the sound track of my life. Thanks to legendary guitar tech Frank Robbins, I even have some of the very tools they used to make that music during my 200th show!No one ends up seeing a band hundreds of times without a damn good reason, and I certainly have a few. First and foremost, the transformation I feel in myself during a show… it’s like being scrubbed clean of all of life’s cruddy residue on a spiritual level. I remember a swirling guitar crescendo at the tail end of a “Rebubula” that made me spread my arms wide to the waves of ringing perfection buffeting me in the crowd. It was completely involuntary, and I watched as if from beyond myself as it happened. It was bliss.Here’s an outstanding version of “Rebubula” from Mountain Jam, after it won a fan contest to pick a song for the set:Bliss is a pretty powerful concept, but until then it had been just that, a thought known but not understood. I’ve since learned of how powerful an effect your sense of hearing has on things like emotions and epiphanies through lots of science words. Long story short, humanity used to keep its collected knowledge and share its most basic concepts through song. We are programmed on a primal level to receive information on a mental and emotional level through music.Whatever subconscious burst of information I receive from those five minds fills me with a lasting inspiration that makes my every thought clearer and intention easier to form. Mixing laughter, fury and jaw dropping displays of musical skill and dexterity, moe. is sending out all the listener can handle and more. The rapport they share onstage makes it all the easier for fans to tune in and join the fun on the more ethereal planes.Without going to far into my final reason the band moe. means so much to me yet, I will say that some cognitive issues I face are all but gone after seeing the band, before slowly returning. Simply put, I am a better functioning, feeling human being after I spend some time seeing moe. play.I am here to tell you that not everyone finds perfect inspiration, but when it hits you, it changes everything. After first seeing the band in 1999, I made sure to catch them at any festival or show that came within striking distance. As the years flew by, the range I was willing to travel grew exponentially, all in an effort to plug into the white hot electric flow I first felt years ago. Saved ticket stubs piled up, and I continually had to find larger and larger receptacles for my treasures.In 2009, an opportunity to photograph the band’s annual Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois for a fly-by-night outlet gave me my first taste of life BEYOND the front row at a major event. My tendency to go on face melting mental adventures during their shows met the equally powerful experience of focusing on the visual spectacle of the lights and intense performances being laid down by the band and my fate was sealed. After three straight days of massive sets of music, all watched from about five feet away, I knew what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life.I quickly found out that I was nowhere near alone in my burgeoning devotion, emotional uplift or even willingness to travel. Though I was aware that moe., like many bands had a devoted traveling fan base, I hadn’t looked up long enough to learn the faces and names. My new gig changed all that, and the more moe. shows I went to across the nation, the more of the same faces I saw. The best part? They were all slipping into their own beatific trances as the music swept them away.There are a couple of terms used for diehard moe. fans. “moe.ron” is one of the most common, and part of the band and fans shared love of puns. The other, “famoe.ly.” The difference between them can blur, and in the end, the true meaning is love. These are people who share in something that is nearly beyond words, bonded not by race or creed but by mutual understanding and emotion and I was now a happy soldier in the army.Over the next five years, it would be fair to say I went a special kind of crazy in regards to moe. When the band hosted the annual moe.down festival for their most rabid fans in upstate New York, a tradition formed around a last day election for “Mayor of moe.down” or “Mayor of moe.ville,” depending on who you ask, time of day and sobriety levels. I decided that between my work as a pretend music journalist, my occasional working with bands and promoters, and my connection to the scene itself, I was the first actually qualified candidate for office.The details of my five and a half year campaign across the country are not only too long to go through here, honestly…it’s kinda scary to type. But behind my weird endorsements……full blown campaign commercials……and even the stupid sign I lugged across creation….…there was a secret plan. Wherever I went, whether I approached them or they approached me, I asked people, “Have you ever heard of a band named moe.?” And if they hadn’t, I either urged them to check them out or gave them some of the over two thousand burned CDs I have burned from their live shows and carry with me whenever I can.Through my… zeal… I have ended up interacting with the band on a personal level from time to time. I’ve gotten to request songs for acoustic performances……gotten the band to explain things like how they write set lists……even spent a half hour getting Jim Loughlin to go through his entire percussive toy repertoire!Basically, I’ve tried to make myself useful, and I think I’ve done a good job. Feels like the least I could do, really. I try not to let my crazy appreciation of what they do get too scary for them when I am around, but I am fairly certain they have a crew member in place to taser me into submission if I get out of hand. Can’t really say I blame them.Eventually I was appointed Mayor… but I didn’t stop spreading the love and I never will. When you stumble across something that resounds within you with such a positive, energizing level, all you want to do is bask in the magic and share the love, and that’s what I’ve done. You can read my review of the Red Rocks show that was my much ballyhoo’d 200th HERE. You can read my review of the spectacular follow up show the next night in Boulder HERE. Hell, you can read about the show they played with Yonder Mountain String Band a few days later in Wisconsin HERE.But just reading those reviews won’t tell you the real story. It doesn’t mention that, to see that Wisconsin show, I had to drive about 17 straight hours out of my way, or that I had to sleep in rest stops due to the remoteness of the location and my needing to get to the next event. I don’t do this for the money. I do this for the life and love moe., has inspired me to live. And seriously, when I say they gave me life, I mean it.My mom taught me to always have three reasons to do something, and my third reason for loving the music of moe. like I do is a dozy. My life, like most, has been fraught with obstacles, like most. Mine have taken the form of some rather bleak medical prognoses that hang over me like the sword of Damocles. I’ll say this bluntly: I would not be alive today if it wasn’t for the spark moe. ignited inside me. The litany of surgeries, crises and moments of pure terror I have faced would have crushed me if I didn’t have their song in my heart.To me, a moe. show isn’t a simple entertainment, though there is certainly nothing wrong with that. That’s why they play, after all. They want to share what they can do with the world, and, thanks to my job, I get to help them do just that. I blew past my 200th show and am already at 203, with three more lined up for next month. My next goal is to reach show number 365, so I can know I spent a year feeling that same magic I felt all those years ago, but in the end, numbers aren’t what matters to me.What matters to me is building the fire of love and hope inside me burning bright, to face the long and scary nights ahead. In our primitive days we sang around the fire and danced into the night. Those rituals live on today. Bands like moe. roam the land giving us all the chance to build the strength to face the dark and the joy to truly embrace the light.Special Bonus! As usual al. took a moe.ment to thank the fans and crew on the night of my 199th show, and sent a little love back my way before nailing a wicked weekend closing cover of Cream’s “White Room.” Dig it!last_img read more

Reynolds runs with the fast cars en route to top IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock rookie honors

first_imgHIS CREW: Grandfather Randy Olson, uncle Tony Olson and cousin Kyle Olson. Thirteenth nationally, Reynolds won three times each at Independence Motor Speedway, Marshalltown Speedway and Benton County Speedway. He finished a point out of first at Indee and was third at Marshalltown and fifth at Vinton. “At one point I was in the top five nationally,” said Reynolds, who keeps his car at grandfather Randy’s house and also counts uncle Tony Olson and cousin Kyle Olson as team members. It was pretty cool to see my name up there. I never would have thought that was possible in my rookie year.” The former micro mod driver got his first Hobby Stock win in his second start in the class late in 2018, logging just four starts to keep his rookie status intact this season. He ran and beat a lot of fast cars this season, winning 10 features along with national and Big Daddy Race Cars Northern Region rookie of the year awards. “Shannon Anderson and Eric Stanton are two of my favorite drivers to race with,” he added. “Both are very, very good at what they do.” “This is a pretty good class with a lot of good drivers,” said Reynolds, 18 years old and a senior at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School. “When I’m watching races, I try to learn from the fast drivers and pick up on the things they do.” His final win of the point season came at Dubuque Speedway. HIS SPONSORS: Eastern Iowa Spray Foam, D & S Disposal, Cassill Motors, FYP Rental Properties and Climate Engineers, all of Cedar Rapids; BHE Custom Suspension of Ames; Garage Works Lighting of Grinnell; Shellsburg Car and Truck Wash of Shellsburg; Prestige Masonry of Anamosa; Dynamic Drivelines of Des Moines; and Motorsports Warehouse of Boone. He wrapped up the season at Marshalltown with a weekend sweep at World Nationals. Starts 48            Wins 10         Additional Top Five’s 17 Kaden Reynolds earned IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock national and Big Daddy Race Cars Northern Region rookie of the year honors this season. He is pictured with IMCA President Brett Root, at right. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography) CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Before he started racing an IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock, Kaden Reynolds told his grandfather he wanted to run with the fast cars.last_img read more

Football Sectionals Taking Place Football Friday Night October 25th

first_imgThe 2019 IHSAA Football Sectional Pairings have been released. The 47th Annual IHSAA Football State Tournament presented by the Indianapolis Colts is set to begin Oct. 25 with first-round games in all classes except 6A which has the week off. Sectional semifinal games will be played on Nov. 1, sectional championship games on Nov. 8, regionals on Nov. 15, semi-states on Nov. 22 and the state championship games on Nov. 29-30.The 12 teams earning a berth in the state finals will play on Thanksgiving Weekend in Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, the state tournament’s presenting sponsor since 2009. The state championship games alternate each year as the Class 1A, 3A and 5A games will be played on Friday, Nov. 29 while the 2A, 4A and 6A contests are set for Saturday, Nov. 30.Area Sectional Games.Class 1A-Sectional 47 First RoundG1: Milan at Knightstown.G2: Oldenburg Academy at Hagerstown.G3: South Decatur at Tri.G4: Cambridge City Lincoln at North Decatur.SemifinalsGame 5: G1 winner vs. G2 winner.Game 6: G3 winner vs. G4 winner.ChampionshipGame 7: G5 winner vs. G6 winner.Class 2A-Sectional 39 First RoundG1: Providence at Clarksville.G2: Eastern (Pekin) at Union County.G3: Paoli at Switzerland County.G4: Mitchell at Triton Central.SemifinalsGame 5: G1 winner vs. G2 winner.Game 6: G3 winner vs. G4 winner.ChampionshipGame 7: G5 winner vs. G6 winner.Class 3A-Sectional 31First RoundG1: Brownstown Central at Charlestown.G2: Scottsburg at Lawrenceburg.G3: Batesville at Rushville.G4: Franklin County at Greensburg.SemifinalsGame 5: G1 winner vs. G2 winner.Game 6: G3 winner vs. G4 winner.ChampionshipGame 7: G5 winner vs. G6 winner.Class 4A-Sectional 23 First RoundG1: Greenwood Community at Madison Consolidated.G2: Silver Creek at East Central.G3: Jennings County at Martinsville.G4: Mooresville at South Dearborn.SemifinalsGame 5: G1 winner vs. G2 winner.Game 6: G3 winner vs. G4 winner.ChampionshipGame 7: G5 winner vs. G6 winner.101319.FootballPairingslast_img read more

Blake Treinen injury update: Athletics closer going on IL with rotator cuff strain

first_img Athletics pitcher Frankie Montas suspended 80 games The Athletics’ bullpen is taking another hit.Closer Blake Treinen will be placed on the 10-day injured list with a rotator cuff strain. The 30-year-old right-hander said Saturday after an MRI that his shoulder had been bothering him for several weeks.  Montas, who was in the middle of a career year with a 9-2 record and a 2.70 ERA, was suspended 80 games for testing positive for Ostarine — a performance-enhancing substance — on Friday.Liam Hendriks will move into Treinen’s closing spot, the Chronicle reported. Hendriks will close in Treinen’s absence it sounds like.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 22, 2019Hendriks is already off to a good start. He saved Oakland’s 4-2 win over Tampa Bay on Saturday.The A’s moved to 41-37 after the win and now join the Rangers as they both trail the Astros by 7 1/2 games in the AL West. However, he was clear he didn’t want to blame his recent struggles on the injury. He noted “all pitchers pitch through stuff,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.Treinen says he had an MRI today. It’s been bothering him several weeks. Wouldn’t blame recent results on it, says all pitchers pitch through stuff.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 22, 2019Treinen calls it a rotator cuff strain which is potentially more of a concern than a shoulder muscle strain.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 22, 2019This comes after the loss of Frankie Montas. Related Newslast_img read more