Live Show: 8/4/97


Milwaukee, WI

Reviewed by: Shawn Harkness

The Details

I've already posted about how the two shows in Decatur on Saturday were absolutely incredible- at least a 9 out of 10.

Then I went to Milwaukee. Probably a 9.9 out of 10.

This was the first time Moxy was in Milwaukee, since their last scheduled appearance was cancelled due to illness. So a smaller crowd was expected.

The club (Shank Hall) was set up kind of odd. There was a big bar up front of what looked like an old restaurant. In front of the stage were a bunch of small tables and chairs. No dance floor. All we needed were some candles on the tables, and some red shag carpeting for the perfect lounge show.

By showtime, there were probably about 50 people there. There wasn't an opening act, so the band opened for themselves. They each came out to play a song. Absolutely great to see them playing solo. Aside fom the music, highlights included Murray asking "How do you get this thing to work?" when he picked up the guiitar, and Jian telling the complete story of his laundry.

When the full band came out on stage, they were not only psyched up about the show, but pretty relaxed. I'll let Mike post the full set list, as I try and detail what happened. (Mike Connolly, not Mike Ford).

Despite thier statements early on that "We just don't give a shit about these shows," everyone there pretty much understood what they really meant. The guys seemed far more relaxed than usual, and were there to have some fun.

The whole atmospere was different from any other show I'd been to. The entire crowd calmly sat in their seats, letting the band do thier thing. No worrying about drunk people talking through the quiet parts or not paying attention.

The crowd was probably 2/3 Chicagoans, 1/3 from Wisconsin, and 1 person from Pittsburgh (I didn't catch her name, but she was talking to Mike for a while after the show). Those of us from Chicago were accused of cheating, because we already knew the songs off Wood, and were applauding them before they were played. It also meant we got to hear songs such as "Gord's Gold" We were also treated to "Spider Man" off mic, and in the crowd. It was also the first time I saw pyrotechnics with the show (Spidey tossed those 'snaps' onto tables to demonstrate his power).

I could go into more details from here, but after one of the wildest "GE&H" improvs to date, they said we'd each get $12 American if we didn't tell anybody what went on.

By the time the show was over (after a good hour and a half), the small by appreciative crowd demanded an encore. And boy, did we get one. The guys played "Mr. Know It All" by Stevie Wonder. Great job with a cool tune. Then they sang the "Gulf War Song." I don't want to get people jealous, but it sounded at least 10 times better in person than it does on the CD. The crowd just couldn't stop applauding. We were awestruck.

Then it happened. The band came out for a SECOND ENCORE! They weren't expecting it, and had started changing. They said they had "blown the proverbial load, so to speak" and didn't know how to follow it up. The decided to play a tune from the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis (Costello). They covered what is my favorite Costello tune, "Allison." Then they sang "The Drinking Song."

Overall, this was one of the most memorable concerts I have ever seen. Myself and just about everyone there were to wrapped up in the moment to leave. People hung around for an hour or so, just alking to the guys. It was strange, but everyone wanted to personally thank each of the guys, and they seemed to want to personally thank all of us.

I don't want to gush, but I was truly surprised that I could see five shows in 6 days, and for them all to be different. It really says somethign about the band. And if they can impress someone who is already a fan, they certainly deserve some credit. Seeing them in Milwaukee was just as exciting as my first show, if not more exciting. It had that kind of feel of energy and excitement, and not really knowing what to expect next.

My only disappointment.. nobody recorded it.

The fall trip to the midwest can't come soon enough.

This post has gone on WAY too long, so I'll wrap it up an let someone else add to it if they want.

The Music

Opened with The Set Closed with Encore 1 Encore 2

Misc. Info

Some other tidbits from the performance include:

Back to the tour dates 1997 page