“Now you know who we are – we’re the fucking Moistboyz” – and with those words Mickey “Moist” Melchiondo shook off the wave of formulaic squareness that arose from a sudden, never-before-experienced urge to introduce his band-mates on stage, and then dug for a lighter to open another Dos Equis. It was hard to tell how many of those Mexican lagers Mickey had downed pre-show, but you did get a sense of why a sober Aaron Freeman is so afraid of playing Ween shows. Debaucherous has always been an apt description of Melchiondo’s stage presence, but as last night proved, intergalactic Fender annihilater is far more apropos.
I’d had a rough week, and to top it off my car was broken into a few hours before showtime last night. My back window was completely shattered so that some junkie could steal my cheap briefcase full of the books and sheet music I use to teach piano to children. So if you happen to hear an emaciated squatter playing a killer “Fur Elise” under the Burnside Bridge, please give me a call. Anyway, I was feeling pissed, frazzled, and low as fuck. In other words, I needed this Moistboyz gig. And as soon as I got a beer, pushed up front, and saw Mickey get that distorted Barney Gumble face that appears when he’s really digging into a solo, I was once again at peace. Melchiondo has a definitive touch to his axe-shreddery that transcends whatever musical genre he’s playing in at that moment, and I’m not exaggerating when I say last night was one of my favorite assaults on the electric guitar I have ever witnessed… by anyone… seriously.
Per usual, the sound in the Doug Fir was legitimately phenomenal. Booming but not splintering, Guy “Dickey Moist” Heller’s vocals were crisper than I ever knew he was capable of, and Mickey’s leads were at a perfect level for direct linkage to the embattled soul. As the band crushed through cuts spanning their entire 20-year catalog, riff after riff were triumphantly locked down, spurring the dance-floor into a calamitous heap of throbbing bodies. And the crowd was everything you could ever want at a show like this. Middle fingers in glorious bounty throughout the air, empty beer cans being thrown on stage, 90-pound girls throwing elbows to shirtless spunions falling atop them, hairy beast-men pounding bottles of Jack Daniels concealed in their tattered jeans – it was a real rock and roll scene unlike anything I’ve witnessed since moving to PDX three years ago.
Ironically, the new songs off of Moistboyz V which I dig due to their Ween-esque leanings didn’t go over as well as the older attack-friendly ragers. The mid-era tracks seemed to be the biggest fan favorites – both “Tweaker” and “In the Valley of the Sun” were full-on melee inducers. The only downside of the night was the giant crane blocking the stage which was being used by a film crew making a video. By the last few songs, Guy had moved to the side of the stage, potentially retreating from the camera that was four inches from his face. After the final song, and despite the stage lights being up and house music playing for a solid five minutes, it wasn’t until a crew member had switched off both amps and unplugged three vocal mics that the crowd realized there would be no encore. That’s all right though, watching the inebriated masses trying to scale the basement stairs of the Doug Fir was an equal topper. Like Ween, Moistboyz has an unfair reputation of being somewhat of a joke, but their performance here in Portland was one of the realest, balls-deep rock shows I’ve ever been fortunate enough to witness.
Here’s “In The Valley of the Sun” from last night, courtesy once again of “pokeadoubledecker” – the same fella who seems to be filming all the shows I review.