The crowd stretched down the block, but was moving fairly quickly. I felt my breath catch in my throat as I thought to myself "this is it. I'm finally here, and a thirteen year love is going to be realized." As I got to the door a nice looking guy touched my arm and asked if I wanted a free ticket. His friend had bailed and he had no use for it. I said "sure" and took the ticket, texting a few friends to let them know the situation. As it turns out I would have no luck as suspected.
I walked over the merch table immediately to see about purchasing a tshirt, another reason alone to be at the show. I had trouble deciding between the new cd design and a tshirt that said Moby for president. (I believe he should be hehe.) I decided on the former and thought about picking up a copy of "Wait For Me" but wasn't sure about the cash. I figured I could always get it on itunes too, so I made my way over the stage. The left side had a decent view of the stage and I settled in with a decent view, even though my camera phone wouldn't capture the pictures very well.
I looked around at the crowd noticing faces either much younger, or much older than myself. I found this funny. The crowd split between the older crowd I was sure was there for his more mellow later work, and the younger having rediscovered him as a dj or for his earlier electronic work. Most likely his "Play" album. I also noticed I was not the only person to go solo, but that most of the people were in groups or couples, as usual. It just seemed this time I was more alone because I didn't know the band or any of the fans prior.
After what seemed like forever, the lights dimmed and Kelli Scarr came onstage. She looked very unrockstaresque. Hair back, over sized sweater she looked like a fireplace commercial. Then she opened her mouth and began singing with one of the most distinctive and beautiful voices I'd heard. I realized quickly I'd heard her sing on a Moby album before and that was likely why she had the opening slot. While I enjoyed her songs, I to myself thought they were too slow to start a concert. I'd been so full of excitement that the mood had been brought down a bit. She used a looping pedal and played completely alone, singing with her eyes closed for most of the set. Closing with a song about the son she left at home, the crowd clapped and whopped surprisingly noisily. We collectively waited for the man to come to the stage we'd all come for. I've often referred to Moby as God, and so when you've built someone up like that you can only hope they will live up to the expectations. I waited to see.
The lights dimmed and a cheer went up over the crowd. The long notes of "Shot In The Back Of The Head" began and a swell of emotion came through my body. The drives I'd taken in the last few months came to mind, and an image of rain. I felt tears sting my eyes and couldn't believe it. I hadn't planned on crying, even knowing damn well how much I loved the little idiot, and how much his music had meant to me. How his album "18" had been there for me through some really hard times. That the song itself "18" is what I imagine sounds like when you die. Sad, but hopeful...
I enjoyed every second of the song, informing the young girls in front of me when they asked which song it was and which album. I knew I'd be the biggest fan around me. When Moby finished he said "thank you! thank you! thank you!" in a quick and cute way. The crowd laughed. Very humble. One of the many reasons I love him. This he would continue through the night.
He switched right over into the next song "Wait For Me" having Kelly Scarr sing again. She played keys for the rest of the show as well.
A few songs passed and soon a rhythm started and the crowd was feeling it. The air was electric. I secretly hoped it was "Bodyrock" and soon enough the song came in. The crowd without being told started jumping up and down in unison. Moby yelled out "who rocks the party that rocks the party" and I felt on top of the world. The room was at one, under our leader. The rest of the show would be very different.
People began shoving their way in front of people. The unity of the crowd seemed to end. The excitement and happiness I felt was temporarily put on hold as people tried to get in front of me nearly knocking me down in the process. I'd never been to a show where concert etiquette seemed so lacking. This from Moby fans? I was shocked. And angry. Then I was really upset when they stood in front of me, blocking the view that I had gotten there early for. That I had stood there for, not going to the bar or moving for hours.
They were drunk already so left the area just in time for Moby to start making a Hendrix comment, and the band broke into "Purple Haze." The time was passing quickly and I feared the concert would be over before I knew it. Yet, he still had many of my favorite songs to play.
Moby began my next favorite song by saying he loved it because he got to play disco guitar at the beginning, and he did confusing me as to which song it was but then he broke into "We Are All Made of Stars" and I screamed and danced and sang to that one. Happy again. From that song he began a monologue.
He spoke of San Francisco and how when they had played the next song and everyone of all couples gay straight and indescriminate gender began making out and it was like a sophmore love in. He encouraged the crowd to do the same. So... Everyone began making out around me, and I felt alone again. Happy for those around me, but alone again. I have been to every important concert by myself in my life. The notes of Porcelain began:
"Tell the truth you never wanted me... Tell me..." I focused on the happy memories I had to this song, unlike some of his others and brushed away the lonley feeling and past mistakes.
My back had been begun hurting long before and by this time it was excruciating but I did my best not to think about that either. I took pictures with my cell and moved and lived in the moment as best I could. He played the only song from his 'Hotel' album "Raining Again" and before he closed with "The Stars" he began a long monologue about being a recovering raver. He is an amazing dj, most amazing djs are recovering ravers, hehe. I was transported back to Freaknight last Halloween, where I hadn't gotten nearly as close to Moby. The stage was set so high and far away you couldn't get close. The lights shut off then and the band went off stage without even saying good night. Obviously open for an encore.
The crowd shouted "Mo-by! Mo-by! Mo-by!" I hollered right along. He had to play "Extreme Ways." He just had to. It was in my top 3, and one of his biggest singles.
He came back a few moments later and broke into "In This World." I love that song and know it well, but it isn't a favorite.
He began the next by saying it was his favorite he'd ever written. I wondered which one it was and he began the keys to "When it's Cold I'd Like To Die." This was a favorite of mine as well, and listening to the music and lyrics I teared up again:
"I don't want to swim the ocean
I don't want to fight the tide
I don't want to swim forever
When it's cold I'd like to die..."
I wondered why it meant so much to him. What he had written it about. A break up?
I've never switched moods so quickly at a show because he then broke into "Extreme Ways" and my elation returned. Moby was a true miestro of my emotions. I figured this would be the last song. He'd been playing for nearly an hour and a half now. Well over twenty songs. But after he finished, he promised they'd play one more and I considered leaving only because my back was in excrutiating pain and I was so tired from standing. I'd heard all of the tracks I loved and knew he'd play. 'But' I scolded myself, 'you've been waiting on this for over a decade. You should stay as long as possible.' So I stayed put and he began his last song "Honey."
Honey turned into a jam song lasting over ten minutes. I appreciated it and loved the fact he took a chance to do that, but by the end I wondered how anyone had managed to sing and play that long consistantly. The set clocked in at just over two hours. Another attribution to the man I had called God.
So did he live up to my expectations? He surpassed them. He was funny, and sweet, and quirky. He owned the crowd, and even thought the crowd were rude concert goers, that had nothing to do with Moby, his set, or anything he had control over. Moby was amazing, and I will pay another 50 bucks to see him anytime. I love the little idiot. Next time I will take pain medication before and hang out after. Done deal.