Review: Moby at the Fillmore

Moby at Fillmore by Doug Rule

Moby admitted to being a former raver at his concert at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Wednesday, Oct. 26. He said he was even one of those annoying kids with glowsticks.

There were no glowsticks in the packed house that night, but the 46-year-old wasn’t the only former raver present. He wasn’t even the oldest. In fact, the concert was striking in part because of the wide range in ages — and especially the number of people clearly over 50 who were dancing up a storm to Moby’s bodyrockin’ beats. Let’s call them senior ravers.

This dance-hearty crowd was ready for Moby, who went on more than 30 minutes later than scheduled — though 8:35 p.m. is still early for this kind of show. He proved well worth the wait. The dance music pioneer brought even his popular sample-driven tunes — “Natural Blues,” “Porcelain,” “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad” and “Honey” — to life with the help of a four-piece backup band: an astonishingly great vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist and drummer. At one point he invited one young hunk from the crowd to show off his keyboard-improvising prowess.

Moby couldn’t make up his mind if he wanted to play bongos, drums or electric guitar — so in addition to singing, he bounced around and played them all repeatedly. He played them all well, too. In particular, banging out beats on snare drums in unison with his drummer gave new meaning to the term “pounding rhythm.”

Vocalist Inyang Bassey, who first gained notice on Moby’s new album Destroyed, kicked off the concert singing one of Moby’s best songs, 2002’s “In My Heart.” (The focus of the concert was on his hits; Moby and co. performed only a few new tracks.) Bassey proceeded to steal the show time and time again as Moby’s featured singer. His many techno-blues hits were far more powerful live in large part thanks to Bassey. 

But far and away the highlight of the concert was her duet with Moby covering Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” The two, along with the rest of the band, tore through that classic, which lost none of its blues ache or blistering hard rock heat. 

The crowd gave Moby and his crew, especially Bassey, a whole lotta love right back.

 

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