Think back for a moment. Back before Diplo’s music wasn’t good or Mad Decent, there was Moby. Back before David Guetta linked up with Akon, there was Moby. Back even further than that time Daft Punk was playing at your house, there was Moby. Before “Dance Music” and “EDM” were conversational buzzwords, there was Moby.
The man born Richard Melville Hall, has had an illustrious career. He started releasing music in the ’90s, has a single Billboard Top 40 hit, and even beefed with Eminem at one point. And in 2018, 26 years after the release of his first album, he’s still working. In celebration of his newly released album Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt, Moby came to Los Angeles to light up The Echo.
While Angelino’s all over town were busy dodging the drizzle dropping from dark clouds overhead, Moby was providing rock renditions of his discography to the fans inside. Consisting of mostly people old enough to remember hearing “Porcelain” on the radio, The Echo shook with energy when Moby finally took the stage.
With no opener to whet the appetites of the packed crowd, the place erupted in applause once their bald-headed champion took the stage under Dodger blue lights. And without so much as a “hello” he and his band tore into “Mere Anarchy.”
For those following along from home, that last sentence may have looked strange. Yes, Moby played the set with a full band. The “Go” artist stuck to electric to guitar (which he shreds on, by the way) while the rest of his band handled keys, backup vocals, drums and bass respectively. For many in attendance (this writer included) the band setup was an unexpected treat. It’s easy to forget that an artist known for “Techno” can shut down a venue with face-melting guitar solos. Tech-no, indeed.
After playing a few more tunes from his latest project, Moby finally addressed the crowd. He ensured everyone that he would play a handful of the hits, but only after running through a good portion of his new album. And, to quote the man himself, he would have to play the hits because he’s no “sadist,” after all.
Following the quick chat and another off his newest album, “The Waste of Suns,” Moby retook the mic to address the crowd. This time around he announced he would indeed play an older track, and one that he initially intended to be a “big bang techno track.” Thankfully, that’s not the version of “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?” he played for fans. Judging by the response of the crowd, it’s safe to say that ’90s Moby is the version fans came to see.
And as if the place couldn’t get anymore hyped, Moby threw a curveball and went straight into his ultimate classic, “Porcelain.” Needless to say, once the strings came in for the opening of the song, the crowd lost it and every member of the audience who wasn’t dancing for the earlier songs was now fully in the groove for “Porcelain.”
Spirits high, from music and other things, the crowd settled in for the remainder of the show. Moby and crew continued forward with a few more songs off of the new album before stopping to explain his next track, “A Dark Cloud is Coming.” Instead of keeping the mood upbeat, Moby, with only his bassist and drummer behind him, played the dark blues song in a slow and controlled manner. As the song progressed, however, Moby let his guitar skills do the talking until things built to absolute pandemonium within the shaking walls of The Echo. He then closed his set with a mix of old and new songs, “Sorrow Tree,” “Lie Down in Darkness” and “Motherless Child.”
It was at this point, the would-be encore, that Moby’s humor began to shine. Moby took the mic, explained that The Echo’s backstage area was disgusting and decided on behalf of the crowd that he and his band would continue with their set. Not that anyone would oppose. From there, he stormed through “South Side,” “Extreme Ways,” fan favorite, “Natural Blues,” “Go” and “We Are All Made of Stars.”
To close things out, Moby decided to take an alternate route. Instead of upholding the Rock Show status quo of playing his biggest hit, he decided to play a “sweet song” that everyone could sing along with and then, “go home to watch Netflix, or whatever people do.” After a few laughs, Moby and the band played “Almost Home” in the most peaceful way possible. It was a pleasant end to a stellar evening with one of music’s most enduring and dynamic talents leading the way.
- Mere Anarchy
- The Middle is Gone
- Falling Rain and Light
- The Waste of Suns
- Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?
- This Wild Darkness
- The Tired and the Hurt
- The Last of Goodbyes
- A Dark Cloud is Coming
- Sorrow Tree
- Lie Down in Darkness
- Motherless Child
- South Side
- Extreme Ways
- Natural Blues
- We Are All Made of Stars
- Almost Home