These days, a jam band "scene" and sound are givens, but that wasn't always so. Though so-called "classic rock" was a big flavor, moe. and '90s peers like Phish and Widespread Panic created a new hybrid that spanned genres and time periods — which was partially a result of the band's off-the-cuff formation. Getting its start at the University of Buffalo, moe. was basically made up as it went along, gaining fans on the school's party circuit.
After an early, quick-changing cast of players, though, the band crystallized its sound (as much as that was possible) on a much-beloved independent debut album, 1992's Fatboy. The name of the album also begat the band's own record label, and in the ensuing decades, moe. has remained more independent than 99 percent of so-called indie bands. It's also remained the most consistent. The "newest" member of the quintet, drummer Vinnie Amico, has been with the act since 1996, and bassist Rob Derhak and guitarist Chuck Garvey have anchored it since its first spontaneous show in 1989.
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It's been three years since the last proper moe. studio album, 2008's Sticks and Stones, but the band has remained active with side projects and live releases since then. Live is, after all, where fans most treasure moe., so a slick collection of recorded tracks almost seems beside the point.