Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, FL • September 16, 1999
After a prolonged hour and a half wait (due to unannounced no-shows the Boom Boom Satellites, who were replaced by a skilled DJ), Moby and his three piece band (percussion, bass, and drums) bounded onto the stage and proceeded to engage in an aural onslaught with material from his latest effort, Play , along with some covers (including a crunching, guitar-driven execution of the “James Bond Theme,” and an even more crunchy rendition of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”). Performing like a man possessed, Moby seemed more interested in channeling demons than exorcising them.
Both charming and whimsical, Moby engaged in a bit of banter with an audience member — after a fan requested that Moby announce “God bless the Irish,” he responded with a droll “Hooray for the Irish.” Commenting that the audience “looked very sexy,” Moby also thanked the “powers that be” for not hurricaning on our outdoor show, circumstances which caused him to cancel his Orlando appearance.
Midway through the show, Moby paused to introduce the audience to his “special friends.” With mock solemnity, he produced a glow-in-the-dark tambourine and various fruit-shaped shakers (an avocado, a banana, and a pineapple.) He and his percussionist then attempted a game of hackey-sack with the avocado, proving that despite his tendency to wax passionate about his personal views in his CDs’ liner notes, Moby still likes to be as silly and goofy as the rest of us mere mortals.
Leading the encore with an acoustic-jazz attempt at Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird,” he then abandoned it for a heavy bludgeoning of “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver.” Moby ended the show by perching himself atop his programmer while bathing himself in sound and light to what (he) “believed to be the fastest song recorded,” then faded away in a mist of smoke machine haze, leaving the audience sweaty, exhausted, and sated.