On a Thursday night which hosted an over-crowded Unit One and an equally busy Timepiece with their Posh Slosh event, the crazy gang that is Moon Hooch descended on Phoenix. Despite the competition for audiences and not knowing where they were, they took to the stage like a duck to water and still performed with all their flare and extremities; more than the least you would expect from two edgy saxophone players and a quiet but deadly drummer, used to performing in the bustling subway system of New York. Though trained at a prestigious jazz school in the Big Apple, there is nothing at all conventional about the group which is what makes them so exciting. Their “Cave Music” style is at times both aggressive and unexpected, reflecting the true emotion and carefully cultured talented that the band successfully performs. Their electronic dance music inspiration but use of acoustic instruments make it “Woodwind Dubstep”, a neogenre which is both wonderfully barbaric, yet still extremely technical.
Their performance was completely non-stop with transitions between each song. Sweat constantly dripping, their only break came over an hour in. In amazement, the crowd of fifty oversaw the dramatic instrument change to a contra saxophone (already large) with a huge traffic cone taped to make it bigger. Unquestionably the bassiest instrument in human existence. The audience, though in shock and bewilderment, completely welcomed this culture shock with a lot of boogying and limb flailing skanks before the stage. This was a night where staying still was not an option with all of the catchy melodies and huge drops. Overall the reaction was a more shy, and perhaps more unsure than the band was hoping – that was, until the big finale. Possibly their biggest track, Number 9 was played and at last there was no hesitation and no excuse. Everyone unashamedly got involved at the front with the tiniest hint of a mosh (aka just me and a few others jumping).
Moon Hooch are far and away not a band for everyone. However, they have a bundles of artistic credibility. In a world where much pop music sounds similar or is unoriginal and generic, Moon Hooch offer something incredibly unique and push the boundaries of experimental, alternative music. Their uniqueness has earned them a European tour from Russia to Ireland and even a spot on the Jools Holland show earlier this year, a well deserved achievement. This is a band that just want to make you dance and enjoy yourself. Although you may be uneasy and self-conscious at first, seeing them live is a fantastic opportunity to lose all cares in the world and to just enjoy a sonic Jackson Pollock of ultimate insanity.