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Bluesfest Review: Moist

By Terry Steeves on July 23, 2014

Moist is a Canadian alternative rock band that formed in Vancouver, B.C. in 1992. They released their first album, Silver (1994), which was noted for its hits, “Silver”, “Believe Me” and their very signature song, “Push”. They released two more albums, Creature (1996), Mercedes 5 and Dime (1999) and a compilation DVD, Machine Punch-Through: The Singles Collection (2001) before entering a hiatus period that lasted 12 years. During this period, lead vocalist/songwriter, David Usher, set out on a successful solo career, with 7 albums to his credit.

In May of 2013, it was announced that Moist would be returning in full force, and working on new material for a new studio album, having signed a new deal with Universal Music Canada. This year marks the beginning of a new CD, Glory Under Dangerous Skies, due to be released in October. They released the single, “Mechanical” this past May. More news would include the departure of two of their members, Jeff Pearce (bass) and Paul Wilcox (drums). New members now include, Louis Lalancette (bass) and Francis Fillion (drums), both hailing from Quebec. They have also added a second guitarist, Jonathan Gallivan to create a beefier sound to the music, turning Moist into a 6-piece band.

The show kicked off with “Tangerine”, from their second album, Creature. The crowd responded vigorously with many happy to see David Usher back with his band again. They also played “Resurrection”, and “Ophelia” from the same album. The music sounded wonderfully lush and flowing with vocal melodies and flavours of melancholy new age mixed with heavy modern rock.

Usher climbed down off the stage to mingle/shake hands with the crowd during “Machine Punch Through” (Silver). Later, he sang one of his solo hits from his second album, Morning Orbit, entitled “Black Black Heart”…a beautiful haunting piece that builds into a sweeping intenseness, with great keyboard work by Kevin Young. Definitely one of my favorites.

Usher then took a break to speak to the audience in French, which was impressive, and introduced both the new bass player and drummer. Switching back to English, he talked about the new CD and the fact that today was only the second time they’d played together with the new regrouping. They then played their new release, “Mechanical”, which still had those flowing qualities, but more intense, heavier guitar riffs, with a fantastic guitar solo by Mark Makoway.

The show finished with the song that was launched as their first single, “Push”, which sent Usher back down into the crowd again. It was clear the audience was more than happy to see Moist re-emerge after a long hiatus. They are definitely back with a vengeance…and a great new energy.