Moneen | 10.04.09

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live_moneen_sm.gifThe crowd was small but impassioned, the show intimate yet vibrant.

 Cicero's, St. Louis

live_moneen.gifI was psyched going in. The band sounded great at soundcheck and I was looking forward to the show. This was my first Moneen show; I'd been listening to their new release, The World I Want to Leave Behind, nearly nonstop and was ready to see how it translated to stage.

Let me just say that Moneen as a band translated to the stage very, very well. There's a ton of energy knocking around a not-huge space, what with frontman Kenny Bridges using every available bit of space with his mad guitar playing. At one point, he stepped onto the risers and patted a guy on the head. Never a dull moment, to be sure.

The band was excited to be here, and it showed. Hell, they even said as much. It had been a few years since they'd been on a headlining tour. Admittedly, it wasn't a huge jaunt; they were heading east to join the Say Anything tour. Still, they were happy to be able to play whatever they wanted, treating the crowd to a 65-minute career-encompassing set.

The crowd was small but impassioned, the show intimate yet vibrant. At one point, a guy up front called for "Song 8." Bridges laughed, saying, "We purposely made our song titles very short so you and we could remember them, and now you can't even remember it?" Rather than play the song, Bridges jokingly offered the guy a private performance in the parking lot after the show.

Another request came: play a new song, one unrecorded. "We've never gotten one of those requests before," Bridges said. "Thank you."

Even in full-on rock assault, Moneen's music is very melodic. There's enough variety and innate talent that this band should be bigger than it is, its shows packed at every turn. Hopefully that awaits this talented foursome.

For the last song, "The Passing of America," Bridges and guitarist Chris Hughes each brought a single drum and drumsticks into the audience; after a full-on assault, they proceeded to have a drum-off. Then, time to retake the stage, they passed the sticks to two audience members, who kept up the challenge.

Before the song, Bridges said, "This song goes out to every one of you; thank you so much for coming." At that point, a bigger crowd wouldn't have made a difference; we were all in it together, sharing the amazing experience that is a Moneen show. Gracious and talented; now there's a band you can love. | Laura Hamlett

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