Live Show: 8/6/97


Pittsburgh, PA

Reviewed by: Troy Bogdan and Susan Tanner

The Details

The show started promptly at 7:30 pm with the band first starting off by cracking a few book store jokes, since they were in a book store. Most of the jokes went right over the heads of the audience so they decided to stop with the book references.

Jian went into some deep philosophical talk about kids coming out of the womb start to get socialized into knowing that libraries and similar areas (like book stores) are a place to be quiet. He said that since this was a bookstore they couldn't play anything tonight. Luckily he was joking, and the band went into their first number, "Silent Night," which the members of the band started humming. They stated that this song will be available on the forthcoming Bottom Line release, "A Very Fruvous Christmas." As you know they were joking, but it sounds like a good idea to me :-)

After Murray did a self introduction of the band, they went into "Peace Of Mind (Buy Our New Disc)," and then they went into "My Baby Loves A Bunch Of Authors" in which Murray actually forgot his part. When it was time for him to sing there was a big laughable pause, and then he realized he had to sing "I'll be over when I finish my book." Some lyric changes in this song were "Pulp Fiction" instead of "Short Works Of Fiction" and instead of "Who Needs A Shave" was changed to "Who Needs A Grave." As tradition follows, the next song was "River Valley."

After "River Valley," Jian starting talking about toning down their set tonight since they were in a bookstore and didn't want to cause trouble, or offend anyone here to buy books, such as the new William S. Burroughs book (The crowd was agasp at this seemingly vicious attack on the deceased) in which he quickly shot off a response to " or those people in the Jimmy Stewert section." Mike said they just didn't want to "blow the proverbial wad" so they could save some songs for tomorrow's show. Jian said he wanted to keep it a Rated PG show, in which Dave announced the next song "Tri-State Killing Spree" and blasted into some heavy punk music with Mike singing and thrashing along. The band then went into "Horseshoes."

After "Horseshoes," the band "eschewed" the microphones and chatted a little more about Pittsburgh, Canadians and Communism. Jian told the kids to forget about Dr. Seuss and Judy Blume and he grabbed a book of the shelf by Karl Marx and told them to read this. Mike jumped in by telling about the "Spectre Over Europe" and scaring some of the kids in the audience by talking about the giant ghost. They even went to far as to say that it is like the movie "Independence Day," except that the President was the bad guy. They were totally ripping on America tonight which was really funny.

Jean then segued from Communism to Workplace Relations, and then announced that this next song was based on the story of working in a dog food store when he was between the ages of 13 thru 16 in Thornhill Ontario. They played "I Love My Boss," with some funny parts being when Jian didn't want to use the word "Gun" (In keeping with his rated PG Show) and after ". . .they go real heavy on the sauce," mike yelled "Alcohol," and at the end Murray placed a book about Che Guevarra in Jians hand (still on the communism trip).

After that song they started talking about immigration and bringing fresh blood into the U.S. - Radioactive Blood and they went into "Spiderman" with Mike swinging on one of those book store ladders that roll around on tracks. He was ripping on the U.S. some more and then he brought up a book to Murray called the "Idiots Guide To Dealing With Difficult People," and proceeded to beat him up in the usual Spidey Man way. Mike then kicked some dude off a couch so he could jump on it and continue with the song - the dude went up with the band and started singing and dancing with them like he was an actual band member - he got a rousing applause and at the end of the song Mike announced him as the fifth member of Fruvous, and gave him his seat back on the couch.

Next they talked about the new album a little bit and went into "You Will Go To The Moon." After that song they talked a little bit about bookstores and their familiar color schemes. Next Jian talked about his Pink Shirt and went on to say that while in Milwaukee he washed his white socks with all the colored clothes and now his socks were custom colored to match his shirt.

Dave said that the next song was about modern medical technology and they played "The Incredible Medicine Show."

After that song, they chatted about local radio station WYEP and that they would be guest D.J.s tomorrow afternoon and that the station would be having a contest for free tickets to their show tomorrow night. Since they were glad we came to see them here at the bookstore, they gave us one of the questions and the answer, so someone from this show would win the tickets tomorrow. The question was "Where do Jian's Persian reletives live in the U.S. The answer: Potomac, a suburb of Washington D.C.

Next they spontaniously made up the "WYEP Theme Song" and then the "Borders Book Store Theme Song," which I think was a Joan Baez song "Borders Of Our Lives." I may be wrong about that.

Next they talked about "Michigan Militia" being the first song to gain much radio airplay in the U.S. and then they played it.

After that song they announced that there would be some special guests tonight. The first would be Lorne Greene, the Canadian Actor, actually not they joked. The real first guest was the King Of Spain, and Dave put on his hat and they played that song. Song funny lyric changes were "King why are you such a Chomskyite, there's a book overhead and Ron Francis" and "the Penguins called me up to drive the zamboni." Instead of the International Orchestra they called in Rocky Blier and Franco Harris (Former Pittsburgh Steelers).

The next guest, which they said wouldn't be performing tomorrow was Lou Reed (Actually Mike in 70's sunglasses). Lou did some poetry and then the band went into "Take A Walk On The Wild Side" which segued into Abba's "Dancing Queen." This medly kept flipping back and forth between the two songs.

This was the last song they played, and after the show they stayed and mingled with the crowd.

What a wonderfully spontaneous show!!!

From Susan Tanner:

Well, I wasn't going to post about Pittsburgh, hoping that maybe Sandy from Ohio was on-line and would, since my details will be a bit sketchy.

But anyway....I arrived at Borders in the South Hills of Pittsburgh about 6:30pm. The guys were already downstairs unpacking and setting up for the in-store. They had them playing in front of a fireplace, and had a few chairs set up, which were already filled with fans (an hour before the in-store was scheduled to start). The store manager, Eric, seemed excited by this, and told me they had a good number of calls over the past week about the in-store. WYEP (the public radio station) had been really promoting the heck out of the in-store...I had been listening to them all day, and heard them announce it about every 15 minutes. In addition, Borders had posters up, flyers, and an in-store magazine mentioning the show.

Of course, the guys came out and opened with "Buy Our New CD". Then, it becomes sketchy for me, as I turn into label girl and take pictures and watch the crowd reaction. However, they did a great version of "Spiderman", with Mike climbing one of the ladders up to the top. And of course, being Borders, they did "MBLABOA". At one point, Jian picked up a Karl Marx book and told the kids in the audience that it was good summer reading.

The store itself is two floors, and there were about a hundred people there, down on the bottom floor, in the aisles, and up the staircase. In fact, there were a few older women there...looking like my Grandma. I walked past them to take a picture down the stairwell, and one of them remarked to the other, "These boys are so funny. Who are they?" As people walked in to the store, they heard the music coming from downstairs and wandered down to take a look.

They played for about 40 minutes, and stayed around for another hour and one-half signing CDs and copies of Green Eggs and Ham (the book).

The Music

Opened with The Set Closed with Encore 1 Encore 2

Misc. Info

Some other tidbits from the performance include:

Back to the tour dates 1997 page