Live Show: 10/21/97


Baltimore, MD

Reviewed by: Matt James, Chris Traugott, & Zard Snodgrass

The Details

I had a wonderful time attending my 4th (5th?) Moxy Fruvous show at Fletcher's in Baltimore last night. The last time they played at Fletcher's it was a 21+ only show, but I think Fletcher's has decided to change their policy to 18+, although I still went alone being a Tuesday night. I left my apartment around 7:30 thinking that doors were at 8pm but were actually at 9 (Fruvous didn't go only until about 11pm), so I went to the Soundgarden music store in Fell's Point and then wandered over to Fletcher's and saw Jian and Murray out front. They were talking with people so I decided not to bother them and wandered around Fell's for a bit and then went to a pizza shop where I met a bunch of Fruvous news- group folks. I recently got the newsgroup so I didn't know anyone, but I was glad I met them, they were all very nice, Melissa, Zard, Ben, and others, I'm not great with names so I hope I got those right and I'm sorry I couldn't remember everyone's.

Anyway, around 10ish we moseyed up to the club, saaw Hamel on Trial screaming various lyrics and waited until Fruvous got on. I keep forgetting about my show card that I can get stamped and again I forgot to get one from Markus (?) the shirt sales guy. They ended up playing for over 2 hours and it was an incredible set with 2 encores! They even made reference to Particle Man from my favorite band They Might Be Giants (although Moxy Fruvous is a very close 2nd). Some guy kept yelling stuff out during the concert and I couldn't tell if MF were annoyed or just having fun with the "audience participation" or both, but at the near the end of the show when this guy yelled out Sam's "I don't eat that stuff" at the end of Green Eggs & Ham, Jian just looked at the guy dumbfounded and Mike proceeded to jump up from his bongos, jumped off-stage and proceeded to tackle the guy in the audience, it was hilarous! Also, during the encore they all came out in shades and played a rockin' version of King of Spain, it was really wild.

Some highlights: early on they played Mary Lane and I was hoping they'd play that one, they played Boo Time, in which they all wore fedoras and Mike yelled stuff out to the crowd, pointed his mic to the crowd and we all repeated the lyrics/noises, and lastly, the coolest of all, they played the Drinking Song at the very end, and we all joined arms, swaying back and forth and singing along to the top of our lungs. Just fantastic!

I should be at the Bayou show in D.C. on November 11th, so I hope to see some folks there.

From Chris Traugott:

Zard is back! (in case you all couldn't tell from her recent barrage of posts…suffering from severe Fruvous deprivation and jet lag, dontcha know? ;-) ) Half the fun in this show for me was seeing how excited she was to be going. We picked up Ben Feingold at a Virginia metro station and battled our way up to Baltimore in late rush hour traffic, in time to meet Doug, Melzie and Gil at the Brick Oven Pizza. We ran into Bonnie and Joan there, they were on their way out to try to catch the sound check at Fletcher's so the six of us sat down to munch pizza, look at Zard's trip pictures, and generally catch up with one another. Suddenly, Melzie said "Fruhead!" and jumped up to accost a fellow in a white t-shirt with a Mike Ford doodle on the back. His name was Matt, and he bravely joined our table of lunatics, looking slightly bewildered. Zard looked like she was about to explode with excitement and impatience, so we decided to stop teasing her and left for the venue.

Fletcher's seems to get shabbier with every show, but for once the sound system sounded good. We straggled in at the end of the Hamil on Trial set, so once again I've missed the "bald angry man who spits." As opposed to the bald, mellow man who plays the accordion. :-) Shortly after arriving we ran into Sue and Andrea from PA and Victorria from NYC, grabbed a couple of bottles of Pete's Wicked and staked out preferred viewing/dancing spaces. We were soon joined by Holly and Joe and some of their friends.

The guys came out on stage sometime after 11, to the strains of Marvin Gaye. Which kept playing. And playing. And playing. Someone finally found the off switch, and the fru-four launched into a cappella Message. The set list was similar to the Ottawa show; zard will post it as she is now the proud owner of the set list with Mike Ford's scribbles. Lots of fru-heads were hearing the material for the first time, I got a real kick out of hearing Sue and Holly exclaim about the new and reworked songs. And there is a new bit of bass line in Video Bargainville, right before the "Once we had a friend…" part. (Zard noticed it too, see what happens when you spend too much time around me! ;-) ).

The audience really got into the show, a few of them a bit too much so for my taste. A couple of inebriated boys (and I do mean boys) began yelling out song requests and snippets of Green Eggs and Ham. The interruptions got louder and more frequent, despite Fruvous' attempts to downplay the noise and joke about people who don't know when to stop drinking. The shouting continued through the full length GH&E, and culminated in said cretins shouting out "I don't eat that stuff" right as Jian was about to. At that, Mike literally launched himself at the larger of the two, landing right on top of him and giving him what we used to call in high school a "noogie." Apparently the boy thought this was all part of the show, and started laughing and "play wrestling" with Mike. I was half hoping Mike would deck him and half praying he wouldn't hurt his hand doing so. Mike finally jumped back on stage, leaving Jian standing there with a look that said "Well, *now* how do I end this song?" So, he took the "green eggs and ham" out of Dave's hand, and said, "Okay, thanks." Mike then launched into an impromptu rap about Sam I Am eating the green eggs and ham. A nice save all the way around, but I think I prefer sharing a concert with stoned hippies to being around self styled "drunk Irishmen." At least the hippies are quiet.

Other little snippets: we were treated to "Canada's Rodman" (Dave) to the tune of Particle Man, Boo Time had a chorus of "smokin' boo with the Fell's Point crew" (Fell's Point is the bar/restaurant area of Baltimore), and a polka on the accordion while Mike was fiddling with a guitar. During Green Eggs and Ham, at "not the Bealtes" the a large portion of the audience pointed at Dave, and Jian said, "You *see* what happens when you say that? Do you see?" And went on to discuss all the people who had been influenced by the Beatles. "Neil Young, eh? Joni Mitchell, eh? Michael J. Fox, eh? All these amazing Candians were influenced by the Beatles." Grunge of Spain was great, the first time I'd seen them do it wearing sunglasses. The stage was quite dark, the guys were back lit with a purplish light, and Mike stood stock still, moving only his fingers, in the quintessential "cool rocker" pose. It was hysterical!

Obligatory haberdashery/couture note: Jian was wearing a t-shirt with the Superman "S" on it. Sly, self deprecating reference to Im_Batman's Boston review, where he asked the rhetorical "Who does he (Jian) think he is , a superhero?" question? Or am I just connecting a series of unrelated coincidences, a la Foucault's Pendulum? ;-)

After the show the place cleared out pretty quickly thanks to overzealous bouncers. We all said our good byes and tried to figure out when we'd next see each other. Then Zard, Ben and I hustled out to the car (which was, thankfully, where I left it, not always a given in Baltimore) and sped through the frigid night air back to Washington. Another great show!

From Zard Snodgrass:

In haste, since I don't know when I'll have time to get to the review (and Matt did a good one, and I know Chris's is on the way through the wires), thought I'd at least give y'all the set list, as picked up from in front of Mike at show's end. As follows:

Poor Mary

Green * Fly * Authors

More encores: (not writ on sheet)
Grunge of Spain
Drinking Song

Great show, and GREAT sound!! Fletcher's has never been better. :) Thanks, all, and it was great to meet you, Matt, and fun to hang with the rest of youse.

The Pictures

Click the description to get the pic:

The Music

Opened with The Set Closed with Encore 1 Encore 2

Misc. Info

Some other tidbits from the performance include:

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