Live Show: 10/22/97


Ithaca, NY

Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley, Mike Aronson, Jason Hare,
Mark Anbinder, & Michelle/Rich/Vicki/Eileen

The Details

I'd never seen a Moxy show in Ithaca before. Hell, I'd never even *been* to Ithaca before. But I had a great time, as always, and once again Fruvous never ceases to amaze me.

Jo and I left Rochester at five and made it to Ithaca by 6:30. The Nines is a small restaurant/venue nestled deep in the college district (for lack of a better word). You could tell instantly that Ithaca is a college town; there were students everywhere, so we weren't sure how crowded it was going to be at the show. Being a Wednesday night, I thought there would be a sparse showing, but considering the location, the potentiality was there for a full crowd.

The Nines is small. There's a 'stage' (if you could call it that) in the back of the restaurant area, and a pool table and stuff behind it. It was a somewhat strange layout for bands to perform in. Jen (also from Rochester) was there, and we joined her for some dinner. We were way too early, Moxy wasn't slated to go on till ten.

I met some other fans before the show, and the names of people I met (or re-met, as it were) over the course of the evening were: Brian, Tara, Jason, Clairice, Rich (whom I'd met at the Philly Folk Fest, and who had a great South Park T-shirt on), and a bunch of others whose names escape me. The tables were cleared out, and the place filled up to a point that probably violated some fire code in Ithaca lawbooks.

Jo, Jen, and I staked a place as close as we could get to the stage, and then said to ourselves, "Hey, why don't we stand *behind* the stage?". All I could think of was Robin Williams in 'Dead Poets Society' giving his talk on seeing the world from different perspectives. Hell, why not? It could be kind of neat. We squirmed our way to behind the stage and leaned against the pool table, waiting for Moxy to appear.

Fruvous went on a little bit past ten and played for nearly two hours. The crowd was great; the only thing that made me upset was that the promoter for the venue and some of the bouncers decided to play pool...loudly. They were talking very loudly, especially during 'Fell in Love'. Even Jian asked them to cut it out a bit. I moved a bit during the show; I started out in the back moved to where we started (about 10 rows of people back, in front of the stage), and then during 'Fly' I moved to behind the stage again.

Marcus was brought up on stage during the show so that the guys could sing him Happy Birthday. Also, Fruvous blew me away with their second encore. Very cool!!

Afterwards, we all talked for quite a while. The guys stayed in the venue for a large amount of time, signing autographs, taking pictures, talking, etc. A group of six guys from one of the local colleges formed their own a cappella group, and rounded up Moxy to sing The Gulf War Song for them. The whole venue became silent while these guys belted out a great rendition of one of my favorite Fru-tunes.

We finally said our goodbyes. Jo and I left Ithaca by 1:30, and got back to Rochester by three in the morning. All in all, a really great show. I have a feeling Ithaca is going to be another place that will pull in big crowds whenever Fruvous rolls into town.

From Mike Aronson:

I was also at the show on the twenty-second of October. It was my first Fruvous show and believe you me it will definitely not be my last show.

Being a student here at Ithaca College, a school known for its music program, I joined my roommate, who happens to be a music major, to see this band that he had been talking about all last year and much of this year. I had heard a couple of songs from the Bargainville CD and i was very excited to see the band. We met some of my roommates friends at the Nines around 9:00. We knew that the band did not come on til ten, but there was already a buzz in the air, an electric vibe was present in everyone there. When Moxy came out on stage, the crowd went crazy....the perverbial floodgates were opened, and the next hours that followed were full of energy that almost brought down the house!!! Moxy involved the crowd with their energetic performance and incredible song lyrics.

The set concluded...not once....not twice....but thrice, with an extraordinary medley and cover songs. After that, my roommate and I took our time getting T-shirts and CD's before rejoining our friends. My roommate is a member of an a cappella mens group called "Six Ugly Guys," made up of six Ithaca College students. They waited for the members of the band and then performed "The Gulf War Song" with the members of Moxy looking on. Then Moxy Fruvous traded some musical jargon that my ears could not interpret, and then had an impromptu jam session.

It was an awesome show, and it sure made me want to see them again. It is a shame that ANYONE missed this show, for it rocked!

From Jason Hare:

Hello to all you fantastic Frupeople,

My name is Jason and I've been lurking on here for about 7 months, but I've decided that I want to get involved in all this good stuff too- I can't just READ all this stuff anymore, there's too much I want to say! :-)

Anyway, just thought I'd give ya a little review (personalized, of course!) of last night's Ithaca show:

Last night's show at the Nines was show #5 for me (according to my Fruhead card. It's actually #6, but nevermind). At around 5, Huli (my roomie, show #4 for him, I think) and Denise (show #2) left Buffalo to get our Fruvous fix. We stopped at my buddy Raz's house once we hit Ithaca, and we found out that apparently EVERYBODY was going to the concert!

This worried me a bit because the last show I saw (at the Tralf earlier this month), I couldn't see a damn thing...and ironically, it was the best Fruvous show I've seen so far!

We got stamped at the door and headed out for some pizza. After pizza, we ran into Jian right on the way to the Nines! Now, this was a bit surprising to me. I've seen the guys a bunch of times, but I've never stuck around to meet them or anything. I was really happy at how welcoming Jian was. We had conversation for about 5 minutes about Long Island (where I'm from) and the live album. He left to go to the dressing room, and I was just really taken aback at how easy it was to talk to him. I think I've probably always felt so wonderful at Fruvous shows because I really feel like I'm not just a face in the crowd- well, this kind of solidified that for me.

So anyway, on to the show. To be honest, I was really surprised that the band was playing here- it was absolutely tiny. I mean, it didn't even really have a stage. The band joked about this during the set. I mean, it was nice to be up close, and the crowd was really supportive- I was just surprised because they easily could have played a bigger venue.

Moxy came out at around 10:20, I believe, and absolutely blew the crowd away with Message. I mean, I never really thought much of the album version- but when they reach the chorus and (even better) the scatting part, I am just blown away.

They played for the next two hours. Highlights for me were their versions of Lazy Boy (did they lower the key on this one?), Boo Time (Mike is hysterical with his animal calls), and Spiderman, which I had not heard live before. Oh, and the crowd LOVED the version of Your New Boyfriend- the WLUV improv went really well, and the "Sing A Song" middle part had everyone laughing.

Fell In Love has always been a favorite of mine, and I'm really happy they've included it in the set. They ended with Get in the Car before leaving, hiding behind the amplifiers (so it seemed) and then coming out for their encores.

The audience SHRIEKED once they started King Of Spain- in fact, the minute Jian mentioned the word "monarch" in his segue, everyone knew what was coming. Dave thought the "international orchestra" part was so great, he had the band repeat it so we could all sing it. Green Eggs & Ham, although the short version (*sigh*), was excellent. I'm also a big fan of the Who, and apparently the band had some kind of connection with The Who tonight. Mike mentioned their songs during the "don't mock the Beatles" part.

The second encore disappointed me, to be honest- no Grunge of Spain, no Drinking Song (I thought they ALWAYS closed with Drinking Song)...and what was odd was that they quietly discussed what they were planning to play, and then Jian said, "We've decided we'll end with what we always end with." Although...they didn't! Instead we got a medley of Small Town, Let My Love Open The Door (another semi-Who reference) and Come Dancin'.

They closed with Psycho Killer, which the crowd loved. I thought they were gonna come out for another encore but they put on their jackets and headed outside.

So all in all, it was a very good show and definitely worth the 150 mile drive from Buffalo. I didn't like the show as much as the first Tralf show, to be honest. I just thought the crowd and general energy of that Buffalo show was intense. But the Ithaca/Cornell crowd really loved the boys, and I'm sure they'll be back again, hopefully at a bigger venue!

I finally got to meet Chris O'Malley before the show. My first internet Fruhead meeting! And I decided that I really want to meet more of you, so I'll keep everyone updated on where I'll be, and maybe I can meet you.

If there's one thing I'm slowly but surely realizing, it's that this whole Fruvous gang is really a big family. I think that's great and I can't wait to meet all of you. I'll definitely be at the Bottom Line for NYE, and possibly at the show in Syracuse. See you then!

From Mark Anbinder:

The Nines sure is a strange venue, but it works out really well for a number of acts. A few dozen people (a more typical Wednesday night crowd) wouldn't have looked like they were rattling around an empty room... and yet a few hundred could have a good time.

I'd never really heard of Moxy Fruvous before this month. My friend Steve (we're fellow members of the board of directors of the Friends of Bound for Glory, Inc., see for more info) asked if I wanted to join him at this Nines gig in a tone of voice that suggested I *really* ought to join him.

Luckily, I have faith in Steve's musical tastes. I went.

I had a minute and a half walk from the radio station to the Nines, rather than an hour and a half drive from Rochester, and didn't even have much risk of getting a speeding ticket. Steve and I began the evening with some pizza and beer at about eight, after being warned that our table, the last one available even two hours before showtime, was going to have to be moved off the "dance floor" before the show.

We ended up standing amongst a group of younger attendees (they probably weren't REALLY twelve...) two feet from the stage-left speakers for the whole show. It was a *great* show. The a cappella piece that started off the gig set the classy tone for the evening, and impressed me. I hadn't known what to expect at all, getting conflicting ideas from Steve's folk-music leanings and the crowd of college-age kids around us. I wasn't disappointed.

I must have been one of a handful of people in the room who *didn't* know all the words to most of the songs, but it didn't bother me one bit. I couldn't help but bop around to the beat.

Moxy Fruvous impressed me as a bunch of guys who are *really* tight in their performance. The a cappella song seemed in perfect synchronization and harmony to my untrained ears, and the music in Poor Mary Lane (the first piece with instruments) fit marvelously together. The voices, drums, and instruments all formed a seamless whole: Moxy Fruvous was *one* musical instrument last night.

About ten minutes after the too-short show ended (I wanted another whole set, damnit!) my friend Greg showed up. He'd been turned away at the door earlier, because the crowd was too big, and told to return around 12:30 for the end of the show. His loss! (He missed Fruvous performing on the streets of London one day four years ago, too. Guess the fates are not with him.)

So we're plotting to head up to the upcoming Rochester or Syracuse gigs later this fall. But if Greg goes, I'm taking a different car. I want to get there.

From Michelle Simko, Rich Drees, Vicki Keiper, & Eileen Tamanini:

The pizza alone at the Nines was enough to justify the 2 1/2 hour drive from our groups Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania home base to this evenings MF show in Ithaca. (Well, Murry recommended the pizza to us as we ran into him before they set up. And he wouldn't steer a group of travel weary, wine shopping Fruheads wrong, now, would he????)

The venue was small, comfortable, and cozy. Much like Ithaca itself, nestled in the rolling hills of central NY state. It seemed to us like we were in somebody's basement, the staff was very courteous, making us feel right at home. Moxy must have pulled at least 300 into this venue. The place was packed. (By the way, if you plan on showing up early, better wear comfortable shoes, there is alot to see by foot!)

This was our first time seeing the new tour set and were very impressed. I mean, to start off they did an excellent a cappella version of Got to Get A Message To You. It was everything fans expected of them and more. They pulled songs from their past, which are unrepresented most of the time. Their second song was Poor Mary Lane, followed by On Her Doorstep. Other songs that followed were Michigan Militia, Johnny Saucep'n,and Lazy Boy.

All of a sudden, the guys donned some really cool hats to do a very Vegas lounge version of Boo Time. Jian got off on a tangent about a game called Allies that the four of them play when they are in the van, which segwayed into Kick in the Ass. A little skit of "Love Lines" between Murray and Jian took place next. Jian had a purple baseball cap on sideways and was calling into love lines because of his ex-girlfriend. (A nice segway into a Carpenter sounding Right Wing Shit--which the guys broke into a surprising, yet pleasant version of Sing a Song).

Another rare and surprising treat to us was Fell in Love. Spiderman, a little riff of Jockey Full of Bourbon was heard before Medicine Show, BJ, Bargainville all followed with the usual amazing Fruvous energy. Jian at this point claimed to have drum difficulty and paged Marcus to come onto the stage. He traps him there because today is his birthday. So everyone sang Happy Birthday to Marcus.

My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors, River Valley, and Get in the Car finished off their set. The first encore included Fly, King of Spain (with the new blue and yellow hat), and Green Eggs and Ham. The second encore had a melody of Small Town (by John Melloncamp), My Love Will Open the Door (by Pete Townsend), and Come Dancin' (by the Kinks). What really blew us away was their version of Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads. Murray said they haven't played that in a looooooooooooonnnnnnnnngggggggggggg time. Mike didn't realize they'd do the whole song and hoped he remembered the chords.

Mike claimed to have a sore throat when we talked to him before they set up, but he showed no signs of it during the set.

We said our goodbyes to everyone and headed out of the venue for our long trek home. As we get outside, we see our first snowflakes of the season. On the way home those few flakes became a slew of flakes making it look like were driving home at warp speed! "Through rain, nor snow, nor dark of night, will keep these Fruheads from the Fruvous site!"

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:

Back to the tour dates 1997 page