Live Show: 11/13/97


Philadelphia, PA

Reviewed by: Jessica, Autumn & Paul Ford

The Details

Well, according to Fruvous, I am officially a GEEK, as here I am directly after a show writing online!! (And I imagine that puts most of YOU in that cagegory as well, so stop yer snickering!!) You could also possibly be a HIPPIE--these were the two categories into which All Fruvous Fans were put this evening by our lovely lads.

So what I have to say about this show is: "why do they do so many skits?!!" (<--this is not an actual question, do not bombard me with actual answers; I just had to post that since Jian specifically addressed that thread...after they did GE&H (I think) he told everyone that doing street skits is how they got started, lest people run home and wonder aloud online why the just don't play music like, for example, Oasis!)

Anyway...I'm just too tired to give a full-blown review--I'll leave that to someone else. I will say that tonight's show was REALLY good, and the guys seemed very well-rested and in good moods. They played for about 2.5 hours, with 2 encores (I never remember set lists, but it seemed to include the "new usuals"), and it actually wasn't too hot in the venue (amazing) so it was even more enjoyable than usual to stand for so long! I REALLY liked the WLUV skit, which I had yet to see--even though I've read all the reviews of it it came off very well in person, and the ensuing more-mellow version of Right Wing Shit was most pleasurable!

One banter bit that cracked me up was Mike's reference to The Electric Company--do any of you guys remember that show?? It was on right before Sesame Street when I was little, and they (Fruvous) made a reference to the segment "For the Love of Chair," which was a take-off/parody of soap operas ("But what about Naomi?" was how the segment always ended...I think maybe three other people in the theatre besides me got the joke!!).

Another large portion of tonight's banter was devoted to Jian discussing in detail the movie "Some Kind of Wonderful," which he'd just seen at the hotel this afternoon. I can't even remember the point of why he was telling us this, entertaining though it was (something about diamond earrings and tomboys), but I was glad to see there are still people out there watching 80s movies again and again!! (I myself am partial to "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles," and didn't get as into the "Some Kind of Wonderful"/"Pretty in Pink" series--just for the record!)

Anyway...golly, I can't even think at this was great to see everyone and I'm really looking forward to the Mercury Lounge shows!!!

From Autumn:

I'd just like to say that what I saw of Philadelphia was cool (well, I only saw south street and I95 but still) And TLA was an excellent place...I had never heard Fruvous anywhere but tiny clubs and the sound there was excellent! The setlist was basically song for song and joke for joke the same as the D.C. show at the Bayou but the band was much more energetic and you'd think they were hamming it up for a camera. I hadn't seen everyone so enthusiastic since my first Fruvous show in Cincinnati. The audience was great ...except there was that one chick...

So Jian's telling this story about some movie he's seen a million times that just happened to be playing at the hotel. He recounts the entire movie basically and then there's a pause for some reason or another just as some girl with a whiny voice says "What ARE they TALking about?" I guess that was my favorite antecdote from the concert. Apologies to that girl if she happens to be on this newsgroup. Either way I was amused.

I was also proud of Jian's keeping at bay of the cursing. He tends to have a bit of a potty mouth and I dunno if it was b/c of the all ages factor or b/c of the recording devices but at one point he said the F word and actually acted embarrassed at having said it.

I have recently become fascinated also with the changing of the Boo Time lyrics to fit the venue. "Smokin a J at the TLA" being my new favorite. And on another lyric-changing note.. We're Moxy Fruvous from Toronto and My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors. Did my ears happen to catch "Who needs a grave?" instead of shave?

I was very pleased to meet Cathy and Ken and also pleased at my psychic abilities to recognize them as such without ever having seen them or having heard any type of descriptive information whatsoever. Hi also to rj who I'm sorry I didn't meet before my friends dragged me away to the car several rainy blocks away.

From Paul Ford:

FYI. This has been submitted to Brandywine Valley Weekly (free Delaware Art & Entertainment paper) but may be held for more in-depth piece when live CD is set for release. PF

In Review:

Moxy Fruvous (w/ Ben Arnold)
Theatre of the Living Arts, Philadelphia
Thursday, November 13, 1997

The members of that quirky Canadian quartet Moxy Fruvous - David Matheson (guitar, accordion), Mike Ford (guitar, percussion), Jian Ghomeski (drums, percussion, flute) and Murray Foster (bass) - have come a long way from the streets of Toronto, where they began performing their unique brand of humorous pop songs and high-energy theatrics in 1990.

Last week they returned to the TLA for more outrageous antics.

A fringe act in the tradition of Barenaked Ladies, Fruvous has achieved modest airplay on alternative radio since their breakthrough, Bargainville, in 1993. (The band was quick to thank WXPN for its support in this area.) They are currently touring behind their fourth album, You Will Go to the Moon, the first release on the newly formed independent label, Bottom Line Records.

After opening a cappella with the Bee Gees' "I've Gotta Get A Message To You," which highlighted their solid four-part harmonies, the band continued non-stop for the next two hours. The set concentrated primarily on material from Bargainville and Moon, but gems from other albums ("The Kids' Song," "Horseshoes," "Fly") were also included. In true Moxy style, they also tossed in covers of Tom Waits' "Jockey Full of Bourbon" and "Psycho Killer" from the Talking Heads.

While the band's albums, with their catchy lyrics and barbershop harmonizing, are certainly enjoyable, Moxy Fruvous is at their best live.

Songs like the Persian jazz flavored "No No Raja" and the Beatle-esque "Get In The Car" seemed to take on new life at the TLA, but it was the clever political satire of "Michigan Militia" - a bluegrass hip-hop send up of right-wing American extremism - and the intelligent, playful humor of "My Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors," and "King of Spain" that elicited the best responses. And it was their hilarious, high-speed rap version of Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" that brought the house down at the end of the night.

Moxy Fruvous is truly a collaborative effort, and the four members obviously have a good time with each other as well as with their audience - a "mixture of hippies and geeks" fondly referred to as Fruheads. The band's fresh approach to the material, along with their improvised between-song banter, make each show a fun and memorable experience. It remains to be seen whether or not that experience can be adequately captured on record, but with a forthcoming live album - which was recorded last week at the TLA - we'll soon find out.

Philly's own raspy-voiced singer-songwriter, Ben Arnold ("An unfortunate American name," Moxy Fruvous later noted.) opened the show with guitarist Christopher Collucci. Sporting a considerably shorter haircut, Ben performed acoustic, stripped-down versions of favorites like "Fine September," "Coeur D'Alene," and "You."

Paul Ford, Jr.

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