Live Show: 11/15/97


New York, NY

Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley, Colleen Campbell, Gorbitron, Vika, & Hayley

The Details

The New York saga continues...

Saturday morning (actually it was afternoon by the time we got up and got ready :), Mike, Kelly, Lisa and I headed back to Manhattan to meet up with everyone, with the intentions of having lunch at Jeckyl and Hyde's, a famous theme restaurant. When I say everyone, and I know I'm going to forget names, there was: Jason, Rob and some of his friends, Chad, Jenn, Jessica, Chris T, Zard, Dan J, Jered, Dan Carp and some of his friends, Colleen, Vika, and Lisa (I *know* there's more in there somewhere :) Mike and Kelly headed for sight seeing rather than having lunch.

Realizing that a two hour wait was a little ridiculous, we all headed to Lucky's Bar and Grill across the street and had a very nice lunch. Outside the road was being cut open with a large circular saw and the chaos of construction during the middle of the day in Manhattan was quite entertaining. After that, we all split up, some went to sight see, and Jered, Dan, Colleen and I headed back to Jason's apartment (only about a six block walk, and during which time we saw a sign that said "Don't even THINK about parking here" and also passed the indoor, yet outdoor, yet indoor food court) to get warm and so we could all enjoy a massage. Ahhh... Heavenly.

Eventually, most of the crew showed up to Jason's, where we socialized for a while, and finally headed to the venue by around 7:30. Jason and I managed to get in early to set up so we could tape Tory (he's amazing!) and by eight, people were filtering in.

Tory went on around 8:30, and the crowd that was there thus far was great. Everyone sat on the floor, in complete awe and silence, listening to this marvelous singer/songwriter. He played for about forty-five minutes, and closed with a Tom Waits song that was just beautiful. The second act was Michael Kroll (sp?). He went on around 9:30, and didn't get a very good crowd response. By this time, more and more people were packing in, and apparently the show sold out by 9:15. Susan Tanner, Jude, Wendy, Jack Ross were all there. And this was a special treat; Caiti from California surprised us with a visit.

By 10:30, Fruvous came on, and did a great set. Slightly varied from the night before, the set seemed to flow a little more smoothly, and I believe they have some very excellent material for the live album. The sat ran about two hours and fifteen minutes, and was chock full of goodies, impromptu songs, funny banter, and the like. Lazlo showed up near the end of the set and was able to catch the last few tunes.

Again, we didn't have much time afterwards to socialize, since the club started making us leave by 1:30. I did meet Victoria Johnson, and some friends of Jason. I said my goodbyes to everyone I wouldn't see, since I didn't stay for the Sunday show. Lisa, Heather, Mike, Kelly and I headed back to the Bronx, but not without stopping at Ray's pizza first for some authentic NYC pizza. Yumm...

Finally hit the hay by four in the morning, and woke up around 10:30 on Sunday. By noon, we were ready to leave, and Mike, Kelly, Heather and I headed back to Utica, where I in turn kept going to Rochester, making it home by seven.

What a fun weekend. It was great to see everyone again and I have a feeling this was the last big group gathering we'll have until the new tour. See everyone soon!!

From Colleen Campbell:

Skip ahead, after a several-hour-long process of waking up amongst our group, to the meeting time at Jekyll & Hyde's. We had 21 there in all. What no one anticipated was the 1-2 hour wait, outside (it wasn't *that* bad, but it was chilly. . .says she of sun-bleached Floridean blood), so after most of us were there, Zard located a nearby "bar and grill" (shyeah!! $11 appetizers that take 45 seconds to consume) that could seat everyone. I, being the staunch and stoic Fruiend that I am (heh), waited outside for a bit longer for Vika to direct her to our eatery ('cause she knows what I look like), Chad being nice enough to keep me company. Finally giving up, I asked the security if, Just In Case, they could direct Vika to Lucky's Bar & Grill. He asked for my name. "Colleen," I told him, and he shook his head. "Or ceecee" I amended. "Ceecee--I'll remember that." Colleen is so common? But as Vika relates, it worked.

So after a power lunch, we all split up--some for sightseeing and shopping in The Big Apple City That They Had to Name Twice, some to traipse back to Jason's for massages. Guess which party I was in. Really, guess. ;) I think I gave 12 or 13 that weekend, all told. Very nice, communal time, and I even got Godiva chocolate bribes out of it. . . We also indoctrinated some virgins amongst us into the cult of South Park and watched the Get in the Car video (oh, and here's Colleen's brain going on vacation, for you: someone had to point out to me the "Luna" reference on the "You Will Go to the Moon" labeled beer bottles).

It was cold, again, waiting to get into the venue, and there were slighly more complications this time (the whole 18+/21+ threw some people for a loop), but it was well worth it. J-hawk (the human pogo stick), Christa from CT, Dorgon (Gordon) from MA, and Vika were at the show, and Caiti flew in from California, as well as almost everyone from the night before, and this time I saw Victorria and Kevin as well. (Boy, namedropping, eh?) In other words, beau coups. . .or would that be beau Froups? The show sold out by 9:15, so it was good and crowded (some Fruheads weren't even able to get in, including John Greene), and the place was *hoppin'*.

Oop, back up. Tory first. If possible, his performance was more beautiful and connected than Friday's had been. We again sat on the floor, and he commented that he really liked that. His last song was Tom Waits' "Time," an absolutely breathtaking rendition, and he invited us to harmonize. Being possessed of no shame, and not yet dispossessed of voice, I did so, and Caiti, Christa, and possibly others joined in. I've obsessed over the song ever since, to the extent that the first thing I did upon getting back to Florida was *finally* buy "Rain Dogs" (I've been procrastinating for months). But Tory's version was so moving that I literally wept, hearing the tape later. We cheered and begged for "one more!" but he didn't oblige.

The second opener, Michael Kroll, implanted his name in my head only by ceaseless repetition, and his performance was an even starker example of the difference between playing *for* an audience and playing *at* them. He looked like a banker who got off on his own sexuality by jammin' it up in front of the chicks on Saturday night. Bleh. And the thing was, his playing wasn't *bad*, per se--just too damn loud and full of itself! He explained to us the style of each song, before he played it, which I found annoying--howsabout you give me credit for being able to identify the genre I'm listening to?

A shorter break before Fruvous made their entrance, and a good thing, because the crowd was pretty damn rowdy. It was a FABULOUS night: the guys were tremendously on, the audience was tremendously responsive, the sound was great, the show was really long, and I don't think I've ever jammed with so many other Fruheads, all at once. There were quite a few differences between that night and the previous--we got a high-powered Love Potion (quite welcome, as I hadn't heard it since August), Grunge of Spain, Drinking Song, Kick in the Ass (for which a row of us attempted a miniature step-kicking line), Horseshoes and Down from Above, and Lazlo's Career. Psycho Killer was again a hell of a song, Fell in Love was rapturous, and there was, again, a great fake-out: what sounded like we were going to get Spiderman (I think?) turned into BJ Don't Cry. A few complaints I had with the show: the transition from GE&H into Fly again didn't work for me, the venue flashed painfully bright lights on the audience without warning, and Murray's vocal wasn't really loud enough on Incredible Medicine Show--it was engulfed by Jian's, and I really do love Mur's voice. . .

Brief notes: The guys went behind a curtain, which led nowhere, before coming back out for encores, and were joking about how there were really stairs that led down to a basement where they'd entered a different temporal zone and "expressed themselves" by flinging paint on the walls for the last 2 1/2 hours. Before Mike even got to all his animal noises during Boo Time, the audience was chirping and meowing and yipping, and Jian overheard this one guy making perfect birdcall sounds, and kept cueing him to warble throughout the show. And the thing that had me laughing til my mouth and my sides hurt was this impromptu medley, to a techno beat, that went on and ON: I've forgotten everything that went into it except Dave improvising lyrics to a song from Les Miserables, but each of them contributed and it was damn near seamless. I was dancing in a frenzy during most of the show, soaked with sweat by the end, and I screamed myself hoarse: I could hear/feel my voice going by a few songs into it. By the end, it was hilarious, listening to me try to talk, and it got progressively worse from there on out. I had two volume options: squeak and whisper.

After a huge long commingling of Frulads and -heads after the show, a group of us headed to Jekyll & Hyde's, some to receive a rude education in the economics of the marketplace when getting the check ($11.25 for a bottle of beer--no, I'm not exaggerating) but otherwise enjoying the ambiance. We speculated on what we'd heard the next night, judging from what they hadn't yet done--Kids' Song? Dancing Queen? Billie Jean? Brown Eyed Girl? Maybe, pretty please, one of Murray's songs? We again got to bed about 5 a.m., to arise lackadaisically at late hours of the morn and early afternoon for more South Park viewing, shopping and eating in the Village, and marveling about Fruvous & Tory concerts. Me, I got a toe-ring with little bare footyprints on it. I'm not sure whether to be more amused at myself for being trendy, or for the footyprints. Caiti got chocolate-covered espresso beans, which she liberally shared around at the show and which were probably what kept a lot of people going, by that third night. . . Some of our party had to head home after Saturday's show, and some, the next day, but there was still a generous handful of us left for Sunday's. Diehard nutcases.

From Gorbitron:

I tend to ramble a bit, so try and stay with me here...

I was originally supposed to attend the Mercury Lounge show on Friday night, wearing my Whalers shirt to be easily spotted, but because of severe weather conditions here in Western New England, I spent the evening at home listening to the famous MIT show (thanks ceecee!) and organizing my videos. I have 71 prerecorded videos!! I had no idea I had that many. I should organize things more often.

Anyway, my brother and I got to the Mercury Lounge at about 6 oclock, scoped the place out, and found that there would be a bunch of tickets available and that there would be seats for those in my party who had insisted on them. So I went to the conveniently placed payphone outside and called everyone involved....turns out I was bringing 12 people (including myself). I bought the tickets from the bartender, carefully wrapped them up with the names of the people using them, and left them back with the bartender. My brother and I then went to Alice's Coffee Shop, a Polish diner on Avenue A. I had Potato Pierogi, pancakes and coffee. I was so ready!

Back to the Mercury Lounge at about 7:15. I was still first in line, in good position to grab some bench for my family. Some time around 7:30, someone said "hey do you know Rob Johnson because he was looking for someone in a Whalers jersey last night" and I had to explain about the weather yet again...this would happen more and more and more and I will stop repeating myself I swear!!!

Then the doors opened and my brother and I dashed inside and took over a bench. This would be the bench that would seat those that wanted to sit. I was set and ready.

Bring on Tory Cassis, who was amazing. I never know what to expect with unnamed opening bands, and I always wonder about people who always skip the openers. A lot of bands I love today were openers for someone else at one point - how else can you discover a new group? (There are lots of ways, but I think you understand) He has a great voice and nice songs. Now I did notice that one song was based on a "She's so Heavy" riff and another based on "John Barleycorn Must Die," but not enought to constitute direct plagirism. Nevertheless, the crowd sat in respectful silence and listened to the music being played on stage. This is rare and exciting in its own rite, and I think is something of which we Fruheads should be proud for doing.

I slept at my cousin's apartment last night and this morning we were talking about the concert. She also had just totally dug Tory. Both of us thought the same things about the next guy. Now I say the next guy because even though he said his name about 20 times and Tory said it once, I remembered Tory's name. I have no idea who the next guy was, but it was Michael Krap or something like that. We both thought he was completely high on himself and at no time engaged the audeience. It was pretty much across the board for the Dorgon Dozen that he was lousy. I vote him as the worse Fruvous opener I have seen.....anyone see a thread potential here?

At this point I would like to thank all the longtime IRC Fruheads for introducing me around. I could thank you all individually, but I was overwhelmed by sheer numbers at the time. Can I just say you know who are and I am looking forward to seeing you again? Good, thanks for being understanding!

Somewhere in the night, my brother says at 10:40, Moxy Fruvous started the show!!!! He says they ended it at 1:00. This would be a good thing. His watch was right I am sure.

I have no setlist to post. If I make mistakes, sorry! They started with Message, a cappella, as they have been doing. This was good, but I am at the point where I would like this to hurry up and end so they can play something to get me going. And they did. Mary Lane was next, and this kicks. I was a little concerned about the family - I said they were kinda folky....this song doesn't strike me as being folky...but I need to stop worrying about them and just enjoy the show, right?

Some random comments:

-This is the first time I have seen them with wired mics - is this for recording?

-I cannot keep up with the Johnny Saucep'n Hand Jive.

-I really like playing "guess the song" by just looking at the instruments and where the guys are standing.

-My mother and aunt have a crush on Dave.

-4 of the people in my party were 40ish French Canadians who had never heard of Moxy Fruvous - they loved it! I hear they were dancing up a storm in the back.

-I love the way people band together when the drunk people try to shove their way to the front 90 minutes in.

-Psycho Killer sounds great, but Jian sings the chorus wrong. Not that I am offering a lesson, but it was causing people near me to mess up their singing along.

-I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down.

-I need a tape of this show because I think they set some sort of record for teasing other songs, what with the stall for time, a Love Potion #9 and of course their normal conversation. We want to play "Name That Tune"

-They apologized for playing for so apology necessary!

OK now I don't have the setlist, but let's look just at the encores.

Encore 1: Fly, Love Potion #9, Authors (in this order?)

Encore 2: Grunge of Spain (this needs a better name), Drinking Song

Something makes me think there was more in the encore itself, but maybe I am just throwing memories around in my head. I was dehydrated by the end of the show and went next door to this deli and drank a liter of Dr Brown's Cream Soda.

This wasn't much of a show least it's not one of my favorites. I hope you enjoyed it if you made it this far. As always, comments are welcome.

Did I say this was easily the best Fruvous show of my young career?

Big smiles!

Gordon (aka Dorgon)

From Vika:

'Kay, ready? Here comes my first longish review. Maybe having to do with the fact that this was my first ever road trip of that length (overnight) specifically to see Fruvous.

So Dan (my friend/ride) and I meet up on Friday at 5:30, with the intention of leaving at 6-6:30 at the latest... and end up leaving at 8. Grrr. That had to do with having to run errands, go see his mom at her work, go see his friend Jenna, who was supposed to come with but got sick, etc.

And here we are,driving in the frozen sleet in a '74 boat of some sorts (Boat Of Car, by TMBG, was written about this car, I think), and the _boat_ is _skidding_. Needless to say, it took us a bit more time than usual to get to NYC. But that was okay: we drove to the sounds of the Beatles (Abbey Road and Please Please Me!!), Janis, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and other good stuff.

We got into the Bronx at 1am, called Scotty (our friend at NYU we were staying with and dragging to the show), and proceeded to go to the Lounge, where we caught everyone socializing after the show had ended. I talked to Mike a bit; upon finding out that Dan and I hadn't actually made the show, and would be seeing them the next night, he said "Good, I didn't really like tonight's show anyway..." He seemed really disappointed. After Saturday's complete success of a show, he disappeared rather quickly, so I didn't have a chance to find out whether he had been satisfied with that one. He HAD to have been... but I'm skipping ahead.

We went to Scott's, I promptly fell asleep on his floor, and he and Dan hung out until about 6am, being themselves (i.e., freaky hyper people) and apparently scaring the security guard in Scott's dorm/apartment building with their silliness. Of course, they crashed hard when they finally got to sleep; and so we were about an hour and a half late to our rendez-vous with the other Fruheads, which was supposed to be at this place called Jekyll and Hyde's. Was funny: we finally get to J&H's, and there's a line of shivering people waiting to be let in, and a not-so-friendly security guard standing right in front. I come up to him with a sheepish grin and say "Um, 'scuse me, sir, but I think that upwards of twenty of my friends are inside there. Any chance I could go in and look for them?" He looks at me with a blank expression on his face for a second, then smiles and says: "You mean, Ceecee? Yeah, they're at Lucky's across the road." Yes, Colleen is now an official landmark. :)

It was amusing, when we got to Lucky's, to see that a good fifth of that huge dining room was taken up by Fruheads.

We finally got to the Lounge a bit before 6, went to get white chocolate (of course!) at the deli store up the street... if you're ever in that area again, go to that deli (not Katz's, the one a couple of doors past it) and try the caramelized orange slices, or the halvah, mmmmm.... and came back to ML to get tickets. We then proceeded to get caffeinated at this very cute little coffee shop with the worst cappuccino I've ever tasted in New York, but hey, it was coffee.

The show... Are we having fun yet? I'm about twenty million paragraphs into my post, and just getting to the show. Tory Cassis was absolutely amazing. That man has a voice of gold. I have a favor to ask of you guys: if you're going to a Frushow that you know Tory is going to open for (is he opening for them at any other known date?...), e-mail me. I was supposed to leave my name and address on his mailing list, because we were talking about me getting him in touch with a few open mics and a radio station around here (Boston), but I never had a chance to leave my coordinates. So if someone e-mails me, I'll give them (you, that's you I'm talking about!) my address etc. so it could be passed on to his mailing list.

Highlights from the actual Frushow (second opener conspicuously omitted...)

-Jian and Murray discussing Fruvous being a glam rock band -- see another post from me on that

-I've heard the a cappella Message before, but this time it sounded even tighter than usual. Got the show off to a great start, and the good energy lasted for the whole two and a half (!) hours

-WLUV, even though I wasn't crazy about it the first time I saw it (Paradise 9/30), grew on me. It was funny, and flowed much better, prob'ly due to the guys having performed it so much now

-Bluesy Boo Time got an even better audience participation thing going than last time I saw it, and that's saying something

-Fruvous is going into the "Sounds of Nature" business! Who WAS that person who could imitate a songbird so well? That, coupled with the whole audience going "Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh......." and Jian conducting the whole thing, was great

-The Drinking Song, which always has an impact on me, had an even bigger one on Scott. He still can't put it in words

-I'm sure I am forgetting some really great moments, but it's getting close to the time when I leave my computer and go to French class (*YAWN*), so I should be finishing this...

-Last, but should have been first... To everyone I met at the show, and all the familiar faces I saw -- thank you SO much for making this show one of the best musical experiences I've ever had. Cee, Carps, Zard, Chris, Gordon, Ben, Jessica, Rob, Katie, Christa (sp?), Jared, Jason, and all my other new and renewed friends, wow... That was something. That was family. That must have been what my subconscious was so much looking forward to, while my conscious self was (obviously justifiably) looking forward to the actual show.

After the show, Dan and I were _going_ to hang out and go get food with other people, but decided against it in the subway station, a decision that proved to be sound. Getting up at 8:30 the next morning was NOT fun, but we had to do it because Dan had a concert to perform (he's in a choir) that afternoon. The weekend was slightly marred by the fact that Dan's car was broken into; one of those little triangular windows on the side was broken, but whoever it was were bloody amateurs, they didn't even take the $10 that was in the glove compartment. We didn't let that incident bring us down, and spent the morning listening to Fruvous (Dan had gotten all the recordings except for Wood, which he will get soon if I can help it) and eating the best bagels this side of never, from Columbia Bagels (Broadway, between 110th and 111th, right side of the street if you're facing uptown). Yummy. We made it back in under four hours (doing 80 all the way), and I got to drive! Yippee! I don't have a car, y'see, and I LOVE driving, so I didn't mind at all relieving Dan of that duty for a while.

And that's my review. Again, everyone who was at the show, even if I forgot your name up above, thank you for making magic with the Frulads. And to the band -- you guys are the ones making this happen. You should be proud of yourselves.

From Hayley:

After sorely missing the Friday night show, due to a prior commitment (although, according to CeeCee's review I was there - in spirit I guess), I was so ready for another dose of Fruphoria! I much prefer seeing Fruvous in a small, low-staged venue. Irving Plaza and the T.L.A. get somewhat impersonal, because my favorite part of their shows is the banter between the band and the audience.

Anyway - I'm pissed that I missed Moxy playing "On Her Doorstep" live, because that is my favorite song by them and I've never seen them perform it in concert. As for the additions: I loved Psycho Killer - I think that they sound better than the Talking Heads, The jazzed up Boo Time was pretty cool as well. I have to say, however, I like the faster, poppier version of Your New Boyfriend better than the slow one (even though the skit is really cute) and that King of Spain heavy metal thing was absolutely agonizing. Lisa Goldberg and Dan Carp swore to me that it grows on you - but seriously, I hated it!

I talked to Murray for a bit after the show and requested a few songs that I've never heard live. In reference to "Laika" he told me that Mike is currently redoing the song in an acoustic mode before they play it live. I wonder if this is good or bad... Well, Sunday's show (My 12th stamp!) was great, but they didn't play "On Her Doorstep" again :(

It was great to catch up with all of the Fruheads this weekend (esp. Zard - who I haven't seen since Fleadh!), even though I was really tired and not as energetic as usual. There were several absentee fans though: Leslie; Rich, Michelle, and Vicky; Boston Lisa; all of yeP!; I know there are more - I'm having trouble remembering. Well, I guess New Years Eve will be the next show - I have exams and, therefore, cannot travel.

Be well

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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