Live Show: 12/4/97


Clinton, NY

Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley & Mike Scialdone

The Details

This was definitely one of the best shows *ever*. But I'll let you be the judge...

Jo, Jen, Erin and I left Rochester around 3:30 and made it to Clinton by 5:30. We were, obviously, extremely early. It took a little bit to find the building on the Hamilton College campus that we were looking for. The Student Activities center is an architect's dream (or nightmare). It's this pastel-colored, collection of buildings joined together by an intricate network of hallways and stairwells. There were a bunch of little rooms with rocking chairs and fireplaces; very nice places to study, I would imagine.

The campus is beautiful. Very quaint, very serene. We waited around for doors to open, where we said hellos to Mike Scialdone, Sam Park, Clairice, Chris & Moe Walsh, and some others. Jenn, Dan and Jered joined us as well.

Doors opened around 7:15. The concert area was great; a circular room with a stairway that lead up to a balcony that hugs the rear half of the circle. The stage is about six inches off the ground, and there were a bunch of small tables set up in front of the stage and chairs all around the back of the room. No matter where you sat, you would be able to see fine.

Ratsy went on around eight. She was phenomenal. She came across very soft-spoken; it was just her and a guitar. She has this smile that justs so hilarious and her songs are very funny but also very poignant. A lot of her tunes were about relationships gone bad, and I was extremely impressed by her performance.

After Ratsy, I said hello to Charlie and his friend (Bret? Colin? I can't remember his name; I'm sorry!). Mike and Kelly showed up at this point (they were running a bit late).

Fruvous hit the stage at about nine and played a *very* different set than what we've been seeing on the 'Your New Boyfriend' tour. The crowd had a lot of people that had never heard of Fruvous before, and I think they picked a set that conveyed extremely well what they're like: diverse and musically talented.

The second encore provided the treat of Fruvous going up to the balcony and singing Gulf War, off-mic, down to the crowd below. Very cool. In fact, the crowd was so great; no one talked during the quieter sections. Quite nice.

After the show, we chatted with Fruvous for a bit, and gathered the guys together for a photo of the band with Dan's car (license plate "Moxy") next to my car (license plate "Fruvous"). We headed to the "Little Pub" after that for a couple drinks. I was personally amazed to see such a cool bar (all wood inside) on a college campus.

I think we finally ended heading back to Mike and Kelly's parents by 12:30. Jo, Jen, & Erin headed back to Rochester, and will be meeting us in Syracuse the next night. Jenn joined us as well for a night's sleep in Utica.

This show definitely deserves a 9.3 on the WOW scale (I have no idea what that means :-) I hope the next three nights are just as cool...

From Mike Scialdone:

At about 6:30 pm, we arrived onto the Hamilton College campus. Fortunately for me, the college is only 8 minutes from my house. I brought along three friends, one of whom had seen Fruvous twice, one of whom had seen them once, and one of whom was a Fru-virgin!!!!! Respectively, my friends were Clara, Charles, and Mike P (that's how we refer to him). I was supposed to bring more people, but one had to work, and the other had other important things to do.

Anyway, I knew where the college was, but not the building Fruvous was playing in, so we stopped and asked some local wealthy students for directions. We were pointed to a general direction, so we found an out-of-the-way parking space, and did some exploring of the campus. I'd always known Hamilton College was rich, but I never suspected that it was THIS rich. All I can say! Alll the buildings were like a country clubs or something.

We found the building with Fruvous by seeing them through a window! So we went around to another side of the building and since the door was open we walked into a room where there were about 3 people. Fruvous was in the next room looking over at us to see what was going on, and we were told that we had "found the backdoor, congradulations". So we were sent upstairs and told to go wait out through the door up there.

Upstairs was a nice balcony where nobody could see if we went through the door and waited, or if we watched the band practice. Needless to say we watched for about a minute as they played "Nuits De Reve", then we went through the door and waited with the rest of the Fruheads for the doors to "offically" open!

In the hallway where we waited we could still see the band practicing, and I saw Jian with a guitar!! I was astonished! Anway, I chatted some with Chris O., Clarice, and Jen. I met some new Fruheads whose names I've already forgot (I'm just really bad with names, its nothing personal). As we waited in line, my parents arrived (yes, they like Fruvous too). It was a little embarasssing. But fortunately, they only go to the shows close to Utica.

Anyway, we were eventually let in and my group of freinds and I grabbed a table right up close to the stage. I got my Fruhead card stamped (#10), and signed up to the Ratsy mailing list. I figured if she was opening up for Moxy Fruvous she had to be good.

At 8pm, Ratsy took the stage. I had not expected her to be as amazing as she was, but I really really enjoyed her performance. It was just her and her guitar, but her songs were humorous and touching. I bought her CD after the show, as did my friends Mike P and Charles.

Well, finally around 9:30pm (if I remember correctly), Fruvous finally took the stage. They opened with "Peace of Mind", changing the lyrics to say that the kids at this college were "too f***ing rich"! I was surprised how much they ragged on that!

They palyed a bunch of the usual stuff...going on to "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors", "River Valley", "Get in the Car", "Michigan Militia", and "Horseshoes". Then they put down their mics and entered the crowd to sing "I Love My Boss", during which time the band seemed a little annoyed because people were clapping along to the beat so loudly that from far away it was hard to hear them. "Spiderman" was next, also off mic. Mike disappeared before they introduced the song, but he popped out from the middle of the audience when they introduced him.

They then got back to the stage and played the jazzy version of "Boo Time" which I think is awesome. Then they played "Fly", and another classic: "The Kids' Song", which I haven't heard them play since June of 1996! Next was "Stuck in the 90's", followed by "The Ballad of Marion FrŁvous", which I'd never heard before. It was truly fantastic! "The Present Tense Tureen", "Johnny Saucep'n", "Nuits de RÍve", "B.J. Don't Cry", "Video Bargainville", and "The King of Spain" followed.

They closed with their "Love Potion #9 Medley", which included the usual stuff, plus "Tubthumping", and "Barbie Girl". For their first encore, they played the FULL version of "Green Eggs and Ham" which included a very long, but funny intro. Mr. Cheese (Dave), wore a hat which read "I Love Cops". And there were references to beastiality when Jian spoke. Anyway, after that they played "Darlington Darling", and returned for one more encore with "The Gulf War Song"

Before they sung the last song, the lights came back on, so we figured they weren't returning. We were getting up to leave when we suddenly realized that Fruvous had gone up to the balcony where a number of people had been watching the whole time. From up there they sung "The Gulf War Song", much to many Fruheads' delight. While they sung it, I inched my way to the stage and grabbed a set list (I think it was Murray's).

Anyway, after the show, the guys hung around for a bit. During the show Jian mentioned that they were going over to the college pub for a few minutes after the show, so my friends and I headed over there. It was another amazingly richly built building (try saying that 3 times fast)! I saw chatted some with Jian there, and said hi to Murray. I don't know if Dave was there, but I saw Mike chatting with some people for a few minutes at the bar.

I was on my way to bring my friends back to their dwelling places by 12:30. From what I gather, they had a good time. All in all, I'd give it an 8 on a scale from 1-10. I got to hear some songs I hadn't heard live before, and some songs I hadn't heard for a while again. But it wasn't up to the usual energy that flows through a Fruvous show. It was still a great show though. I think it was a little more mellow because it was in an accoustic coffee house, but I could be wrong. Now as for the concert in Syracuse the following night...that's another story...

From Folk Times (December '97 - January '98):

As heard on "You Will Go to the Moon" - Warner, Canada and "Bargainville" that went platinum, Mike Ford, guitar, harmonica and vocals; Murray Foster, bass and vocals; Jian Ghomeshi, drums, percussion and vocals and Dave Matheson, guitar, accordion, banjo, keyboards and vocals are all cutting-edge songwriters. Always innovative, easy-going and highly responsive to their audiences, they break out into impromptu improvisational songs, freely switch instruments and in short always enthrall their audience - a combination of barbershop, doo-wop, Phil Ochs, REM and Billy Bragg. Opener: Ratsy. $5; free with current Hamilton College ID.

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