Live Show: 12/5/97


Syracuse, NY

Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley, Colleen Campbell, Katie Contino,
Jason Hare, & Mike Scialdone

The Details

Well, this show (for a bunch of reasons) holds a special place in my Fruvous memories. First, because it was at Styleen's, which is a venue I've always loved. The others? Well, read on...

Friday morning in Utica. Mike, Kelly, Jenn and I grabbed some lunch and promptly headed to Syracuse with the intentions of catching a movie before the show. Around four in the afternoon, we went to Carousel Mall and saw 'The Rainmaker', which I thought was an excellent flick. We ran into (not literally; ala Lisa) Dan and Jered in the food court and found out Fruvous wouldn't be on stage till around eleven in the evening.

I think we made it to Styleen's by eight. Out front, Mike Scialdone and Clairice and a small group of dedicated fans were waiting for doors to open. The bar was already open, however, so we (joined by Jen and Jo at this point) went in for some drinks.

There were a bunch of other people who showed up over the course of the night, and this is the list as best as I can remember: Chris Bray, Charlie and Colin, Jason, Rob, Ella, Lisa, Chris T and Zard (who showed up right before Fruvous came on), Dan, Jered, Katie (and her mom), Laurie, Craig, Zac, Greg Mendelsohn, Kimberly, and many others.

Hammel on Trial grabbed his piece of stage real estate around ten, playing to a very enthusiastic crowd who seemed to enjoy him very much. He told his standard dirty jokes, sang his typical angry songs, but he was *so* on! I enjoyed this performance the best out of any of the times I've seen him.

Fruvous came on around eleven, and played a somewhat shorter set than what we've been seeing in the past months. Not to say the show was low on energy, quite the contrary. I felt the crowd was so into the show, which caused the guys to keep the banter to a minimum and just keep on truckin'.

After the show, it was the standard routine. We all visited with one another, a little more so than usual, since we're all starting to realize it will be a couple months before we'll be able to do this on a regular basis again. Jered called Colleen on his cell phone to fill her on the action of the night's events.

Murray, Mike and Marcus proceeded to taunt me about the impending doom of my ass brand, since this show was my 50th on the card. Apparently, all the magic is going to happen at the Fruhead show, so we'll see.

After leaving Styleen's, a fairly good sized group of us went to Dan and Jered's hotel room to watch the 'Energy: Pulse of Life' videos, and see some extremely scary visions of Fruvous as younger lads. Jered also read a very prompt & humorous post by Colleen to the newsgroup describing the phone call by us wackos she'd received earlier in the evening.

By four in the morning, Mike, Kelly, Jo, Jen, and I headed back to Utica once again. After a quick night's sleep, we'll head to Providence for show three of four! See you all on the road!

From Colleen Campbell:

From someone who wasn't even there! *grin*

I've decided to start covering Fruvous shows from afar. It'll be the wave of the future and probably inspire a whole generation of telecasters, who'll begin reporting on the Middle Eastern situation from wherever they happen to be. Peter Jennings will be handed the phone in his jacuzzi with the instructions to "Wing it, man."

So, the guys put on a great show, tonight. I don't have a setlist, and in fact the only thing I know about it at all is that they played "Laika." Oh, and one of our illustrious number got that Holiest of Holy Grails, that vaunted, elusive, and sacred 50th stamp. . .but I'll let you tell you about it in his own words. All I can say is, it was very interesting, hearing the screams and the sizzle of searing flesh from over the phone--it lost none of its graphic intensity. Yes, that's right, I listened in awe: Mike was doing a play-by-play of the event over the megaphone, so other concert-goers could experience the rapture second-hand, those who couldn't see it, and Murray laid down a throbbing bass track for it--it'll probably be a centerpiece of the "Fruvous: The Rock Opera Parts I and II" we've been hearing rumors about, due out in summer of next year. Cal, who says he's glad to finally get a chance to express himself as an element of the punk identity that he's always seen Fruvous as evolving towards, was also doing some strong-arming, breaking the equipment of those foolhardy enough to think they could get away with taping this show. Sid Vicious and Ozzy Osborne have nothing on the FruLads. You'll just have to wait for the official concert video release, tentatively entitled "Moxy Fruvous: We Taught Kiss Everything They Know." Bottom Line Records declined to comment.

So by now, the only logical question is, "Cee. . .honey. . .what are you on? We knew Miami was a big drug depot and all, but did you have to do *all* of it yourself?" No, I'm fine. . .as I quipped to Jered, I'm sitting here complacently reading of rock history (everything you ever wanted to know about Donna Summer, Peter Frampton, and Sweet!) while they're out there *making* it. :) I'm sitting all by my lonesome down in you-know-where, and Jered, obviously in a move of great love and selfless compassion--either that or the desire to score massage comp points for when I move to his city--cellphoned me up from right after the Syracuse concert. They passed me around like a hot buttered football from one concert-goer to another, including to three of the band, who interrupted their t-shirt and ass-branding activities long enough to marvel at the wonders of modern technology with me. They only *thought* they were getting a full three-month break from me!

This post of the show will probably make it through to your news-server only minutes before Chris O'Malley's does: expect him to dash back to the hotel room and be doing a writeup in his customary reporting garb, his underwear. Actually, he might just forgo the garb and relax in, say, a bathtub of ice cubes, or gin for that matter, to celebrate his triumph, his sacrifice to appease the violent tendencies (and the violent femmes, with a nod to Dave ;) of the brand-wielding fearsome foursome.

Alrighty. I have to be up for work in four hours, so I should probably stop clogging up the phone lines and go to bed. If posts were cholesterol, my phone lines would have arteriosclerosis by now. I really just wanted to say, thanks to all those who chatted gamely with me, though they really couldn't hear me through the Syracuse hullabaloo; you all made my night, and it really was wonderful, to feel included in something so far away from me. Especial thanks to Jered, who was an incredible sweetie in calling me up and letting other people run up his phone bill. *smile* I see this as the next trend in Fruconcert-going: Frucard stamps, handjiving, t-shirt signings, and phoning Colleen afterwards. . .

This is ceecee, reporting from nowhere near the front. Back to you, Chris!

From Katie Contino:

Well, I figured it would be cool to keep all things Syracuse in the same thread. Makes life easier, don't you think?

I must say, Styleen's is still my favorite venue. They are so cool, and Zay, they DO have a poll table, which you noticed, just wanted to make sure everyone knew *I* was right =)

We were all allowed into the bar before the "doors" opened. They had some nifty red leather couches that went well with my plastic pants =) So we sat there for about an hour watching old men play pool. They were bad at pool. Sound check was interesting to hear, since the club is so small you can here anything, as long as it hasn't gotten loud in there! (Styleen's is a LOUD club).

Hammil on Trial went on around 10 and played a standard set. I asked him for a shower, but I don't think he heard me =) but he did move about the stage more than he had in the past. Does anyone know his song about John Lennon? It was mentioned to me that the bully he talked about has my last name "Contino." I thought it was "Cortino" or something in the song, but a bunch of folks thought it was my name. (I'm touched that they knew it =)) Does anyone know? Got the CD? I love his song for his mother.

On to Fruvous. They come on about on time, around 11:15 with Stan, the 5th Fruvous, or just the big black guy who sat on stage all night. Gotta love security. I didn't take a set list because I was in front of Murray, and he wrote a curse on it! Evil! Someone else was willing to brave the torment, so I let them have it =) Someone else will have it since both Jason and Chris O. were there. As Ceecee mentioned they did play Laika, and it was very cool! Great thing to hear at the last show I'll be seeing, prolly till next spring as I believe I have a conflict for February =((((( but I don't know yet, so save your pity =) But back to the show... Great set and GREAT FUN! I had no idea how many Fruheads would be there! It was great to see so many people, even if I didn't get to spend the show with you guys. You people give the best, most uplifting hugs.

I spent the show in a trance I guess... not dancing, talking, singing, cheering, or smiling, but know what? It was still one of the best times of my life. Like at PFF I realized another page was closing, but this time it didn't make me sad, I was happy. Just to stand back and watch, not even in the front row, wow... I can't put it into words. Yes, I had a reason for being life less: 6 hour Madrigal Dinner Rehearsal at 9am on Saturday, but I'm glad. Listening was beautiful... singing along and dancing are fun too, but analyzing harmonies, and watching the guys and crowd was just special. (Especially watching the fine specimen that was standing behind me, what a hottie! wonder if he's a lurker )

They played most of my favorites including Psycho Killer and Love Potion No. 9 (with Chumbawumba and Barbie Girl in it!). Opened with Messege and went nutty from there. It seemed like there was less banter and more songs, but what talking there was was wonderful. I can't really remember what they played, but I remember what was missing... kind of odd, I'd say. They closed with the Drinking Song, and I was glad to hear it. I suppose I've gotten over my conniption fit =) I thought about all the times I'd heard the song, the places I'd seen it, and who I'd seen it with. Up until this point I suppose I took it on a very literal plane, but ya know, it can be almost humorous. Not to insult the meaning of the song, but me it was joyful, Like everything is going to be ok, even if it all goes to shit.

Hellos and good-byes to everyone. I'll see you in 1998. Wow, I feel old. I've been writing 1991 on papers recently... this is scary!

Here's an aside, 'member that 6 hour rehearsal I mentioned above? Well, it was cut to 4, but that's not the point. We have a student teacher that is an amazing vocalist and dramatist going for her teaching degree. She's also very perceptive and could tell I was drop-dead tired, my voice showed it too... (Eek! what do you do with a double performance in a week and you've forgotten what pitch is? I'm serious here; we have a madrigal dinner in a week... Vika, you do this stuff right? HELP! =) But so afterwards she asked me if I'd gotten to bed late, and I was honest of course and told her where I'd been and what I'd been doing. She was very interested and wants me to make her a tape. I though that was neat and I wanted to share.

I suppose that's all I have to say now. I'm in a gushy, over tired mood, bummed about NYE, but glad for what I've been given. This closes the year for me, and I suppose I could use the break. Thanks to everyone I've met along the way (whoa, does this sound like and expectance speech?) You're all wonderful and have changed my life forever. =)

To the Lurking Fruboys:

Thank you for a wonderful year and precious moments upon precious moments. How many people can say that when they were 16 they knew people from all over 2 countries and their *favorite* band in the world knew their name? You guys are special, and you make your fans feel special and important. It's amazing, and it's beautiful, thank you.

Katie, done rambling and off to bed

From Jason Hare:

Hi everyone,

This is my mini-review on Styleen's- I don't have a lot of time at the moment but I did want to post a bit of info that I felt was important to say (no clue WHY, but....)

First off, it was wonderful to meet some of you- Mark, Chris, Jason Reiser (finally!)- I wish I could have met more of you but:

1) I get so damn shy in these situations!

2) We (me and my girlfriend Jessica) were driving down from Buffalo, got caught in the snow and were a bit late...

Anyway, we did stay to meet the guys for the first time after the show. I really, really enjoyed talking to each of them (just for a few minutes)- I thanked them for such a great year! I only started following Fruvous around last March. This made show #7 for me (not bad for starters), and the last one this year- it's a shame they won't be in NYC this year, but I'm sure it'll be a fantastic show.

Dave said he hopes the live album will be out by March- it'll be a single disc.

Anyway, the highlights of the set:

1. LAIKA!!!!! How often have they done this one on this tour? IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!

2. The non-acappella Spiderman

3. Jockey Full of Burboun (first show I've been to where they did this one)

4. Psycho Killer (I was at Ithaca where they were just starting work on this one- it was nice to see them really "sure" of it now! And the crowd loved it!)

5. WLUV- why do I find this more and more hysterical EVERY TIME?

Anyway, I just thought I'd share something with everyone- it's been 7 shows now, and at each show I've heard at least one thing that I hadn't heard before (and in some cases, haven't heard since), which just made it really unique:

show 1- Nassau Community College Folkfest- March 19, 1997 - Greatest Man In America
show 2- NYC- Tramps- March 21, 1997- Today's The Day We Fight Back
show 3- Ogden Street, Buffalo, April 24, 1997- Sahara
show 4- Irving Plaza- NYC, August 21, 1997- Kids Song
show 5- Tralf, Buffalo, October 3, 1997- a zillion things, it was the new tour!
show 6- The Nines, Ithaca, NY, October 22, 1997- Spiderman (hadn't heard it!)
show 7- Styleens, Syracuse, NY, December 5, 1997- LAIKA!, Jockey

Thanks guys, for a great year.


From Mike Scialdone:

Well, despite the moderate snowfall, Clarice and I made it to Styleen's by 8pm. She was kind enough to give me a ride to the show. I was supposed to go with some non-fruhead friends, but they backed out on me at the last minute. Clarice and I got just a little bit lost on the way, but it wasn't too bad. We waited outside in the freezing cold for a while with some Fruheads I had never met beofre (and I still didn't learn their names). Then Chris showed up, as did Jen. I must here point out that I am VERY bad with remembering names. There were some others that I talked to, but for the life of me, I have no idea what their names are. I'll have to take notes at my next Frushow. Sorry.

I met up with an old friend of mine (John) and his girlfriend (Melissa) who lives in Syracuse. I had convinced them to come out and see Moxy Fruvous. It was his second show, and her first. He had been very very impressed with them the last time he went, so I hoped this show would be just as enjoyable for him.

A sign said that the doors opened at 9pm, but people we cutting ahead of us and just walking in. A bunch of us outside could hear Fruvous setting up, so I decided to just walk in too, and it turns out that the 15 or so people outside decided to follow my lead! It was much warmer inside, and there was a bar and a pool table to keep everyone entertained. The room with the stage was blocked off by only a curtain, so we could clearly hear the band practicing "Laika". This is one of my favorite Fruvous songs, but I must say that hearing them practicing it ruined the surprise I would have felt when they played it during their show. I'd never heard them play it live before. I was starving at the time, and I was afraid of having another surprised ruined, so my two friends and I went to the pizza place Slices around the block. Let me just say that they have damn good pizza...

Anyway, we got back to Styleen's by 9pm, and made our way to the far far right hand side of the stage, up very close. Hammel on Trial took the stage about a half hour later. I was totally blown away by the excessively energetic, full-powered, crowd-rocking performance this guy gave with no more than an accoustic guitar! It was only one man, an accousitc guitar, and a several dirty jokes, but it was 100% amazing. He even insulted the Fruvous crowd calling them computer geeks, and still they cheered him on! But he meant it all in good clean fun...I think...

Well, the crowd had been warmed up, and it was another half hour wait (at least) for Fruvous to take the stage. The place was VERY crowded...people were pushing in front of us and blocking our view even before they came on.

But they of course came on, and opened with the A Cappella version of "I've Gotta Get a Message to You". After that they continued in the spirit of Hammel and gave the crowd a fully energized, rockin' set. It was almost like Fruvous on speed or something.

Things gained momentum when they began to play "Laika". I'm not sure the order on these are totally exact, but it should be close. A much more energetic and heavy rendition of "Spiderman" was next, which I'd never heard before. "Poor Mary Lane" followed (yippie!), then "Michigan Militia", and "Johnny Saucep'n". By now I was expecting "Fly" or "Horseshoes" to come up and mellow things out a bit...but they just kept on rockin'! It was totally mind-blowingly amazing!

"Lazy Boy" came next, followed by "Boo Time" (the groovy jazz-like version), "Kick in the Ass", and "You Will Go to the Moon". Things did slow down a bit when they played the more mellow take on "Your New Boyfriend", and treated us with another classic: "Fell in Love". Fruvous picked up the energy of the show again with "No No Raja", "Jockey Full of Bourbon" (that song kicks in my opinion), "King of Spain", and the short, but still awesome version of "Green Eggs & Ham". After seeing the other version at Clinton the night before, I have to say that I like them both...but on different levels. The full one is more fun, but the short one is much more energized, and it fit in with the atmosphere at this particular show.

When the drum beat of "Love Potion #9 Medley" began I was taken aback. I hadn't realized that it was time to bring the show to a close already. I was so into it that this just surprised me. For their first encore they play "Psycho Killer"! I haven't been able to get that song out of my head since! It was amazing. I was surprised that they only played one song for the encore, and came back and only played one more song on the second encore. Its always nice to hear "The Drinking Song" though.

After the show I said goodbye to my friends John and Melissa. They didn't seem as impressed as I'd hoped they'd be, but I think they still enjoyed it. I still very excited over the show I had just seen. I talked to a few fellow Fruheads, and I got the impression that although they thought it was a great show too, none of them seemed to share the same glowing excitement and energy I had felt. I'd say "that was the best show I'd seen", and they'd be like "really?! It was good, but not 'the best'". Oh well, maybe that's because I haven't been to as many shows as some. This was, however, #12 for me (but unfortunately only stamp #11).

I hung around with Jen for a while afterwards. I gave copies of some of my pictures from the last Utica show to the guys, and had them sign some of my copies. Dave seemed embarassed by some of the pictures of him that I showed off. Mike wanted a copy of one with "Happy-Face Man". Then he told me that we wanted a copy of the Utica bootleg so that he could learn the song to play again!!! I said goodbye to Jian because I knew I wouldn't be able to see him probably until the next tour, and he told me to keep in touch.

Finally around 2am, after I said goodbye to everyone (and some people whose names I STILL can't remember) Clarice and I headed back. I was still excited when I left the place, but a little sad knowing that it would be so long until I got to see Moxy Fruvous play again. On a scale from 1-10, I'd have to give this show a 10+. Really, it was that amazing. (Did I use the words "energized", and "amazing" enough in this review...) And I have to say thanks again to Clarice for being so kind to give me a ride to this wonderful show.

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