Live Show: 5/3/98


Cambridge, MA

Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley/Vika Zafrin, Colleen Campbell, & Harry Keates

The Details

From C&V:

Rain, rain, not just yet, wait all day till Fruvous' set!!!

Getting Rob out of bed was not NEARLY as much of a pain in the ass as it usually is. Around noon-ish, Vika, Jason, Rob, cee and I finally headed down to Davis Square, pahked the cah, and caught the T to Harvard Square. The weather seemed to be cooperating and we made a mad dash to the HMV stage to catch Ratsy, who was supposed to start at one. Ratsy actually went on a little past one, and played for about 45 minutes. This was the second time I'd seen her (the first of which I *really* enjoyed), but this time it was somewhat difficult to hear what was going on. Still, though, I got to hear some songs of her's I hadn't before, and I ended up purchasing one of her CD's. Yay!

After Ratsy, the wandering commenced. Got some food (*great* Indian food comprised about half of the 'foodage' at the festival) and bought a bunch of "Moxie" magnets from one of the many vendors that graced the streets. Did some more wandering, and caught a little bit of Kevin So's set (very, very good). By this time, it was close to four, when Fruvous was slated to start.

Well, in fine Fruvous style, things didn't start till five. Tech problems mostly, I think. After a couple songs into the set, the rain started. It wasn't that bad, but it did force a shorter set, and some more tech problems that eliminated even more songs. By the end, it had stopped raining, and Moxy had sung for about 45 minutes. A bunch of others were there enjoying the festivites: Dan, Jered, Lisa, and more whose identity escapes my short-term memory, sorry... :-)

After the set, the guys sat in the nearby HMV store, signing autographs and getting the buzz started re: their upcoming live CD. I got them to autograph my EFO CD! :-) Although, that can't compare to Moz having them sign his inflatable banana (which he grabbed at the Simon's Rock college show two nights previous).

Headed back to FruCasa, after which Rob, Jason, Vik, and I got some great wings at "Wing It" (gotta love Boston). Rob and Jason started the trek back to NYC, whereas I (Chris) do not feel like driving till the wee hours of the night, so I'm content to stay in Boston an extra night. A nice quiet Sunday evening (no getting to sleep at four in the morning) is a *good* thing.

Well, see everyone at MIT. What a fun weekend and another triple crown successfully completed. :-)

From Colleen Campbell:

I decided to skip the Amherst show to stay at Simon's Rock and meet some of these unusual people (multi-colored hair, multiple body piercings, and patchwork clothing, while not de rigueur, are definitely acceptable and indicative of the mindset there). I'm told I missed a great show, with lots of police brutality (or perhaps just policemen and brutality), but I still had a great time.

I slogged home early Sunday morning to rejoin Frubuddies to do MayFair (originality in titles?). We caught Ratsy first; she was a disappointment for me, because I'd kind of conceived of her as edgier and more caustic, from the descriptions I'd read, but she was still good and had a fine-tuned sense of irreverence. Was lucky to show up early for Mica Richards's set (lucky because she started half an hour early, a big surprise for this Fruhead, who is well versed in late sets) and get an energetic set of bluesy folk-rock, stimulated by the fact that she had to compete with a rock band down the lane. I wandered around, buying fun clothes, cheap music, and finger-slobbering-good baklava, and made my way over to the platform for Fruvous's set, hearing the end of the Black Sea Salsa band, which I would have appreciated more if they hadn't played over their time. By the time Cal got all the instruments set up and sound tested, it was literally almost an hour of waiting--time which I regretted especially since it meant that Fruvous's set was cut short by the rain. It was drizzling and Cal tried to protect the instruments with plastic HMV bags, but of course they had to be removed and subjected to the elements for the guys to play them.

Given all that, it was an *amazing* show. They were SO on, so energetic and having so much fun, they could have played a set of nursery rhymes and I would have been satisfied. Jian started the show by traumatizing a young audience member, Jeff ("Welcome, Bill!") and having him introduce the group; poor kid was probably shaken out of a year's growth. They spoke warmly of Boston and how intelligent a town it is (and mentioned that their next date here is at MIT, which may have been a mistake, since it's not really a show intended for the general public, and after the reception they got, there may well be many people Frujonesing now), and I think that the crowd really "got" it. They stood there in increasing rain and made no move to go--including when Fruvous terminated the show early and headed into HMV for signings.

How to say it? The Frumagic was *on* in a way that it hasn't been in some full-length shows I've seen. Nothing but standards and pieces I've seen umpteen-gazillion times, the same basic setlist of the last 3 or 4 shows I've seen (Michigan Militia, Johnny, Boss, BJ, Jockey), and yet it was terrific. They were in absolutely no hurry to get their pieces played and escape the rain, either, talking freely and with joie de vivre for minutes at a time. Mike played with his megaphone, tootling a little tune with it that he expected us to recognize. It took three or four tries to get "Johnny" off the ground and they were laughing the whole time. Murray joked that the show would definitively be over when he sustained a current (his was the only wired mic) and was flung 40 feet away; Jian contributed that this wouldn't be an entirely bad thing, as it would get great press for the release of the live album and Murray would arguably recover in a few years, and Murray agreed that physical deformity isn't all that bad a fate. He also got some ribbing for his attempt to keep his hair dry with a washcloth draped over it. They encouraged the crowd to rush into the stores and loot them, if the rain got to be too much and we needed to scurry for cover, and were delighted when shortly afterwards we heard sirens as if in response to the threat. Dave's acoustic stopped playing and Jian's snare, after a thorough wetting, sounded like a woodblock (which they said was a subliminal message to buy their second album, "Wood," and then said had been replaced by a woodblock on that song in their first album, "Bargainville," hence it was also a subliminal message to buy that). Through it all, they enjoyed themselves and the audience enjoyed themselves, and I guess that's what a Fruvous show comes down to, for me.

Jian says that "Live Noise" WILL be available at the MIT show in two weeks. Last year's show there remains one of my two favorite shows of all time, and I have no doubt that this, the Second Annual Geekfest, will be as spectacular. And aside from those reasons to look forward to it, I'm excited to be hosting some new faces at FruCasa then. So let's hope the next two weeks pre-tour prove restful for the Lads--and that they go quickly for me!

From Harry Keates:

Hi everyone,

I'm generally a lurker, but I thought I would come out of hiding to review the show on Sunday.

Mayfest was a lot of fun in general. I went with my wife, my daughter, who is 2, and my son, who is 3 months old. We spent the first couple of hours eating, making hats, getting face painted, and generally enjoying the event. At around 3 we headed over to HMV to see what was going on with the show.

We got there in time to see the start of the Black Sea Salsa Band, who were a lot of fun. I can't say how good they were from a salsa perspective, but we enjoyed wathching them and did a little dancing. About half way through their set it started to rain a bit, so we headed in to HMV to get out of the rain. It was my daughters first time in a record store, and she was very excited because she loves music. First, she wanted to see the Shawn Colvin CD's, her current favorite artist, then she wanted to see the Beethoven CD's, another favorite of hers. When we were looking at the Beethoven CD's, which were in the classical wing, we noticed that not only was there a huge window that had a perfect view of the stage, but the sound inside was great. Almost as good as being outside, but without the rain and cold. So we watched the rest of the salsa band's set from insdide.

At around 4:15, the salsa band ended their set and Cal and someone else started setting up for Fruvous. We went outside to try to get a good spot for the show. We quickly decided, however, that we weren't going to get a good view without being right against the speaker, which would not have been good for the kids. Also, it was looking like it was going to rain again, also not good for the kids. So we headed back inside.

Fruvous came on around 5:00, an hour late, and there was a light rain falling. At least that is what it looked like from inside, where it was nice and dry (he he). We were front and center in the window, but a few others, including the HMV classical people, had joined us. Murray noticed us first, and gave us a wave, which delighted my daughter. Through the first song the rest of the guys saw us dancing around up in the window and gave us smiles and waves, which was really exciting for my daughter who would laugh and wave back each time they looked up. At one point, when we were doing our Jian impression, which mostly consisted of jumping straight up and down, my wife told me to look down. I did and saw that the guys and about half the crowd were staring up at us. For the rest of the show, my daughter would yell out "Murray's jumping" or "ah ah, now Mike is jumping" whenever one of the guys would start jumping up and down. I think this annoyed some patrons, but the HMV people were laughing.

The show was great, lots of energy, lots of chatting, and they were really having fun, even though they were being rained on through most of the set. At one point, Murray put a towel on his head, which was quite funny - and he took a bit of ribbing for it. The set was a pretty standard one, I can't remember it all but the highlights, for me, were a beautiful Message, a rocking Jockey full of Burboun, and the best You shook me I've heard yet. We had some classical music playing in the background, which wasn't distracting at all. In fact, I think a little Bach added a whole new dimension to Video Bargainville.

The only disappointment was that the acoustic guitar gave out in the rain, and they couldn't play Authors, which is my daughter's favorite song - she calls it the book song - which she was waiting all day to hear. But they did play BJ Don't Cry, which is another one of her favorites (along with Lazy Boy). I was hoping we would get some more acappella numbers as a result of the rain, like maybe a blow wind blow, but no such luck. It was a thouroughly enjoyable show nonetheless.

After the show, the guys passed us on the way to their dressing room and told my daughter that she was great. Then we had them sign one of her books when they came out for a meet and greet afterwards. My daughter is incredibly shy, and normally will look away if soneone she doesn't know well is talking to her. But she felt so comfortable around the guys that she was chatting away with them, and she was so happy - It was really special for us.

From the colored 15th Annual Harvard Square pamphlet:

HMV Stage - sponsored by HMV Music Supertore

One Brattle Square

4pm - Moxy Fruvous : Folk-Rock with High Energy, High Stepping, High Fives, High Fun, Get Ready - Gotta See 'Em!

From the Harvard Square's 15th Annual mini-newspaper:

Moxy Fruvous is four Canadian singer/songwriters whose music runs the gamut. Big hits at the Falcon Ridge and Newport Folk Festivals! Become a Fruhead, 4 PM at HMV Stage.

The Pictures

Click the description to get the pic:

The Music

Opened with The Set Closed with

Misc. Info

Some other tidbits from the performance include:

Back to the tour dates 1998 page