Live Show: 6/6/98


Elmer, NJ

Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley, Colleen Campbell, & Mary Krause

The Details

Early Saturday morning. And I'm talkin' _early_. Colleen, Kathryn (Bastet), Vika, and I left Boston a little past seven in the morning, and after a lot of driving, and a traffic jam on the NJ turnpike, we made it to Elmer by quarter to three. Fruvous was slated to go on at 3:05, so we ran our tushies off after finding a parking spot not-so-close to the main entrance to the Appel Farms Festival.

Once on the grounds, we found out we had plenty of time before Fruvous' set. Misty, Mary, Christine, Chris T (and her friend Leo), Zard, Laurie, Craig and many others were there already, staking out space in front of Stage One. Walked around the fest a bit, looking at the crafts and checking out the various food for sale. Very nice area, though not much shade, which is always a recipe for disaster for me (I sunburn very easily).

Fruvous came up on stage one around four or so. Chris/Moe, Jo, Jen, and Susan Tanner all arrived right before Moxy started. I was very pleased with the set, considering that most folk fest sets tend to be shorter and contain more "standard" tunes. I got to hear "La Complainte du Phoque en Alaska" for the first time live, which was very cool. The crowd was all on their feet by the end of the set, cheering madly. Fruvous definitely gained a lot of fans that day, since afterwards they had a huge line for merch and autographs.

After the set, Vika and I got some food, chatted with Fruvous for a bit, and then headed back to stage one to catch the tail end of Vance Gilbert's set. Jason, Rob & Lisa showed up around this point (delays, delays... :-) Then, after about an hour of stage switching time, the Indigo Girls (whom I'd never seen before) played a great set to a crowd that ate up every minute. By the time the Indigo Girls finished, it was dark (around nine o'clock) and about time to be heading to our crash space for the eve.

A bunch of us caravaned to FruWench's apt. in Delaware to crash. Got there around eleven or so, which isn't bad at all. I'd never seen this many states in this many days in my life! :-) Jen (LadyWench), Jeff, Dave & Beth were all very gracious hosts, and offered us wonderful food and large amounts of floorspace to sleep on. We all stayed up and chatted till the wee hours, but by around 3:30, everyone started nodding off, and we all finally went to sleep.

Sunday morning. Got up at 7:30 (blach!!!) and said my goodbyes to all the sleepy-eyed fruheads. Rob and I headed up to Newburgh, so I could drop him off at home (around eleven), and then I continued on to Rochester, making it home by four in the afternoon.

And now, you ask? I'm going to sleep! :-)

From Colleen Campbell:

I'm anticipating writing a relatively short review (but don't I always say that?), seeing as how it was a short set and all; still, a great weekend! Veek, Chris O, Kathryn (a Burlington MA Fruhead, IRC'er but not on the newsgroup) and I headed down at Godawful Early A.M. on Saturday--and still didn't arrive until almost three, thanks to some of that ubiquitous bad traffic on the NJ turnpike. Parking and getting to the stages went rather swiftly and efficiently, though, and we quickly learned that Stage One was already running well over an hour behind, 3 artists into the afternoon. Yeesh! No problem to me, though: meant that I'd have time to change into my festival garb (while Fruheads held up a sheet around me) and find something to eat.

We quickly met up with oodles of Fruheads, including (but not limited to, given the sieve-like tendency of my mind) Chris (with friend and soon-to-be-convert Leo) and Zard, Missy, Sue, FruWench and her friends Dave, Jeff, and Wren/Beth, Laurie and Craig, Mary Krause, Chrissy (celebrating her birthday tomorrow, along with Jian--may I be the first to congratulate both here!), Jason, Rob, and Lisa. The afternoon was filled with chance meetings with them, wanderings through the crafts available, etc.

The first act I caught was Big Bill Morganfield (Muddy Waters's son) and I really enjoyed it--rollicking blues with some good (to my unpracticed ears) trombone playing. I've heard better harp, though. Kathryn and I shared taboule and eggplant dip and veggie pasta and sunscreen ;) while soaking up the music and the afternoon rays.

After a brief delay, Fruvous came on; and though the set was a good one, I could hardly concentrate on it for the horrible sound. Cal did his best (we watched him for the first 1/3 of the set, trying to do *anything* to fix it), but the levels kept topping out and the sound kept fading on and off. Nevertheless, it wasn't entirely a disappointment because of the special treat the setlist contained. After Michigan Militia, Jockey (both songs I've never yet gotten tired of) and Boss (not in the same category as those two), they slowed the pace down with "La Complainte du Phoque en Alaska," a beautiful and piquant song in French. I know no French other than "C'est Moi" and "Le Poissons" (which should tell you some musical proclivities of mine), so I couldn't tell you what it all meant, how well they performed it, or how atrocious their accents were or weren't; I just know I really enjoyed it. Our blanket full of people gave out a holler when they introduced it as a song about a seal; of course, Jian teased us in return, "Lots of cheering for seals" or somesuch.

"Boo Time" was a surprise (another song of which I'll never tire)--not the sort of thing I would have expected at a festival (no snide comments at the song's subject matter, guys), but I think they were trying to showcase the diversity and bredth of their work. Jian introduced "Today's the Day That We Fight Back" with a diatribe against Christie What's-Her-Face (Whitman?) and comparable figures in Ontario gov't; the response was strong. We also got "Authors," a marvelous "Kids' Song" (is there something you like? Barney! is there something you hate? Barney! is there something you despise? food that isn't Barney!) "King of Spain/GE&H," a cappella "Message to You," and possibly something else. Towards the end, Jian encouraged--no, ordered--the audience to stand, which we readily did (and remained so), which is much more fun for dancing, thank you very much. They closed the set with Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," with a couple of additions to the medley that hadn't been there the last time I'd heard it. 'Course, the first time I heard it, I'd never heard it or "Alphabet Street" before, and the same goes for the new tunes, "Rio" and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." *sigh* My oh-so-lacking musical education!

There was a very long line for signatures from Fruvous, but I actually braved it for the sake of siggies on my little sister's 21st birthday present. Talked with some new converts in the line (never heard of Fruvous before, now buying Live Noise), and seemed to encounter them everywhere I went, actually--I overheard mention of Live Noise at least three or four times that day. Go, boys!

I skipped most of the rest of the performers to chat with other Fruheads and Tobey (who got a much-needed massage), catching the end of Vance Gilbert's set (the classic "Country Western Rap") and the very long wait until Indigo Girls came on, an hour and a half late. It was just them, sans band (which I think I would have prefered to have). They were relaxed and complimentary towards their crowd, but still, there wasn't any magic there for me: the only times it really got through to me, the power that their CDs convey, was during "Love's Recovery" and "Closer to Fine," both old tunes from their second CD. Ah well. Perhaps I'll prefer their performance at Newport in August?

The sun was well set by the time the Blue Chicks finished their set, so we all blundered around before gathering together to traipse back to FruWench's apartment, where we were given excellent brownies, floorspace, and the opportunity to sit up until 4 a.m. with music, chatting, and massage. Not of course that I took the opportunity. What a very silly idea; the very notion of it! Anyway, it was pell-mell home after that; more's the pity, 'cause I would have loved to hang out longer, especially since this summer will be very barren of Frushows for me. (Guess I'll have to make it up with Ani, Dar, etc etc etc.)

ceecee, whose review, as usual, went way outta heere.

From Mary Krause:

Well, Saturday started a little earlier for me than usual, as I frantically packed (yes, I'm a slacker) for the Appel Farm Festival. Finally jumped in the car and headed to Philadelphia Internation Airport to pickup Christine (Chrissy_K) at 9:15 am. Despite being ALMOST on time, all my good intentions were wasted by her plane coming in early. We decided that we might as well head over the the festival and get "brunch" there. We arrived and got into line. Apparently, setup for the event was running late, so it wasn't until well after 11am that the gates officially opened. We set up our blanket (Stage Murray as directed by the other fruheads we were supposed to meet) and waited. Thought I saw ChrisT in the distance, but wasn't really sure until Zard popped up a while later and explained that they came in different cars. The Festival itself started off badly with the first performer stepping up to the mic and having no sound. Uh-oh. They fixed that and soldiered on. Hopped over to Stage 2 to catch the Vance Gilbert set just in time to hear them announce that he was MIA due to traffic problems. Went back to Stage One and caught the Grey Eye Glances show. Fun and upbeat. Unfortunately, though, they were forced to play a short set so they could get over to play stage 2. Apparently Stage 2 was running ahead of schedule as Stage 1 fell further and further behind. During all this, Fruheads continued to arrive Sue Weiss, Jessica, Cee, Vika, ChrisO, Katheryn, DeDe, Sue Tanner, and so on :) And FINALLY Fruvous hit the stage. They played an upbeat outdoor show. I was happy to hear La Complainte du Phoque en Alaska. How fun! After a few tunes, Fruvous encouraged the crowd to get up and dance. Which we did. However, this wasn't really what the event people wanted us to be doing. I gotta tell you, Green Eggs and Ham loses a bit of its charm when security is screaming at you to sit down. Note that no seated festival goers asked people to sit. Just security. Sigh. I can't quite remember the setlist, but I do remember Militia (appropriate for the Philadelphians who may have known that the NRA was in town for their convention--ugh!), Jockey, La Complainte du Phoque en Alaska, I Love My Boss, A cappella Message, Boo Time, Authors, King of Spain, Green Eggs and Ham, and Signed, Sealed, Delivered. But there may have been one or two more. After the set, we wandered back to get our FruMiles cards stamped and pick up some FruGear. (And ran into Jason, Rob and Lisa who had JUST arrived.) Cee got a the guys to sign Christine's birthday card while we waited to say hello to them. Jian did a nice acting job when Christine explained that they had the same birthday. Even *I* thought this was news to him until she gave him a card and he said he'd reciprocate. Which really confused her until she was given her birthday card later that night. We went back to our blanket and got a little off-track until the girls at a neighboring blanket waved us over. We hadn't really talked much to them that day, but they had really liked Fruvous and wanted to know more about them. Cool. So we answered questions, gave them a list of upcoming show dates in the area and directed them to Fruvous Dot Com. Then, *THEY* enthusiastically explained that they were followers of the Indigo Girls. We talked about music and upcoming events over cookies. :-) Finally, the Indigo Girls came one right around when the festival was supposed to end. They played a good set of the songs I know, plus a few that I didn't (which were apparently favorites of our new-found friends). When the set ended a little after 9pm, the unlit field was rather dark. So we said goodbye, and Christine and I headed toward the center of the field to find the folks we were staying with. Headed back to FruWench's house and spent a late night chatting. Waved a bleary goodbye to ChrisO, Rob, Cee,Vika and Katheryn. A few hours later Jason and Lisa headed out. We grabbed a quick lunch, before Christine and I headed into Philly to wander South Street before her flight home to Buffalo. There, in a interesting twist, we ran into 2 of the folks who introduced me to Fruvous. They assured me that they'd be at the WXPN Singer-Songwriter event. yay! Finally, I headed home for some much-needed rest and to tend to my rather painful sunburn. All in all, a great weekend was had by all. I hope I didn't forget anyone's name, but my caffeine fix hasn't kicked in yet :-)

From the Appel Farm Arts Festival program:

Moxy Fruvous set out to create a sound that couldn't put your finger on and yet you couldn't let go of! Gangsta banjo hip-hop? Accordion love songs? Persian epics? Solid pop songs? Whatever it is, audiences love it. New fans are made every day. If upbeat melodic songs, soaring vocal harmonies, dead-on parody, social commentary and a rousing good time are not your thing, cover your ears, Moxy Fruvous are back in town!

The Pictures

Click the description to get the pic:

The Music

(not in order, not complete)
Opened with The Set Closed with

Misc. Info

Some other tidbits from the performance include:

Back to the tour dates 1998 page