Friday was a nice day because I got to recover from the week and get 11 hours of sleep before making the big ol' trip to Chicago on Saturday. I gave myself plenty of time to make the trip with a nice buffer of time for traffic, construction, wars, and other such unpleasant FruObsticles. But, once again, I managed to forget about the time zone change. So I get into town around 6 when the doors open at 9. I went for a cup of coffee down the street, and went back towards the venue. I spotted Mike in a mexican food place and said hi. He was getting the burrito which would become the subject of a great improv that night. :-) And right outside the club I found Murray waiting for soundcheck. While blowing some time chatting with him, I found Lady Wench and her friend which was suprising once I remembered she was from Delaware. :-) We waited at the door and waited and waited.
Once inside, we grabbed our Stage Murray spot and chatted with Chad & friends. I talked to somebody beside me who looked familiar, but she didn't have anything to do with the online Fruvous following. But her name was Angie and was a very fun gal. While waiting for the opening band, the house started playing this horrible rave-like techno crap with muddy bass sound. You could barely hear yourself think. I'm not sure if they knew what band was playing, but yikes.
The venue itself was ok. Basically a hole in the wall, but one with personality. It seemed smaller than Schuba's to my eyes, which is odd seeing as how they packed the place last time (same deal here).
The openers were good. They had a cool sound, with satirical lyrics a la Honest Bob, but much more daring (in particular, their songs about Princess Di(e) and universal hatred) :) It was a good match for the crowd, which they mentioned they loved.
After they left, that good ol' techno rave crap came back on. Grr. Ohwell. The opening band's stage setup was fairly detailed, so there was a good gap between sets. Fruvous finally came on around.. 11? That ominous fading in note could mean only one of two things. Either they're starting Sahara, or it's time to read a little VIEWER MAIL! (sorry, Talk Soup is on)
The Set: Sahara, Jockey, Spidey '97, "Hello Milwaukee", BJ, Video, "Phone Call", Sad Girl, Pisco, Sleepy Drinker, Boo Time, Boss, Kids', I Will Hold On, Michigan, "Big Burrito" > "Windy City" > Jet Airliner, Saucep'n, Message, King>Green, Authors>Car, Signed. E1: Darlington, Psycho Killer. E2: Drinking.
Sahara was great. The part where Jian starts on the drum set bass drum was particularly entertaining, because it reminded me of the techno stuff they were playing before the show. :) The whole dark trilogy (Sahara>Jockey> Spidey '97) was great.
After that great start to the show, they went into BJ and Video (whose intro was repeated despite the fact that all 400 patrons screamed "2" at the top of their lungs). Oh well. But then, Jian announces that he is going to call his dad with a cell phone from the stage to wish him a happy birthday. He tries to get the phone to work for a long while, but can't. An audience member suggested he should press the 'A' button. Jian asks, "A?" The guy retorts with, "Where's the button, eh?" Good chuckles were had by all. Another guy in the audience with a cell phone tried to call him from his phone, and the line was busy (at 1:00 in the morning for his time zone! Must be a fun family!) So that very cool idea from Jian unfortunately fell through. It would have been fun. :) During this whole thing, Murray's frilly purple shirt was pointed out, as was the fact that the Bulls lost, so there would be no rioting.
Musically, after a long while, Sad Girl finally started. Yum yum. :) And then Pisco. Yummier, although the crowd seemed a little more tame about it than the other 2 times I'd seen it that week. Then, the big suprise -- Sleepy Drinker, and I liked it! I haven't liked that song at all since I heard it in MIT and other places. This was like my 4th time seeing it, and it wasn't until last night that I decided I like it. Something happened that made me really enjoy it. *shrugs* Maybe it's a fluke? Whonose.
Boo Time followed. Middle section: "Double Door'in / Fruvous soarin' / Hang on Sloopy / Loop gets loopy / Gettin' jiggy / Down at Wrigley / Jiggy wit' it / Cubs can't hit it / Get me up a ham in Chicagoland!"
Then Boss. During Boss, a guy took a picture of Murray in a "compromising position" and this caused some banter after the song. Kids came next, with Barney references all around. Best part was the intro, where the guys are guessing who wasn't asked. Murr guessed people with pierced tongues, and felt that was justified (Angie had objections to that one *wink*). Dave and Mike both guessed it was the guys with pierced scrotums. Mike mentioned that he was getting a "chubby" just thinking about that. Anyway, after Kids, I was suprised, but then they pulled out another new one -- I Will Hold On. Cool! The crowd liked it better than I'd expected.
Michigan was next, and to be honest was a huge letdown. The sound wasn't there and there were a lot of mistakes. Murray's bass was way down in the mix, and there was no punch to the song. Can't win 'em all.
Then comes the best improv of the run. Mike busts off a song about the "Big Fuckin' Burrito" he had for dinner. This whole improv was a variable-tempo rap that was just plain hysterical. This led into another improv song about where to find food in the windy city, which wasn't a very good improv. But they redeemed it once the Dave popped out a great Jet Airliner (full band w/ banjo). That was the second time I'd seen them do that, and very funny. Next - Saucep'n, Message, and King of Spain.
Green Eggs and Ham rolled out of King of Spain. But this was no ordinary Green Eggs. During the "Not The Beatles" segment, Jian couldn't think of anything, so he directs Mike to tell Mr. Cheese why he shouldn't have made his comment. Mike gets a twinkle in his eye, and slowly walks over to Mr. Cheese. In a slow, patient, almost tender voice, he says:
"You know, man, I can sympathize with you. You're not like everyone else. You don't understand the genius of the Beatles because you yourself are in some ways a genius, Mr. Cheese. You! We wonder about you! Genius or madman? Oh, you sick man!!"
At this point, Mike has thrown himself down on the floor and is, well.. humping the floor while he's talking.
"Oh!! King, you madman, there exists a skism inside you. There exists a skism inside me."
"There's one thing I have to say to you, and it's that I'm glad I have my butt-plug in tonight."
A collective groan from the audience. :-) Mike was on a roll tonight. So next was Authors. Yeah. And then this segued into Get in the Car -- with Dave doing some subtle but interesting playing around with the intro chords. "Signed" closed out the set, with Jian selectively leaving out words here and there in the bridge.
Encore 1 was Darlington and Psycho Killer again. Encore 2 was a tease of S&G's Bookends, and finally the Drinking Song, a great end to a great week. After the show, we all found the gigantic fan and sat around for a bit. It was really late by that point (2 local time, 3:00 my time) so I took Angie home and started on my way home as well. A quick rest at the rest stop on 80/90 and I was on my way home.
Great run of shows. I'm still exhausted and can't wait till later this month for more! It was great to meet all you new people, see all you old people, and share in lots of happiness with all. Till next time..
From Jordan McClure:
Wow. Well this is my first reveiw - and I only have a few minutes to write it - but here goes. A few hours have past and I'm still amazed at what a good show that was.
Anyhow, a small group of us showed up at the Double Door at abour 8:30, a good hour and a half before the show. We went in about 9:15 and were subjected to really bad, really loud house music until the opening band came on at 10. Before the opener, we also faced North and observed a moment of silence for Chicago Fruhead Kathy, who as luck would have it had to be in Toronto for the weekend and had to miss the show. That band was called The Good and living up to their name, they were pretty decent, maybe even good. They played for about an hour and after they were done, were were subjected to some more of this house music. Ugh. We thought that music was a ploy by the Double Door to get you to appreciate the music you came to hear more. Who knows.
Moxy came on about 11:30 or so and opened with a kick-ass extended Sahara. 'Twas my first time hearing that and wow that song really does rock. I think I just could have listened to that for two hours straight. From there they went into Jockey Full of Bourbon, Spiderman (with instruments), then B.J. Don't Cry and Bargainville. After that, Jian pulled out a cell phone and mentioned that is was his father's birthday today and that he thought it would be fun if he called him and we all sang him happy birthday. Not a bad idea, but Jian was havings some problems getting the phone to work. He asked the audience if anyone knew how to work a cellular phone and someone yelled out "Try pressing the A Button" Jian: The A Button? Guy: Yeah. Jian: A? Guy: Yeah you know, "Eh?"
After that rip on Canada, the band starting ripping on Chicago for the rest of the night. Heh. Anyhow, Jian thought maybe he'd try a different phone and asked for one from the audience. Some woman had one, but didn't want to leave the dialing in the hands of a Canadian again so she said she'd dial. :) Jian yelled out the number and it turned out to be busy (Jian's dad must be a pretty happenin' guy). So finally, after 10-15 minutes of this phone stuff, Jian gave up and it was time for more music.
(Got to leeave in 5 minutes so I'll have to go faster now). At this point in the show came a "Trilogy" of new songs, Sad Girl, Pisco Bandito, and Sleepy Drinker. They were all great and Pisco was particularly good, it being my first time hearing that one. After that came an average version of Boo Time followed by I Love My Boss and a kick-ass Kids' Song. Then the band played Jian's new song "I Will Hold On" (or "I Will Hold You" as Jian called it... he forgot the name). I really liked it. That was followed byt a rocking Michigan Militia. After Michi, before they could start Johnny Saucep'n, they played a long chain of teases, starting off with a song call "Food... It Has the Things that Indigestable Things Have Not". That segued into a tease about Burritos , and then Dave mentioned how much he hates Enya so they sang abiut that. That went back into "Food" and then "Windy City". Someone in there was a Steve Miller Band cover too. Finally, they played Johnny Saucep'n and followed that up with an impressive version of Message and then a great King of Spain -> Green Eggs and Ham. After that, Authors, then Get in the Car and they closed up a great, long set with the new Signed, Sealed Delivered Medley which really rocked.
The band came back for their first encore, which turned out to be Darlington Darling followed by Psycho Killer. For the second encore, they did a short tease of Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends (sing the Drinking Song is sort of like bookends, on their first and last albums) and ended with the Drinking Song.
All in all, a great night and just over two hours of Fruvous! The band seemed really on even though Mike looked a bit tired and worn-out. It was a really fast-faced set, all and all and the whole night really rocked! Made it well worth the wait (since last Thanksgiving) from my last Fru-show until now. Wow!
Well, got to run. Sorry I don't have time for more and for any typos, but hell, this is long enough.
From Chad Maloney:
Hey all, not really in the mood for a full review, so I'll just add stuff a bit. Overall, the show was okay for me. I got some news before the show that sorta aggravated me... it was great seeing so many new tunes. Pisco was definitely a highlight. It and Sleepy Drinker seem the most polished of the new tunes to me. I Will Hold You is getting better as the guys get used to the transitions. I still really like Sad Girl, but it isn't as solid as the others yet. Murray is doing much better on the drums though he still can't look up.
The Good were actually pretty good. They had lamps on stage in different colors, one with a "G", two "O"'s and one "D". Their bass player had a five-string fretless with one humbucking pickup. He was flat for the first couple songs, but started hitting notes after that. He had skills though. To me, they were Honest Bob and the Factory Dealer Incentives except they did songs with more of a personal twist instead of a scientific twist (that's a big compliment, by the way). Some subject matter I remember: Sitting on the bench in little league, wanting to score on prom night, Princess Diana's death, and other things. They likened this show to another show where they opened for someone big, but the difference was that this time, they liked the band they were opening for *grin*
I felt that the improv was a little stale on the extended Sahara. Maybe they've been doing it too much lately and are falling into a rut. Jian was doing really well on it, but Murray, Dave, and Mike weren't really taking it anywhere. Mike did do some cool stuff on the keyboard, but to me, show didn't really start until Jockey.
This is the first show that I've noticed Jian being more on than anyone else. During Jockey, he was more solid than usual and adding some more complex stuff. He was really getting into it and bringing the show into action. Dave fed off him and Dave and Ji kept the first half of the show alive.
Then Jian tried to call his dad. This was more funny than it was anything else. He tried so hard and you could tell he wanted it to work, but alas, no dice.
This was the second Frushow where I've seen Big Old Jet Airliner, though they did the whole tune in Louisville where they cut it off this time. Food, it's got the got, that those indigestible things have not was pretty decent, but not as good as the Big Fu**in' Burrito line before it that Mike did.
Highlights for me:
The intro to Kid's Song was hilarious. Murray's group that wasn't asked was those with pierced tongues. He was shot down completed with a rightly so, after pointing out that they weren't asked. Dave on the other hand, said that the people with pierced balls weren't asked. And lastly, it was pointed out that people with shaved pierced scrotums weren't asked. Mike then points out that he's getting a chubby just hearing all this.
In Hey Not the Beatles, Jian goes completely blank and gives Mike a go ahead to do whatever he pleases. Mike ventures out from behind the bongos (the Good had Congas) and starts in on Mr. Cheese. [begin paraphrase] "Mr. Cheese. I'm with you. You just aren't like the others. You, like the Beatles are a genius Mr. Cheese. A genius of sorts. And we look at you and wonder, genius or madman? Genius... or madman? [Mike is lying on the floor humping it - probably pretty close to the US screwing Canada dance] Cheese, poor Cheese. Inside there exists a schism and inside me exists a schism.
At this point, Dave, looking at Mike humping the ground says that the only thing he's glad he's got inside him is his butt plug.
Mike mentioned the TurdBurglar again. He's must be a recurring character in Fruvous world and not just a one off at Bloomington.
Mur had this ruffled tuxedo shirt on and was getting fashion knocks all night. He also had this pinky ring on. He musta been styling. When Dave knocked his clothes, Murray said that he got Dave's hand-me- downs.
Murray's slap bass was decent. A little sloppy, but not too bad. I really like this medley though. Got some really strong songs in it.
Boo Time, Gettin' jiggy with it was brought up. Another good continuing joke. It was something like Jiggy wit' it, Cubs can't hit it.
Well, enough of my rambling, not ordered and incomplete review. Happy
Some other tidbits from the performance include: