Live Show: 7/30/98


Alexandria, VA

Reviewed by: Ariana, Joni, & Mike

The Details

The doors opened at 6:30 and myself, Ariana, and my boyfriend, James arrived at the venue looking forward to actually seeing Moxy perform (the night before we were not allowed in to the Ramshead in Annapolis because one of us is below the revered 21). Anyway, Grey Eye Glances opened the show. Not a bad band, they have some talent, but after awhile all of the songs began to sound alike. Powerful lead singer, but when the music came in they always drowned her out. To say the least, we were looking forward to when Moxy took over the stage.

After the intermission Jian and Murray came out on stage and began playing for a few minutes before Mike and Dave joined them. My guess is they were running a little late, but with Moxy, you never can tell. They began with a jam that went on for quite a while and then broke into Sahara. I never heard them open a show with something so jumpy before, I am more used to them breaking into a chord to begin. However, it was a strong beginning. After Sahara they went into Jockey Full of Bourbon and BJ. Then things started to get a little off-track. As a precursor to the rest of the show... about a week ago The Washington Post printed a wonderful article on the Fab 4 so throughout the show they kept making references. The audience was packed and many were Moxy-virgins, had never been to a show, so the guys kept practically praising the article while condemning it for a few statements.. (i.e. "Moxy Fruvous [the name is nonsense]"). Mike broke into an improv piece about it being "Great to be back in DC" that went on for quite awhile. During which a reference was made to the show actually being performed at the Kennedy Center and we all at the Birchmere were watching it via satallite. After the DC song, Dave sang America the Beautiful (?) a rendition about the streets being filled with trash. Then Horseshoes, after which Jian randomly broke into a slow Chumbawumba.. "A gin drink and a vodka drink..." They then broke into some new material with Sad Girl which was different, but well received and Pisco Bandito the Bandit Fish. Cute and jumpy song, I just was wondering if they wrote it or adapted it from elsewhere because numerous audience members were singing along. Spiderman was next and some the strict Birchmere rules of no talking while the performers are on stage was used as fodder for what he was protecting. They then ATTEMPTED YWGTTM, but were off key and all stopped. They tried again and kept going even though it looked as though they still didn't feel as if they had the right notes. "Grandpa Fruvous" arrived next with Minnie the Moocher in which a reference was made to Ken Starr's ego. The Greatest Man in America followed with another new song... I Will Hold On. It is a love song, which was performed very beautifully. It sounded more mainstream than most of the Moxy I know, but the lyrics were really great. They then referred back to the Post article and had commentary on where the name Moxy Fruvous actually came from. During this discussion, Murray accused Jian of straying too far from the script and Jian went on a tangent about how hurt his feelings were which made Murray fairly speechless. Mike broke in saying they were not using the good Moxy and Dave said everyone needed to find their inner bells... at which point the audience began tapping on glasses. Then they sang the Ballad of Marion Fruvous and "This is the song about the Marion Fruvous Song" to the tune of I know the song that gets on everybody's nerves. Militia and Saucep'n followed. Then Message and a very energetic KOS which broke right into the short version of GE&H. Get in the Car and Love Potion #9 Medley rounded out the set. The band received a standing ovation (and the Birchmere was PACKED) and came out to sing Laika and Psycho Killer in their Encore. All in all the show was packed with high energy. I was sitting next to 2 women who had never seen the band live before and were ecstatic after the show. Another random occurance was a woman who ripped down a poster from the wall of the Birchmere to take home, I guess Moxy impressed the attendees. The only part that surprised me was that they did not begin or end the concert on an Acapella performance. The Birchmere has great acoustics and I expected them to do one or other. I was in no way disappointed, I was just surprised.

Play list
Random Jam
Great to be back in DC (improv)
America the Beautiful???
Chumbawumba (slow)
Sad Girl
Pisco Bandito
Minnie the Moocher
The Greatest Man in America
I Will Hold On
Marion Fruvous
Song About Marion Song
Short GE&H
#9 Medley
Psycho Killer

From Joni:

Hi, this is my first review, I just had such a great time last night, I had to gush about it! This is my fourth show, and probably the best, mostly because I brought along my buddy Meg ( it was her first show : ) and my mother (she was more excited then I was even!) and they had a great time, since they are two of my converts, I was kinda proud. The show started with the jam into Sahara, which I had never seen before and was especially great because I was literally right in front of Jian. They went into Jockey and BJ, the latter of which a line was switched to "But I'd rather have a shirt like Murray's!" The shirt was really something. As Murray said, it is the only shirt of it's kind, polyester with horses printed on it, Dave then countered saying that the stores usually stock the horse print in cotton. There was an improv about being back in D.C that closed with Dave playing a "Hail to the Chief" riff that really seemed to delight Mike. Later, Jian out of nowhere started singing a much slower version of that Chumbawumba song, singing "I get knocked up" instead of "I get knocked down." Sad Girl was next, which was incredible, I had heard it before so I kinda sung along, because it makes so much sense, I want some of the girls from my high school to hear it. Speaking of new songs,

I got to hear both Pisco Bandito (lots of fun) and I Will Hold On. At some point during the show, I forget when, Dave was arranging things and twice ran into his mic stand and almost fell down, one of the guys then said "He's been practicing that bit back stage for two weeks" and Dave bowed and pretended to trip again. Wow, they did Maion Fruvous, which I have heard is a rare Fruvous song. It was great, the whole show was terrific! Afterwards Meg and I said hi to Dave and Mike ( Murray was asleep we were told.) I made my companions stick around and wait to talk to Jian, and it was worth it since he remembered me from Appel Farm ( yay, that made my night.) So, it was definitly worth driving for longer than is pleasant in an un-airconditioned car to get to the Birchmere.

From Mike:

Hello all! (especially Lawrence, Wendy, Zard, Chris, Chris and others!)

The show last night was _awesome_! (how many MF concert reviews begin this way?) The Birchmere is a very fine club, with great acoustics, nice atmosphere, and a spacious stage cleanly visible from all around the room. I was fortunate enough to be situated at table #333, with aforemention Fruheads and my friend Andy, at the corner of stage-left : Davesville.

Gray Eye Glances were entertaining, especially for an opening band. Very tight rhythm all around; a solid performance.

But the real fun started, of course, with the sustained note signaling the start of the extended Sahara intro. Rhythm section Murray and Jian came on and generated the groove, and Dave and Mike soon joined them for the jam and song. Afterwards they jumped into Jockey, then continued the accordion trend with BJ. The dialogue then began as Jian told the crowd how great it was to be back in DC, and Murray added that everyone there must've felt the same way going to work everyday. Mike then turned this into an improv song about driving home from and hanging around Washington, which ended with he and Dave sang "America" with alternate lyrics ("God sheds his waste on thee", "From sea to oily sea", etc..). Horseshoes was great, as always.

Jian then turned chat about people in the audience drinking into a chumbawunba spoof, "I got knocked up" :) About then, Mike (I think) announced that what we were actually seeing was no more than a hologram, and that they were actually performing in an otherwise empty Kennedy Center. Murray added "that's why we're improvising so much, because we don't have any real audience feedback." We were then treated to the new gems Sad Girl and Pisco Bandito; I heard them both for the first time and loved them! Murray segued Pisco into "another song about an animal with a small voice", Spiderman. Mike ran into the crowd and assaulted some guy who had been talking during one of the songs, which was against Birchmere policy. Afterwards, he added that that sequence took up all the memory of the computers at the Kennedy Center.

You Will Go to the Moon began way out of key, so Murray pulled out the pitch-pipe a second time so they could start over. Next, Minnie the Moocher, which displayed Mike's great lyrical improv abilty, as always :

"Minnie spreads her love, whever we go, And she's got a heart as big as Kenneth Starr's ego."

"A bunch of folks won the Powerball jackpot, My dreams were dependent upon the Powerball jackpot, My odds were good, I bought three tickets, I'm no crackpot, But now my life is shit because I didn't win the Powerbal jackpot."


The Greatest Man in America followed, and then I Will Hold On. Then, the Ballad of Marion Fruvous, which I hadn't heard before either, and which I totally loved! They played it to enlighten the Washington Post writer who claimed that their name was "nonsense." Its long introduction however caused Murray to tell the others that "this intro has gone off the rails", which led to band therapy, which concluded with Mike telling everyone to reach inside themselves and to ring their personal bells, so they could become a better band. Anyway, afterwards Jian then began a little meta-song, "That was the Marion Fruvous song", etc..a Michigin Militia, Johnny Saucep'n, Message and King of Spain later, they broke into the short Green Eggs and Ham, where Mike said, "you know what you need, king? errr..cheese? A little Jack Lilane (sp?)!" and he and Dave chided each other about their weight. Afterwards, someone requested Raja, breaking the rule about no talking, forcing to Murray to ask that she be removed. The regular set was filled out with Get in the Car and Love Potion #9 medley.

The encore consisted of Laike and Psycho Killer...still no Drinking Song experience for me. :( Anyway, I got Jian to sign my b-album afterward; he is such a nice guy!

For all of you there and all of you not there, I managed to record the concert pretty clean (sorry Birchmere). Same deal with the Columbia show : if you'd like a copy of it, let me know; even if you don't have anything to trade with, I'm sure we can work something out.

Great show all, and nice to meet many of you :)

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 1998 page