Live Show: 8/1/98


South Norwalk, CT

Reviewed by: Colleen Campbell

The Details

On Saturday, there was a *massive* turnout of Fruheads, including many from NYC, the Delaware/NJ/Philly contingent, those of us from Boston & Mass, some upstate-NY'ers, and the increasing number from CT. Fruvous went on very close to on time (shock!), but if they hadn't, we would have kept quite busy with catching up with each other! Most of us were crammed right up against the stage, in front of the speakers; I thought it fascinating to hear the production almost entirely from the monitors (and their echo against the metal stage), plus a bit from the guys themselves; it's the first time I think I've ever heard Murray's unamplified singing voice. Very keen.

Highlights for me? Well, Mistra Know-It-All, which the guys so clearly enjoy doing--Murray's bass solo is, as Chris Traugott noted recently, superb. Minnie the Moocher two days running was a terrific treat, with Mike including the same verses about "lesbian hooker" and the chinchilla/chuhuahua and one about the giant puppet parade preceding the show, where someone had made a "love slave of one of the 10-foot-tall puppets." Love slaves unite! Jason's tape equipment was clearly visible in the crowd, and they kept commenting on it--"Where have you been the last couple of months? We could have released another live album off of people's bootlegs by now!" To introduce I Love My Boss, Murray said that America & Canada were both undergoing times of great prosperity that allowed them to buy nice things like dog collars--referring to Jered, who was sporting a mohawk and studded collar. There was also a guy standing right up against the stage that they teased as looking like Eddie Vedder (Mike worked him into the make-up verse of Love Potion), and during I Love My Boss, Jian came over and made bedroom eyes at him, grabbing his hair (he was thigh-high to Jian) and yanking him all around. I wish I had a picture of it; I was dying.

The best part for me, though, was the technical difficulties. They were about to go into Sad Girl and couldn't get the keyboard working; Mike messed around with "Mello Yellow" (spotting a "Donovan's" store nearby) and they segued that with the Beatle's "Michelle." Then Jian started doing a very slow, acoustic version of "Tubthumping," ragging on it for stealing "Danny's Boy" and throwing in "he drinks a diet Coke," etc. Finally, when it was clear there was a big problem with the keyboard, Mike announced that they were going to reform as the Chia Pets and launched quickly into "Oliver's Army"--whoo!! Dave got the keyboard working partly through and, with a cigarette dangling from his mouth and looking like the proverbial canary-satiated cat, joined in with a huge grin. Then they returned to "Sad Girl"; still not my favorite new song (that would easily be "Pisco Bandito," which I adore) but coming together better with the new harmonies, I think. Because of the time lost to all that, though, they apologized that they'd have to wrap up the show (eliciting a wave of protest from the crowd). . .in about two hours. Wild cheers! Too bad it wasn't true.

Afterwards, we all stood around and visited with each other for an hour & a half, until the next group came on. It was terrific to see so many friends, especially since I won't likely see anyone until the end of October. But! Murray did confirm that, reporting that the Iron Horse dates are in the bag. (And Mike mentioned that they ARE playing San Fransisco this fall, so all you Californians can stop yer gripin' already!) So though I'm sorry to be missing everyone at the next upcoming "FruCons" of Toronto and Owen Sound, I'm expecting another for the Halloween shows! (And here's a pondering: playing two nights in a row at the Iron Horse, where they're given to taking every possible liberty with their setlists--I wonder if they're going to pull a "Phish" and do a bunch of covers for their Halloween show. . .? Just a thought. A very happy thought, seeing as how I doubt we'll get to hear "Poor Napoleon" any time soon otherwise, which is coincidentally playing next to me right now.)

Okay, enough rambling from me. Many thanks to those of you who've been writing such great, vivid reviews of shows lately, and I expect many more to be forthcoming, to help me soldier through my next three upcoming Fruless months! Enjoy the shows for me, say hi to each other for me these next couple of weekends (and I'll enjoy Newport Folk Fest, with Ani, Dar, Indigo Girls, Loudon Wainwright, etc, for y'all), and I'll see ya in October!

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 1998 page