Live Show: 8/7/98


Toronto, ON

Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley, Irene Gaspar, Fiona, Sara, & Amy

The Details

I'm going to keep this short, since as I'm writing this, I'm sitting in Los Angeles trying to keep up with the Fruvous newsgroup as well as possible. :-)

Friday, around two in the afternoon, Vika and I left Rochester and headed for Toronto. After a bunch of crazy traffic, we made it to Toronto by six or so. Rosemary graciously offered us crash space at "Frucasa North", and Hugo was already there to greet us. After a while, a bunch of people trickled in (Ingrid, hKath, Rosemary, Mary, AJ/Lisa/Karen, Josh/Tracy, and I think that's it). We headed down to the square almost immediately.

Met up with a BUNCH of fruheads once we arrived at Mel Lastman Square. I don't think I'm even going to attempt to name everyone (you who were there, you know who you are ;-) Fruvous came on stage a little past the expected time...not too bad. The set was great, and included a chunk of Murray's 'Pork Tenderloin' song. I thought I was going to bust my side open from laughing.

After the set (which lasted between ninety minutes and two hours), Fruvous came out to the masses and chatted for quite a while. Socializing with this many close friends/fruheads was a bit overwhelming, and so much fun. By around midnight, all the people who were staying at Rosemary's headed back there, and crashed at various times through the night. I, for one, went to sleep relatively early, since we had some driving ahead of us to Burk's Falls the next day.

Next stop...Burk's Falls!

From Irene Gaspar:

Two shows in one weekend--that's a small miracle for me! (Warning: this post is long, long, long)

About 2 weeks ago, I happened to casually ask a friend if she wanted to join me for the Fruvous concert at Mel Lastman Square. Much to my surprise, she said yes. (My friends are not big fans of Fruvous. Go figure.) So, on Friday (Fruday?) night I met my friend in the York Mills subways stop, a convenient spot for both of us, and made the journey up to the Square.

I had never been to Mel Lastman Square before. Fortunately, it was not hard to find. When we got there, my first reaction was to laugh. The place is so little! For some reason, I had been expecting a big stage similar to the one down by Harbourfront, not this dinky thing. A little square for a little mayor, I suppose :)

We arrived at the Square early enough to acquire seats on the first row of the stone stairs; this accorded us an excellent view of the stage. I was pleased. The show started almost on time (another good feature). It began with the extended Sahara which I have never heard before. It was a perfect starter because it got everyone's attention. I liked it a lot.

(And now my linear tale breaks down.)

Musical highlights:

Piscito Bandito (sp?)--This is my favourite of their new songs. It's wonderfully whimsical and it makes me laugh.

The Porkloin song--This is not the real title, of course. I just can't remember what it's called. Murray stepped up and performed this little ditty to cover for Jian who was having trouble with an electric guitar. This one had me practically howling.

Marion Fruvous!--This is song I have always loved. This time it had an extended introduction which included a disgusting origin for the band name, courtesy of Dave. What was it? He said "moxy" is the term to describe the bits of cuticle that detach themselves from your nail. This, when mixed in with whipped cream (sour cream? something like that), is called a "moxy fruvous". Gr-OSS!

The purple shirt song--This sprang from Jian commending Mike & Dave on their matching purple shirts.


Mel Lastman jokes: "He's a great clown, uh, mayor." You get the idea ;)

Shania Twain commentary: She was playing at Ontario Place and so Fruvous took the time to thank us for coming to see them rather than her. Of course, they said, her show probably cost a bit whereas they were FREE! Jian, after saying he liked her music, proceeded to butcher one of her songs. He finished by saying that she gave the song a different sound because she was (and still is) a woman. There followed a circuitous discussion about men and women, Shania and Jian. I wish I could repeat it for you because it certainly had me laughing.

Weather commentary: Thunder storms were in the forecast and so Fruvous took the time to thank us for risking our lives by coming out to see them. They began to imagine headline such as "Moxy Fruvous electrocuted. Mayor's popularity on the rise."

I have to say that this was one of the best concerts I've been to. I thought their set had nice variety: old stuff, new stuff, fast and slow. This was combined with a good amount of banter.

After the concert, I stayed back entirely too long to get autographs. But my friend was patient and was even still willing to speak to me the next day.

From Fiona:

Greetings and Salutations

I have just returned from Mel Lastman Square (It was a good...2 hours after the show ended when I left and can I just say that Jian was STILL TALKING when I left?? No crew, no other Frulad around.. he said "I think I've worn out my welcome" about 20 mins before I left.. man was he in a talkative mood tonight!)

I met another zillion people tonight, on top of the many I already knew. Hi to you all I'm not going to even bother trying. But honestly it's sooo cool to have like 60 (and if I'm exaggerating it's not by much I swear) Fruheads at a concert. We were getting odd looks from the "normal" Torontonians around us, it was fun. But you know someday Fruvous is going to have to say something about the Fruheads during a concert to reassure "normal" people that we don't bite.

Ok so where did it start? Around 5 20 I arrived at the Alexandra where I met Andy (starfox), Amy and Bill (wildbill). Amid observations about TTC tokens, discussion about the Canadian dollar and other such tidbits we made our way via TTC all the way up to North York Centre.

A few people were already there, including Josh, Kimberly and Kris, who were all sitting near each other so that is where we parked ourselves.. or our stuff anyway before we "tag-teamed" in search of food. When we got back there were more Fruheads, more introductions, several group pictures (which did not include one with my camera so someone I want a copy of one) and general chat. It was advertised that Drea had not been able to pull off a miracle and would miss the show. We missed ya Drea!

The show itself. Well we were all standing talking at the front of the stage even prior to the show, so "up and dancing" applied to me and a few others just as the "hero music" kicked in.

This was not as high-energy as the Harbourfront show, but there were more firsts for me yet again so I'm not complaining. No setlist as usual, but highlights. Firsts: Spidey, Mistra Know It All, something or other about Pork Tenderloin that wasn't finished and they weren't planning to do, Present Tense Tureen and something else..

I've heard complaints about "I Will Hold You", but after hearing it twice I can honestly say that with a good video and a strong marketing campaign that could be a MAJOR hit.

I really want a copy of the extended version of Sahara. Just that song.. It blows me away. It may have a lot to do with the fact that I don't need to worry about hearing most of the intro, it's all percussion, I can feel it! No nuances lost, guaranteed. It's the only song I can just close my eyes and immerse myself in, which makes it perfect as a show-starter.

Mike was really on tonight. Among other things, I got to see Spidey live for the first time! He did keep having problems with instruments though, and even worked it into one of the songs, a line about how the guitar worked only for Dave. In retrospect.. that's true, it wouldn't work for Jian either. There was this whole long pre-Pisco Bandito bit where he was trying to figure out what was wrong with it. Eventually everyone else ran out of banter and Murray decided to just ask how things were progressing, thus putting Jian on the spot.

Many people were put on the spot. There was a spotlight on Murray for the poem in Marion Fruvous. Jian put Mike and Dave on the spot when, after some banter about how they were both wearing purple shirt songs: Jian:"Is there a Purple Shirt song?" Mike:"No." Jian:"I think I'd like to hear one." To their credit they managed to come up with something pretty quickly.

Jian did this great riff on the fact that Shania Twain was playing elsewhere in Toronto tonight, a whole long "You're Still The One I Love" parody thanking us for coming. Also something I'd like a copy of.

Few Mel Lastman jokes, Jian said his parents asked him not to do too many because some people in Toronto like our Mayor. (The presence of Mr and Mrs Ghomeshi did not keep their son from implying that Marion Fruvous was involved in S&M) I thought Mike's "Thank you, CIty of North York" right after the 2nd encore was great.

Hung around after the show and talked for hours, again mostly not to the guys, although I think they're starting to recognize Silent Girl. I got three "Hi, who are you and what's on your mind?" looks. I do have something to ask but I'll throw it out to you guys in a separate post first.

That was about it. I'm sure someone else will have the stuff I forgot.


From Sara:

Well, I've been beaten to the punch for a review of the show, but I thought I would give a few insights into it of my own.

My friend and I arrived at Mel Lastman an hour early and found it already pretty full, but managed to snag some seats near the front. After a while, it became pretty obvious where the fruhead crowd was, but I was too shy to go over and introduce myself. :)

I'm sure someone else has a complete setlist, so I won't tax my memory here. It was great to get to hear the new stuff that everyone has been talking about. Personally, I thought that "I will hold on" was an AMAZING song! Just beautiful. "Sad Girl" was also great, and "Pisco Bandito" definately had me dancing in my seat!

There was a lot of on-stage banter going on which was great. I found Jian's Shania Twain improv just hilarious - espcially since my radio station in Kingston has played that song OVER AND OVER AGAIN to the point of exhaustion. And yes, Jian can wear a shirt as tight as her's anyday ;)

A point came up a while back on the newsgroup about whether or not some of their improv was actually so improvised. Last night was actually a good example. Mike and Dave were both wearing purple shirts and an improvised discussion and song stemmed from this. Same gag happened at the Kingston show - completly different jokes (and I can't remember if there was a song made up, but I think it was different if there was one), but centered around the same theme. I think it's great that even though it was a similar improv, it was actually different. It shows that they recognize and appreciate those who've seen them multiple times. It's the same with how they mix up their songs differently every night, so that each show is slightly different.

I was disappointed that Grandpa Fruvous didn't make an appearance - I would have liked to have heard Mike's famous "fill in the blank city" improv for his hometown. Sam-I-am didn't show up either. I was, however, estatic that "Lou" showed up for an encore to do "Walk on the Wild Side/Dancing Queen." This is one of my favourite numbers that I taped off a Muchmusic special in 93, and I've never seen it done live! And since Dancing Queen is my theme song (don't ask!), this made me especially thrilled! :)

And what is a show without "The Drinking Song". That was just totally beautiful, I have to say - everyone swaying in the dark, singing along. It almost had a campfire quality to it. Amazing.

Unfortunately, I couldn't stick around afterwards, I would have love to have.

As a side note, the friend I brought with me was new to fru (a rhyme!) - she had only heard King of Spain before. And she thought they were great. I knew they weren't really her type of music (she pretty much listens solely to slower, romantic music a la Celine Dion), and I was a little worried because while I was dancing in my seat, she was just sitting there. In fact, most people who were sitting were just sitting there. But then again, I have too much energy and can't sit still even when there is no music going on!!! :) But she said she had a great time - she was totally impressed with the show. She was impressed with their talent - how they play so many different instruments, and how they have so many different styles of music. She also really enjoyed their banter and improv. So she's not totally converted (yet), but she did have a good time.

So that's my review. Sadly, I can't make it to the Danforth - family commitments, but I hope everyone has a great time, and good food. :)

Out of curiosity, did anyone make a tape of the show? I'd love to hear the Shania song again! :)

From Amy:

*note from author* this is my first review, so bear with me ^_^

That's all I can say about last nite's show at Mel Square. This one ranks right up there with last summer's Manhatten Square Pk show (which is still my fav show to date).

The day started out wonderful with meeting new fellow fru-friends Taryn and Toni. Left Rochester around 3:30ish and after scaring the hell out of some poor Tim Horton's employees, arrived at the Square little after 8, where I promptly ran into Kimberly, Mary, Chissy, and (wonderful surprise) Lisa!!! Had just enough time to get my fru-mile card stamped before the first sounds of a beatiful sounding Sahara rang out tho the place. I was in aw....and stayed that way through most of the show.

This had got to be the best set list I have ever heard. So many firsts!!!! My minds a bit fuzzy (3 hrs sleep will do that to ya) but i can recall Lazlo (wow!!), Horseshoes, Mista know it all, Kids Song, Marion Fruvous (love this song!!!), sad girl, Pisco Bandito (and this one!!!), I will hold on, Present Tense Tureen, KoS, MBLABOA, Boo Time, Spiderman, Get in the car (i think), Love Potion #9, Dancing Queen, Darlington Darling, and a wonderful Drinking Song (tho not quite in that order). Not hearing some of my favs (Bargainville, GE&H) was more then made up by hearing so many great ones that were new to me :-) Besides, Jian later told me that the more well know songs they were saving for the Danforth show since it will be a shorter set :-( They played for almost 2 hours and and for a moment I thought (or wished ?) that they would never end.

Memories that stick out were Jian's parody of Shania Twains "Still the One I Love". I've never heard that song sound better!!!!! (apologizes to any Twain fans) and Mike and Dave's quick improve of their matching purple shirts. They even managed to slide in some rips on TO's mayor, even tho Jian's parents told him to be nice ;-) Though many of the crowd sat through the show (except for us crazy dancing fru people - I actually had dancing space this time!!) I was impressed at how many gave the guys a standing ovation before they came out for the Drinking Song. It's really great when a band can have such a great impact on their audience, many of whom I'm sure just came to see a free park show.

Afterwrds, I had the pleasure of finally meeting some NG people - "wild" Bill, Novac, Vika - it was great meeting you guys!!!! and after all was said and done (including a 20 min converstation with Jian that started with the what his jacket was made of (?)) I believe we were the last the vacate the park at 1 am. This is one show that will stay with me for a very long time to come. Hellos again to all I met and I can't wait til Sunday!!!!!! With that (she said proudly doning her definition T) I will attemp to recover what sleep I lost last nite :-) g'nite!!!

From Paolo:

Lazlo's Career
Kids' Song
"Jian can wear a tight shirt too" Shania Twain parody
Sad Girl
Pork Tenderloin Song
Pisco Bandito
Boo Time
Mistra Know-it-all
I Will Hold On
Michigan Militia
Purple Shirt Improv
Present Tense Tureen
Johnny Saucep'n
The Ballad of Marian Fruvous
I've Gotta Get a Message to You
Get in the Car
Love Potion #9

Encore 1:
Darlington Darling
Walk on the Wild Side/Dancing Queen

Encore 2:
The Drinking Song

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