Live Show: 9/29/98


San Francisco, CA

Reviewed by: Caiti, Doug Levy & Nicole

The Details

(sure to be shorter than a cee-review, at any rate! Chris, feel free to add this to fdc!)

The last fru-show I attended before I moved to San Francisco last year was in Providence, RI. It came at the end of several months of regular fru-tripping and general joy. Naturally, my one request to the band was that they consider adding San Francisco to their itineraries, since I was going to miss seeing them. It took over a year of harrassing them, but last night was well worth the wait!

The week was a bit hectic for me... I moved into a new apartment on Friday, and managed to fry my home computer in the process, losing all internet access. So much for my attempts to plan a big pre-show gathering - to those I never got back in touch with, I apologize! We did manage to pull together a few people for dinner at a nice (if expensive!) vegetarian restaurant. Christa (my twin redhead and best friend, for those who've seen us together at various shows around the country!) and I showed up at about 6:30, after a day of shopping and general silliness around San Francisco (side note: waiting to board the cable car at Ghiradelli Square, we sighted Mike Ford across the way. With the line about 45 minutes long, I just had time to say hi and try to warn him about the truly frightening street musician - who had the ability to turn the intro to a well-known song into a long, rambling, and musically unsound piece - but it let us know that the long awaited show was really happening!) to find Jason, Kathryn, and new converts Jude and Mark waiting for us. We were also joined by everyone's favourite wonder nerd, and Beth from LA (sorry Beth, it really is a title now!). Beth had the marvelous idea of buying a California flag which we all signed for the band... by the time I saw it again at the end of the show, it was well covered!

The beverage menu of this restaurant included bizarre herbal conconctions, one of which was labelled as "Love Potion 9". Naturally, we had to buy a little vial of this to deliver at the show...

Off to the venue - Slim's is a fairly nice, open club that I think must have been a warehouse at some time... the acoustics weren't great, but the bar moved quickly and I've heard the food was good. An additional $15 would have gotten us dinner tickets and actual assigned tables on the balcony, but I'm glad we skipped this choice as the balcony was pretty far off. (This became something of a joke, with the guys making several references to the rich people or royalty hiding off in the balcony and throwing food scraps to the peasants down below) There was another area with tables in front of this, and then an open area directly in front of the stage. Three guesses where we all headed (after Jason staked out the area in between to set up his mikes)...

I'm sure I'm missing people, but Doug Levy did eventually show up, as did the illustrious Nat Gertler.

The opening band was local, called something as forgettable as their music. Actually, a group of us chose to hide out downstairs and gossip rather than actually try to sit through the second half of their much too long set...

We forced our way back to the front of the stage before the fru-lads came on, though... my ears are still ringing! Slim's has an official capacity of 470, and I know they had sold over 300 tickets by the time fruvous went on - it was fairly crowded, and for a band that hasn't visited the west coast in four years there were an amazing number of people that knew all the words. Not so many people dancing, but I for one had my usual problem standing still!

ANd it was an amazing set - almost all of the songs I really wanted to hear, and a few new ones. *grin* I really wish I knew the "official" Pisco dance, though I had a lot of fun making up one of my own! I know Nicole managed to grab a set list, so hopefully she'll post it later, but I know it was a long one! About half the audience put their hands up when asked if they'd ever seen fruvous live before, and I'm sure there are a few new potential fru-heads out there this morning...

They started out with a jazzed up version of Sahara that I haven't heard before, which set the tone for the show... apparently I need to track down some recent bootlegs, because skipping several months between shows leads to a very different set-list! "I Will Hold On" may quickly become a new favourite...

In no particular order, songs I remember include: BJ, Get in the Car, You Will go to the Moon, Johnny Saucep'n, Michigan Militia, Minnie the Moocher (with *lots* of very silly SF references), Gotta Get a Message to You... Nicole, you had *better* post that set list, I was just too happy to remember details!

The first encore started with Love Potion, so Nicole passed the little vial up to the stage - Mike's the only one who saw this, and he didn't have a clue what it was, so we ended up grabbing it back at the end of the show and giving it to Jian for the band, and they finally ended with Drinking Song... overall a wonderful, silly, and very "on" show, and hopefully the reception they got will convince Fruvous they need to book more California dates! (hint, hint...)

*sigh* And now I really wish I had more of a travel budget!

From Doug Levy:

In a word: omigod!

Given that the band hasn't been here in four years and gets no Bay area airplay, this was awesome. 300 people turned out to hear the Fru four. Not bad in a club wiht capacty of 400! At 7:10, the line twisted both directions down the street of Slim's. this was totally incredible. i asked a few how they knew of MF, and many heard of them from people back east. the amazing thing was that therer were more people who knew the drikning song here than in calgary.

i met people from baltimore , ny, massachusetts ct, and la at the show. i hope the band got pumped up by this as much as i did..

of all the shows i've seen (and it's been a fair number) i can't remember an audience that was this new AND this appreciatve.

i'll write morewhen sober.

A couple of the California-specific lyrics that Mike threw into Minnie, if I'm piecing the notes together right:

San Francisco charms there's the wharf and North Beach
Golden Gate Bridge and the Fillmore within reach
Telegraph Hill, Presidio Heights so jolly
The smell of urine, the clang of the trolley

He also threw in some lines about California's opposite politics-- "Tricky Dick Nixon vs. ol' Governor Moonbeam" among others.

I'm still recovering from this incredible show. Thanks, Moxy Fruvous.

From Nicole:

My smile muscles hurt.

At last, at LONG last, we in California end our four-year-long Fruvous drought. And what a show! (My fourth, and my first on the new Frumiles card.) What a long show, although it didn't seem that way last night. But first things first.

As I was driving to San Francisco, I passed a "Matheson" freight truck. Granted, this isn't unusual, but I took it as a good sign. (Did I ever tell you guys that I once had a math professor named "Jian"? (Ok, it was his last name, but still.))

I finally got to the city and joined Beth (from LA), Jason (of all people!), Caiti's friend Christa, Caiti herself, Jude (not to be confused with Fruvous's Jude), and some other people whose names escape me. *sheepish grin* We ate dinner at a really good vegetarian restaurant near the War Memorial Opera House ("Millenium"). While I was in the restroom, I noticed a shadow box on the wall containing, among other things, a little bottle labeled "Love Potion IX". "Hey," said I to the others once I came out, "there's a bottle of Love Potion #9 in the restroom!" (Fruvous reference #2 of the day) Caiti perused the menu and discovered that the restaurant was actually selling these vials of Love Potion #9, so we all chipped in and got one. (The waiter warned us not to drink it on the premises. Make of that what you will.) Beth had procured a California flag and we all signed it. (Someone turned the bear into a budgie bear.)

After dinner we all jetted over to Slim's, where I met up with some friends (and converts ;) of mine. The one and only Nat Gertler, whom I'd never met, was also there.

I didn't much like the opening band, Laughing Stock. They were a trio: drums, organ (!), and something that looked like a cross between a guitar on steroids and a railroad tie. Their entire set could have been one looooong song.

They (finally) stopped, there was a break (during which I staked out a place front¢er, and randomly met Larry a.k.a GaritRN), and then FRUVOUS!

The setlist:

Sahara (with extended intro)
Jockey Full of Bourbon
BJ Don't Cry
Sad Girl
Pisco Bandito (I love this song!  I love this song!!  I want to hear it
again!  And again!  And--*slap*  Ow.  Okay.)
I Love My Boss
You Will Go To The Moon
Minnie the Moocher (with San Francisco-specific verses, no less!)
Greatest Man In America
I Will Hold On
Half as Much (I don't know what the real name is; it's the one that goes
"I love you half as much...", and it's only marked as "1/2" on the
Michigan Militia
Johnny Saucep'n
King of Spain (The intro was about how they were concerned about the
Russian ruble, and how the proceeds from tonight's show (Jian: "Well, some
of them, anyway") were going to help out Russia.)
Green Eggs and Ham (during the "not the Beatles": "We're in San Francisco!
There's leftover hippies here!  Plus, we're back in America: they have
Love Potion #9 medley (someone whose music knowledge is better than mine
can name the songs... I caught "Stayin' Alive", "Who Will Save Your
Soul?"... everything else was familiar, but I can't name them.)  I put our
vial of Love Potion #9 on stage (Mike was closest to me at the time); Mike
frowned at it, then at me, but apparently forgot about it.)
Get In The Car
Psycho Killer
Darlington Darling (cool! I wasn't expecting to hear it live; it was a
nice treat!)
The Drinking Song

Afterwards we mingled some more. Doug Levy came around and said hi. I snagged Jian's setlist AND a Fruvous poster. Jian came out after about 1/2 hour and said hi to everyone. Beth presented the flag, which he liked. He said that they were surprised how many people knew their stuff, and that THEY'D BE COMING BACK!!! Whooo!

So it was great to see everyone, and let's do it again NEXT TIME!

--nicole the really happy wonder nerd sporting new definition T.

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