Live Show: 10/15/98


Columbus, OH

Reviewed by: Brenda, Josh, ChattyKitty,
Colleen Campbell & Monique

The Details

This is my first time reviewing a show, but I'll do my best.

My roommate Andrea and I left Ohio Wesleyan Univ. at 6:15 to find Ludlow's. This was to be Andrea's first Fruvous show (and only my third). We arrived at Ludlow's at 7:20, and the doors weren't open yet. There was a small group of people assembled already, so we took our places in line. Apparently, there was a haunted house going on in the building next door to Ludlow's. Some guy wearing a really scary/ugly monster mask walked up to Andrea and I and began growling in our faces. He stood there for three minutes, growled at us, but never said anything. We weren't sure how to react, so all we did was laugh at him until he gave up and left (only to come back several minutes later). I made a comment to Andrea after he left that this was perhaps not the best tactic for picking up women.

The doors opened at a little past eight. We went in and nabbed a table in front of the stage. If I remember correctly, Eddie from Ohio came on at about 9:30, and we relinquished our table for standing room closer to the stage. This was my first time hearing EFO, and I thought they were amazing. Usually I do not like opening bands at shows, but this was a definite exception. Three songs they played that I know the names of were Walkin' in Jerusalem, The Bridge, and The Three Fine Daughters of Farmer Brown.

Fruvous hit the stage around 10:40. Here is the setlist:

Sahara extended, Jockey, BJ, Horseshoes, Half as Much, Sad Girl, Pisco, Boss, YWGTTM, Minnie the Moocher, River Valley, Car, Your New Boyfriend, I Will Hold On, KOS-GE&H (short), Michy, Saucep'n, LP#9, E#1 Psycho Killer, E#2 Drinking

The set lasted just about two hours. This was the first time I got to hear Your New Boyfriend live, which was exciting. It was also my first time hearing the new songs Half As Much and I Will Hold On. Needless to say, both songs are great. I was also excited that Jian let the crowd sing the quiet "look straight at the comin' disaster" line from Horseshoes by ourselves. He didn't let the audience do it the last time I heard it live.

There was definitely some interesting banter at this show. At one point, they began talking about some woman who had taken her top off on a corner of High Street. Murray commented that he likes to take off his shirt too after a long day working on the railroad. This led to an improv song about railroad ties and taking off your top. Later, they discussed how K-Mart is the ultimate capitalist disgrace. Jian, I think, said that no one in the audience should ever shop at K-Mart, even to buy a Moxy Fruvous album. Then, that statement was retracted. It was decided that it is OK to go to K-Mart to purchase a Fruvous album if one follows a few simple rules: 1) Go in to K-Mart 2) Find the Fruvous album and purchase it, but nothing else 3) Yell something to the effect of "K-Mart sucks" as you leave the check out line 4) Run like hell

Another interesting thing happened during YWGTTM. After the line "You'll be the big cheese on that orbiting rondelle," a disco ball that was hanging from the ceiling started spinning and flashing little white lights above the stage and crowd. Everyone in the audience was staring open-mouthed at the ceiling. Murray was apparently so awe-struck that he made his entrance in the wrong key. The band stopped the song, and three minutes and some chit chat later they completed the song from where they'd left off.

The concluding Drinking Song was beautiful as usual with almost the entire crowd singing along.

After the show, Andrea and I stuck around to talk to the guys, and I wanted to get my "b" album cover autographed. I succeeded in obtaining three signatures, but Murray never came out. Jian wrote "is for Brenda" after the big "b" on the front of the album. I think that is really cute:-) Dave told me that I look exactly like this girl he knows from somewhere (I don't remember where now, though). Andrea took a picture of Dave and I. We left soon thereafter because Andrea was in a hurry to get back and study for an exam.

From Josh Woodward:

Hi, all! Just dropping a little info about the show last night before leaving for my weekend Journey. ;-) Columbus! It was a very interesting show to say the least. I was there with Tracy, Sheryl, JennyC and their associated friends. It was really great to see everyone again, it's been awhile since their last swing in the area. My friend Jessica (who had Fell In Love dedicated to her in Cincy awhile ago) showed up -- who I haven't seen forever, and I met someone else through a random twist of fate involving my Aspects of Love website. And of course, Traci from NJ who came for the trip and is staying with us. The big suprise of the night was to see CeeCee! I had no idea to expect that since I've fallen behind on the ng. :)

Anyway, Eddie From Ohio was wonderful. They have a nice folky bluegrassy rootsy sound. Eddie is an amazing bongo guy (especially in light of my recent Guster craze). Their vocals were also superb (Fruvous mentioned about how they felt stupid singing and playing their little bongos after EFO.. :)

Fruvous came on almost on schedule, with a wonderful jammed Sahara. The sound was a little off due to the so/so sound system and possibly a bit of Cal's cold. But not too bad! Tracy noticed right away that the guys seemed to be in a bit more of a.. hmmm, an "altered state" than usual. :) They were very intense musically, and fairly absent-minded. :) I don't have a copy of the setlist, but here are some highlights:

* Half As Much. WOW! This song really came together, *finally*! I've always had a hate for this song. When they announced it, I was like "blah". But after the 100th reworking of the song, I loved it! A really great wall of sound, a lot like the GitC/YNB/etc rockers of the past, but with a lot more thought behind the music.

* Horseshoes. Fairly standard version, except for the guitar solo. Dave went a little bit bezerk and the solo turned into a wonderfully twisted array of randomness that somehow worked. Smiles abounded between Dave and Mike after that.

* You Will Go To The Moon. More odd behavior from the boys. ;-) First, Dave false started the song. Then, during the song break, a disco ball went nuts and showered the room with light. The guys got a big kick out of it, and lost track of the song. When Murr led into the song again, Jian and Mike followed, but Dave just stood there snapping his fingers. They all eventually broke into laughter and the song ended. Jian explained the ending for awhile and then tried to get them to do the end part all again. So they did after some prodding, still laughing quite a bit. :)

* Going The Distance. Starting as an improv, the song grew into several songs at once, blending together really well! Cake's "Going The Distance" was Jian's line, and then Mike broke into "One Night In Bankok" from Chess on top of Going The Distance. It was so wonderful! Tracy and I were laughing because we'd always said how a perfect cover would be Bankok, with Mike singing. :-)

* River Valley. They actually played that.. it's been awhile!

* Billie Jian -> Michigan. Ok, this *isn't* a highlight. Dave grabs his banjo, and Jian starts that nice slow 1-2-3-4 beat. Murray joins in with the bass line to... BILLIE JIAN! YES! They haven't played that in ages!!! But wait... what's Mike doing..? Bullhorn? Keyboard? Shouldn't he have a guitar? Then, Jian starts talking about.. the next song? No!!! They break into Michigan Militia. That was the cruelest tease ever! Various members of the crowd glared at each other at this point. Ok, so Michy still rocked. But Ji had better make this up. :)

Two encores -- first was Psycho Killer, second was the Drinking Song. Complete with Frances, the Shirtless Fratboy periodically yelling "FRATBOY!!!!!!" and "SPIDDDERRRMANNNN!!!!". Idiot.

Overall, a great show!! Lots of energy and fun. The boys were in rare form to say the least. After staying and talking with everyone, we headed back and made it just before 4. Ah... gotta love having tests the next morning. :)

From ChattyKitty:

Hi again, this is Chattykitty, just wanted to say a few things about Fruvous at Ludlow's last night!!

Last night I had the wonderful opportunity for the first time in four years, to see Moxy Fruvous live. It was a wonderful concert. As I waited outside smoking a cigarette, and little do I know, but as I turned around, the Moxy guys were walking into Ludlow's!! I could have died right then!! After Eddie from Ohio, I awaited the concert. They were so great. I especially loved their new songs: Nold On, and Sad Girl. I was so completely impressed with each number, yes, even You Will Go to the Moon, the disco ball drama! I had not seen them since High School, but believe me they were worth every second of the wait!!

(Side note: I realized how little credit Murray recieves for laying out the rhythym and bass section. I saw how hard he works and how little he is in the spotlight, I just wanted to say, Murray, you're awesome!!!!)

From Colleen Campbell:

Well, they're not exactly fresh in my mind, but I'd kind of expected Josh and Chad to pick up the slack, so I'll throw in a few comments on the shows I was fortunate to attend in Columbus on Thursday and somewhere in Kentucky on Saturday. Greaves Theater, NKU, something like that. . . Covington? Or that may be an insult, I'm not sure. :)

I was visiting my friends Mark and Michelle in Columbus and, having turned Mark on to Fruvous last September, we decided to have my trip coincide with Fruvous's time in the midwest. It was an odd sensation, getting into that plane: first time I've flown to a Fruvous show since last November. (That doesn't mean I haven't traveled my share, having seen them in six or seven states this year, plus Canada; just that flying, to which I was so accustomed when living in Florida, is thankfully not necessary anymore.) Even odder was being recognized in Kentucky by people I didn't know, who walked up and introduced themselves as lurkers from the newsgroup. One of them, Matt, had danced with my little sister, Heather (my lookalike; she has ceecee-hair), in Nashville. Small world. . .

Special bonus was that EFO opened for Fruvous on Thursday, so if Mark had ever had ANY doubts that my taste in music is impeccable ;), they were resolved as he was treated to yet another of my favorite bands. He was, of course, delighted, especially as I pointed out that Mike Clem is just about as far away from the "unassuming, underappreciated" bass player image as one can get, step-kicking with abandon and making "spook" noises and faces. All of EFO made it clear that they're big Fruheads and were equally pleased to be opening for an audience of Fruheads: Julie was wearing an "I love Canadian Boys" baby-T, Robbie made up rhymes about how Mike wants to be Murray, and in the middle of "The Train Song," they paid homage to their favorite "Canadian bluegrass band," throwing in a fast-paced cover of "The Drinking Song." Fruvous reciprocated by praising EFO's work, talking of how they rarely love the groups that open for them but that they all agree on this one.

One of the funniest moments of the show, and in fact one of the funniest moments I've *ever* seen at a Fruvous show, was when Jian was speaking of the guest artist to join them on stage: "That's right, it's Mike Ford with the introduction!" Between that, Murray's cover for him, and the real Mike, all three of Fruvous intro'd the King: Murray stepped up to the plate, gave us the smarmiest smile possible, and explained that he was always so prepared for his intro because he used Preparation H. Mike came dashing in then, winded, gasping, "Those EFO fuckers! Especially that Mike guy, who plays the harmonica and the bass at the same time! He. . .he kicked me in the balls." Murray queried, "Why? Why did he do that?" You could just see the wheels turning: beat. . . beat. . .beat. . . "Because I asked him to," Mike whimpered. The audience howled.

The whole show was that offbeat and unrestrained; makes me wonder if Mike just came off Valium or something. During the GE&H "Not the Beatles" (except it was "Not the Eagles!") pause, Jian told Dave that this was the part where he soundly beat Dave; or rather, where Mike beat Dave. Mike obligingly came out and started a stage-fight, punching and kicking to Kung-fu type music, then jumped on Dave's back for a piggyback ride, and finally threw himself on the floor and started doing Jane-Fonda-esque leglifts to the tune of "One Night in Bankok." There were also, of course, a couple of improvs, including one about a shirtless Murray Foster (because, I was told, Ohio just passed a law that women *can* go topless in public) to a industrial beat.

That night, though, was a fairly standard set--not that I'm complaining about getting the jam version of Sahara, Pisco Bandito, I Will Hold On, Jockey Full of Bourbon, etc (though I was horribly disappointed when Murray teased us with the bass line into to Billie Jean and it turned into Michigan Militia instead--I SO badly miss that medley!), but they've been part of many setlists lately.

Thursday's show was the kind of thing where I hurt the next day from laughing and dancing so hard and was, par for the course, hoarse from screaming (partly because Ludlow's, for all that it was a very cool venue, seemed to be taking the Spectre "wall of sound" concept rather literally, with a bar of almost painfully loud speakers directed right at the pit where I stood).

From Monique:

Before I get to the review, tho, I just want to apologize to the people around the bar-and-table area that I kept walking in front of. See, I was the girl with the camera, and my line of vision was less than perfect so I had to keep searching for a better spot. Fortunately, these very nice people let me stand with them so I had better views of three out of the Frufour. Thank you very much to you people, BTW.

Eddie From Ohio really rocked! It was a pleasure to hear a decent opening band for a change. The lead singer's "I Love Canadian Boys" t-shirt was a nice touch, too. During EFO Mark arrived and introduced me to his camera equipment. I would be taping the show for him, and in return he'd provide me with a free copy of what I'd taped.

So Mark joined CeeCee on the floor and I began taping the extended "Sahara," the show's opener. But due to so many people crowding in front of me, all I could see was Jian's head and the top half of Murray. I moved a little when Mike and Dave appeared, but still could only get head shots of Murray, Jian, and Mike. But I kept taping because the extended "Sahara" is one of the coolest Fruvous songs in existance.

During the next two songs, I searched for a better spot and found it with the nice people. :) From there I got "I Will Hold On," "Sad Girl," "King of Spain," "Minnie the Moocher," and "Pisco Bandito," plus others I can't remember right now.

Hearing all the new stuff is great. It's cool to hear a preview of the upcoming album, but I'm sorry to say that after hearing them about three times apiece over the summer, "IWHO" and "Sad Girl" are starting to wear on me. They're beautiful songs and Jian sings them well, but they don't seem quite as Fruvousy as others. That's why I *love* "Pisco Bandito." It's catchy and cute, and it gives Murray the chance to lead, which I'm glad to see him do. "Minnie the Moocher" is great, too. Mike is so hilarious as Grampa Fruvous and doing the improv lines. Chelsea as a lesbian hooker? It's not *that* farfetched...and the "Semi-Nude M. Foster" thing was awesome. Of course, the song might have had more of an impact is Murray actually *was* semi-nude, but that's just my opinion. ;)

The highlight of "King of Spain" was when Dave singled me out for aiming a red death-laser at his head and the others started yelling about snipers at Ludlow's. I didn't even realize they meant me and the camera until people started looking at me and laughing.

So as I was waiting to talk to the Frulads, a guy in this "Boo Time"-esque hat told me what a "delightfully tacky" shirt I had on. It was brown polyester with blue and tan squares that I bought because it reminded me of Murray, which I told Hat Guy. Suddenly in the midst of waiting for Mark to finish speaking to Jian, I found myself in front of Mike and talked to him instead. Mike liked my shirt too so I told him the story behind it. Then I got him to sign my friend Robin's Communist Manifesto, which Dave and Jian had autographed in July. Needless to say, Mike got a kick out of that.

Dave was next, and I told him I was the camera girl and that I would in no way ever try to kill my liege, the King of Spain. Dave also liked my shirt so I told him the story. I told him I liked "Pisco"(because I didn't want to say it to just Murray) almost as much as "Present Tense Tureen," my absolute favorite song. I think Dave took it as a compliment, so I didn't mind asking him for a big hug.

The first thing Murray said to me was "What a great shirt!" So I repeated the story to which he replied, "It reminds *me* of me." We got into a discussion about fabrics ending with Murray wanting to start wearing velour. Then he signed the Manifesto and gave me a hug without my even asking. That came as a bit of a surprise. Hugs from Dave and Murray completely made up for my adequate spot for filming.

(I'm wrapping up now, honest.) So my friend Robin was delighted to see all four colorful signatures in her Manifesto. I was delighted to have conversations with the three instead of just saying "Hi, great show, I love you." So here's hoping I can make it to FruCon in February. At least I'll know which shirt to wear....

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