Live Show: 11/5/98


Rochester, NY

Reviewed by: Nancy, Amy, Mike & Mindy

The Details

I'm not going to post the setlist because my memory is horrible and I know I'd forget a lot, and I'm sure someone else will get to it, but I wanted to say a little bit about last night's show. This was our first Frü-fix since July and the show was great. Because we were orchestrating bringing a pretty big group (ended up being 10 of us, 5 were Früvirgins) we got there late and ended up midway back. Visibility was not great but it could have been worse. My first impression when the guys came out was that Jian had a huge smile and seemed to be really enjoying himself. They all seemed to be ~really~ enjoying themselves, maybe due to the clouds of pot smoke wafting over the stage, I'm not sure ;-). There was some banter about the smoke indicating that they'd *really* made it, that they'd reached "Santana" level of stardom. People were throwing candy on the stage, and as Jian made a joke about what would happen if they hit a band member and killed them, "Wouldn't that be really cool?" He said they should throw really sharp things and aim better. Murray was quick to inform the crowd that since it was Jian's idea and he thought it was so cool, they should aim for him, and Jian said, "Yeah aim for the brown guy". Unfortunately, as Sarah said, some jerk actually lobbed something at Jian and cut him. He later told us it was a battery. What sort of jerk would chuck a battery at someone they had payed money to come see perform??? I thought, Oh great, there goes his mood. He was very visibly pissed off, but recovered quickly. The whole battery throwing incident happened right at the end of Horseshoes which was fantastic because of "Liza Jane". Any of you who were listening to WBER either on the radio or on the web know that they guys asked people who were listening on the web to send email. A girl from the area sent email saying she played violin and if they ever needed violin accompanyment she'd be available, so they said if she came to the show and knew any Früvous songs, she could play with them on one. Well, she came and she played, and she had a solo on Horseshoes! You couldn't hear her very well, at one point either Mike or Dave (I think it was Mike but I can't remember) went over and adjusted her mike so you could hear better. I think that's when one of the people I brought leaned over and said, "Oh my God, these have to be the nicest people I've ever seen - are they always that kind to their fans?" To which I answered a resounding YES! That's what makes Früvous so special! Liza wasn't too visibly nervous, at least from midway back. She had to be about 15 years old, I have to give her a lot of credit, I'd have been a wreck. Anyway, not to make this too long I'll just say we were fantastic on The Drinking Song, best singing from the audience I've heard in a long time and extremely good synchronized swaying. The Früvirgin standing next to me grabbed the Früvirgin to his right when we started and said, "Ok, there's some obligatory swaying going on here and I think we'd really better follow along". They all had a great time and bought CDs and I had a great time and now I have to figure out how I can get a babysitter Saturday so we can go to the Tralf!

From Amy:

Alright, I haven't checked all of the ng since leaving on thursday, so I'm sure I'm not the only one posting a review of the Roch/Buffalo shows. This'll just be my thoughts and travlelog mostly since being in a fru trance for 3 days left me with a very vague memory of the set lists.

So...on we go.....

Left Fredonia at 12:30 Thursday after skipping out early from a welding lesson in sculpture. By the luck of the gods I made it into rochester by 2:00!!!!! (this ahd got to be a record of some sort). After throwing in the required load of laundry at my house (mandatory every time I go home) picked up my buddy Eric and did some much needed book shopping before arriveing at Harro East at around 6ish. There were already a small group forming and I chatted with Kim and Andi before getting my first sound of an incredibly talented local group called SMNMNMNM. Before I go further, i must give these guys a plug. They were awesome, talented and had great humor!!!! They sound (to me) like a funny ska-esque They Might Be Giants..though that might have been just because of the brass I heard on the demo tape they gave me...btw...if anyone out there is interested in hearing these guys...e-mail me and I'll copy my tape for you...the band asked all of us who recieved their tape to copy it for as many people as we know so e-mail me and hear this great up-n-coming band.

Anyway, back to fruvous. This was my first time going to Harro East and can I just say that next time the guys come to town...PLEASE pick a different location if possible. I can understand that the Harro may be open and big (kinda sorta) but the people there and were just very rude and the place itself reminded me of my old high school auditorium (which is not saying a whole heck of a lot). I'm not too familiar with the venues of downtown Roch (sad, seeing as I've lived here all my life) but there has GOT to be a better place to hold a band such as fruvous!!

The set was standard. The guys started out with a bunch of energy and were playing happily until some idiots started throwing stuff on stage. Someone lobbed a broken battery and it cut Jian's hand. After this there was a considerable plumet in the energy level. the banter almost completly stopped, except for the usual intros to various songs. After a while, they guys seemed to enjoy themselves, but that incident left a permenent black spot in my mind. Highlights include the traveling moon that made it to the balcony and back during YWGTTM. The lightsaber was a nice touch :-) Also, during Minnie, Mike made a point to play around with and sing to a little red fox (owned by yours truly). I was on the floor laughing at this point. Kudos also go to Mike for the great depression song improv while Jian ran off stage to get a band-aid. The night ended with Drinking Song which, if one could ingore the rude drunk people, brought tears to my eyes.

After the show, Eric and I hung around and listen to SNMNMNM jam some more outside, next to the frubus. Have I said already that these guys rock!! Guys, if you read this, me thinks SNMNMNM would be a killer opening act some day *hint hint*. I delivered "very important messeage" from Fredonia's Rocky Horror Fan Club (I was kinda the middle man seeing as the original messanger got very ill during the show and asked me to deliver the note) to Jian and generally hung out and started to place faces to names I keep seeing here on the NG *waves to all I met*. We made a mandatory pit stop at a diner for some much needed food before a dropped Eric and off and headed home to my own bed (!!!!!) around 3:00 am. All in all a great show, but a lousy crowd (fru-heads and nice people not included) that put a small damper on the night.

Part II - Swooning in Buffalo....coming soon to a NG near you.

Amy - player of the recently dubbed fru-flute and owner of a little red fox named Jian *stop laughing!*

alright before I start on the Buffalo shows (which again will be more thought then a real revies seeing as that's already been done) I forgot to mention one thing more about the Roch show. I believe that the biggest shock to me that night came (with the audible clang my jaw made when it hit the floor) when I realized it was Murray (Murray!!!) that sings the Caridgan's part in the Billie Jian Medly. I've heard it numerous time on various tapes and always wondered if it was Jian or Dave that sang "Love Fool". During the song I made of special point of seeing who sang what. As I went down the line I checked off Dave and Mike an assumed it was Jian's voice...until I saw that he too had his mouth shut and I realized that Murray was crooning the notes!!! If I learned anything this weekend it's that one must NEVER underestimate the guys!!!! (to be brought up again at a later point).

From Mike:

Kindly forgive any missing L's in this review... the "L" key no longer works on my keyboard, so i've had to copy an "l" from another document and hit command-V whenever i need to paste it into a word. Now excuse me one moment as i go put on an Evis Costeo CD, and we can begin... =)

I left Toronto (or rather, Oakville, from the front doors of my college) in Michelle's van at around 4pm on Thursday the 5th, and didn't get to the Harro East music hall in Rochester until the Waltons had just finished their opening set. The venue is *huge*. Almost too-big, with a very tall ceiling that reminded me way too much of my junior high-school gymnasium. I was sorry to have missed the Waltons; I enjoyed their set before Fruvous at Taste of the Danforth, and was looking forward to hearing more of them (which I would ultimately do at the Tralf on the following night). Fruvous came on at around 9:30, and their set went as such:

Jockey Full Of Bourbon 
B.J. Don't Cry 
- near the end of BJ, several people threw lollipops at Mike for some unknown
reason. Jian said that if you do plan to throw anything at the band, be sure
that it's something sharp that could kill them, as that woud be cool, wouldn't
it? "Preferably something spiked, or maybe a piece of glass that you've just
broken. And aim it for someplace that could really do some damage, like the
temple." Murray: "and i'd like to add on to that: aim it at Jian, 'cause I
don't think it's so cool. But he seems to think it's cool!" Jian: "yeah, just
aim for the brown guy!". 
Lazlo's Career (Jian commented on how all the pot-smoke wafting up on stage
made him feel like they've finally "arrived"). 
- a speech about how Fruvous are in the business of making dreams come true.
("last week we flew a kid to Disneyland... two weeks ago we saved an old man
who had a stroke"). Murray does an improv "Making dreams happen" jam, then they
bring out a girl with a violin who had called in to their radio interview
saying that she wanted to play with them. 
Horseshoes (you could hardly hear the violin at all... near the end of the
song, Dave had to adjust her mic, which brought the volume up a tad) 
- during the last few bars of Horseshoes, someone threw a battery which hit
Jian's left hand; he seriously told the crowd that it was a JOKE earlier when
he asked the crowd to throw things at him. This seriously put a damper on the
entire evening for me. The last time I was in Rochester to see TMBG, someone
threw something at Flansburgh's head, which caused them to skip much of their
setlist and end the show early. Am I to expect this kind of crowd-behaviour (or
rather, "behavior": the American kind ;p ) every time I go to Rochester? Thank
you, Mr. Rochester Resident (especially if you're the same one who threw that
thing at the TMBG concert), for dispaying such an immature attitude for
out-of-towners such as myself. May you someday get a job working for the
Rochester tourism committee. 
I Love My Boss ("who knows what the Eastman's will be bringing?") 
- at this point, Jian left the stage for a few minutes while the rest switched
to their "Sad Girl" positions. The three of them then jammed-out one of the
funniest improv bits i've seen all year, remniscent of those bass-driven
pep-talk bands ("don't do drugs! practice safe sex!" etc.) that would always
come to your (or at least, my) junior high school... remember those? :) Mike:
"We're called the Coolians! And we're cool! Ever see someone at school who just
isn't cool? Spit on them! The most important thing is to fit in and be accepted
by your peers! If they're smoking drugs, and you don't want to... you have no
choice! You wanna fit in! If they're beating up people... well, join in, sonny!
And be a Coolian! And be cool!" 
Sad Girl 
Pisco Bandito 
You Will Go To The Moon (Mike ran backstage before the song and brought out a
large 3D moon for the crowd to body-surf. It eventually made its way back to
the balcony, where someone held it up with a glowing lightsabre in front of it.
Murray: "it's a good thing there's a Jedi warrior up there!") 
Stuck In The 90's (i had never heard this live before! :)  during Jian's
politically-relevant intro, the crowd surfed the moon back to the front) 
Minnie The Moocher ("On sound we got Cal, he's got a nice black leather jacket
/ And the women in England say that he's got a nice packet") 
Billy Jian medley 
- Dave gets out the banjo, which is (surprise!!) out of tune. The rest sing
"look straight at the tuning disasterrr...". Mike tells us that Horseshoes is
actually about the comet that *is* coming that will make everyone blind, and
that the full title of the song is "Horseshoes, bracket, Look Straight At The
Coming Disaster, bracket, bracket, The Comet, bracket, parenthesis, The
Blinding, parenthesis". 
The Present Tense Tureen (Dave: "this is to the ghost of Jerry Garcia whom I
met in the can upstairs") 
Johnny Saucep'n 
I Will Hold On 
King Of Spain ("thanks for coming back, especially on a thursday night when
there's ER on! you've made quite a sacrifice, and we appreciate it") 
Green Eggs & Ham (short) 
Michigan Militia 
Love Potion #9 medley 
Get In The Car 
Psycho Killer 
Drinking Song 

A fun show, although the huge-ness of the venue and the idiocy of certain crowdmembers were quite detracting from my ability to fully enjoy it (as well as my extreme anticipation for the upcoming Tralf shows which were stuck in my mind the whole time).

From Mindy:

Okay, like so many others before me, this is my first review. This was my second show, my first being the Birchmere show on 7/30/98. I was ithe woman who took the poster off the wall (see the review). The pictures will have to wait until I can steal my printer back from my brother.

4:30 AM:car packing. I leave from Williamsburg VA and am supposed to go with just mom. Mom makes dad go along to " show involvment in my interests." 6:00:car pulls out. 6-5:00:I am forced to listen to bad books on tape. Save me! I need music! 5-5:30:We get an hour off path, and I am worrying about making the concert on time. 6:45-7:30:is spent finding my brother and the venue. We make on the but without food in our tummys.

The Waltons opened but I was trying to get sympathy points from Tobey at that time (it didnt work). I didnt mind, though, I was back at home (I grew up in Penfield) and my best friend leah was there for her first Moxy concert with her whole family.

After many randomsongs such as Rockin Robin and Jesus Christ, Superstar, the frulads entered on frutime. Now, I chose to stand in the audience so I do not have a setlist, sorry.

Jian did a little banter about their last show in Rochester. For those of you who do not know; when Moxy plays people throw lollypops on stage. Well, Murray was getting into a aong and closed his eyes. Next thing he knew, he had been lobbed in the head with a blow pop. Jian was saying that next time they should throw sharp objects so that they might draw blood. This prompted someone in the crowd to chuck a (I believe) battery at Jian. This caused an uneasy tention as Jian scolded the alleged "boy that must have thrown it". Jian's hand was later bandaged.

An ongoing theme for the night was hoe they know they have really made it as a band due to the sent of pot wafting on stage. Jian said that it reminded him of a Who concert and they all began to reminise. Throughout the evening puffs of smoke would billow up from the masses and Jian would smile (he was the only one I could see).

The energy was really there, especialy for Jian and Mike and the harmonies were right on. During YWGTTM the audience was given a big moon which was passed to the balcony. It got to my best friend's step-dad and he took out his illuminated starwars laser rod and held it against the moon. The fruvous four were amused by this and couldnt help but comment.

Jain introduced IWHO as a song about loving someone enough to give yourself to them. The facial expressions throughout the night were priceless.

The real highlight for me was The Drinking Song at the end. It was the first time that I had heard it live, and the guys were so into it. Was it about someone they knew, because they seemed kind of emtional? I thought it was just redone from an old irish drinking song. It was truly beautiful.

Please keep in mind that all that I could see was from my 5'2" perpective inhanced by three inch, uncomfortable, vinal boots. The added inches did nothing for me as 1/2 the crowd was 6 feet or over. I was srage Jian for the most part and the smoke caused low visibility=+).

I was very excited bacause I got to talk to Murray for the first time! I also got tot talk to Jian and Mike, but Dave wasn't out while I was there.

My family and I went out to Perkins until 2AM, I got to see my hometown all friday and the ride back to Williamsburg consisted of Rush Limbaugh. Dad is NOT allowed to come next time. I hope to see you at FruCon2. I'm trying to arrange to go right now.....

From Democrat & Chronicle, 11/5/98, Weekend section, pg. 4:

The Canadian quartet plays the Harro East Ballroom tonight.

Thursday, 8 p.m., Harro East

Moxy Fruvous, the witty Canadian quartet that blends acoustic-oriented pop musicianship with a streetwise sense of politics-oriented showmanship, has an 8 o'clock show tonight at the Harro East Ballroom, 155 Chestnut St. Opening is another fine Canadian band, The Waltons, whose name has nothing to do with John Boy. Tickets ($12.50) are available at Record Archive, Lakeshore Record Exchange, Hardpact Board Gear, RNK Music and TicketMaster (232-1900). Call 454-0230.

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