Live Show: 11/9/98


Baltimore, MD

Reviewed by: Alan Sigman, Autumn & Koogle

The Details

Great time at the show last night! It was much more crowded than I would have expected for a Monday night in Baltimore. When Jian asked how many people had never seen Fruvous before, there were a lot of hands raised. The crowd was mostly attentive and responsive throughout the show, and I know that all 3 of the first-timers who I was hanging out with were very impressed and will see the band again.

I didn't keep a setlist, but I think I've remembered all the tunes, though the order may not be 100% correct.

Sahara (not the long version)
Half as Much
Lazlo's Career
Jockey Full of Bourbon
Blow Wind Blow
You Will Go to the Moon
Kick in the Ass
Boo Time
Billy Jean medley
Sad Girl
Pisco Bandito
Greatest Man in America
Gotta Get a Message to You
King of Spain
Green Eggs & Ham
BJ Don't Cry
Michigan Militia
Johnny Saucep'n
Love Potion #9 medley

Early Morning Rain
Gulf War Song

Between songs banter included:

-Jian showing an ad in the local City Paper for a disco/dance club, with a picture of a naked woman covering her breasts. The guys concluded that she got into the picture by accident, and that was the last shot they had, so they had to use it for the ad.

-They mentioned that the write-up for Moxy in the City Paper was favorable, but it said they use a lot of profanity. They then proceeded to use a lot of profanity.

-Jian talked about Ally McBeal a bit, but I've never seen the show, so I can't comment on that.

-Mike started singing Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick", and someone from the audience yelled out for "Locomotive Breath".

-Several Baltimore references throughout. A bit about the "red light district", mention of the Bromo Seltzer clock, and a few rhymes using "inner harbor". Also, after they had finished Blow Wind Blow, Dave said he should have rhymed "Fels Point" and "smoking a joint".

There were a couple of awkward moments. Blow Wind Blow seemed unplanned, and the harmonies didn't sound as together as when I heard them do it before. After Jian improvised a verse, then Mike, then Dave, Jian motioned over to Murray, who said he didn't have a verse ready. Jian improvised another verse about Murray not being ready, then put Murray on the spot and insisted he come up with something. The song came to a complete halt, and finally Murray made up a verse about having stage anxiety. Another moment was at the start of You Will Go to the Moon, Dave was having a hard time finding the first note, as Murray played the pitch pipe (is that what you call that thing?) many times before they finally started. Then during the pause later in the song after "you'll be the big cheese on that orbiting rondel", Murray had to pull out the pitch pipe again to find his note to lead into the end of the song. But these moments didn't hinder the show at all. If anything, it lets the audience see that they're just a bunch of regular guys singing on stage, and they're not so polished that they're just going through the motions. It makes the whole thing seem more genuine, not like a planned act.

Every time I see the band, I am impressed with how they keep improving instrumentally. It's also great to see them switching instruments for some of the new songs. As if they weren't already versatile enough.

Looking forward to another one tomorrow night in Wilmington...

From Autumn:

Well, I just got back from the Baltimore show and although I have a terrible crick (is that the right spelling?) in my neck and my eyes are rather fuzzy in spots from the blinding lights I must say that it feels good to have seen fruvous again. The following ramblings are in no particular order, just some thoughts about the concert:

I finally learned what the illustrious Johnny Saucep'n Handjive is all about though I was too busy bouncing and trying to keep up with the lyrics to learn it. My friends and I successfully manipulatated Darnell the bouncer in many instances. I *almost* cried during Gulf War Song, which I had never heard as an ending piece before. I got a hug from Toby, the merch guy and a lovely story about his beautiful hairpiece. I learned the brand of Jian's infamous corduroy pants. Some of the earlier quieter songs were injured by the management's tendency to chuck beer bottles into a garbage can at random intervals, even after Jian made a rather biting joke about it which they should've taken as a clue to be more respectful. Dave goes to Mcdonalds alone so that the other guys won't steal his fries (actually this is just speculation.) The frulads played an excellent show and were right on pitch the entire time, despite giggling fits over Murray's pitch pipe. Mike made a rather clever, albeit crass, joke about Dave's Johns Hopkins. I got to meet the other topless chick but somehow missed seeing whatever chad it was that was supposed to be there.

That's about all I have to say about the show besides thanks to the guys for playing such an excellent set and thanks to the ppl I met for being such a pleasant, friendly lot.

From Koogle:

Heh. Last night's show was cool, really different than recent shows I've seen because of the venue, which was a big square room with a bar on one side. The line seemed to take forever, because they were selling tickets at the door and it was the same line for everything. The ticket-selling guy was a trip. At one point, Cal tried to cut around the line to get in and TGS got all hyper about it. Cal eventually walked through the line, muttering not quite under his breath about TSG.

The opening act was Amy Rigby. She was, well, disappointing. Her band wasn't bad, but they were definitely generic bar band material. You could tell she was a rock star type because of her leather pants; however, the attire of her band members caused me to come up with this:

The Murr-O-Meter Ugly Shirt Rating Scale

1-- solid, standard color, ordinary fabric
3--solid, weird color *or* weird fabric
5--solid, weird color *and* weird fabric, or plaid
7--floral print
9--geometric print/paisley in normal colors
11--Brown, oddly organic pattern; petrochemical based fabric

Let's put it this way: the bass player's red plaid was a 5; the drummer's geometric/floral was about an 8; the keyboard player may have borrowed his classic 11 shirt from Murray.

After listening to most of the latest Dave Matthews Band CD, Fruvous took the stage. I'm not very good at keeping setlists, and I know these are out of order, but it's reasonably complete.

Sahara Half as Much Lazlo's Career Horseshoes Improv about Baltimore to "Blow Wind, Blow" Fly Jockey Full of Bourbon Sad Girl Greatest Man in America You Will Go to the Moon (featuring Murray on the Pitch Pipe) Boo Time Kick in the Ass Billie Jean Message to You King of Spain/Green Eggs and Ham Michigan Militia BJ Don't Cry Johnny Saucep'n Pisco Bandito Love Potion #9 Medley (new quote, from Alanis' Thank U; plus Barbie Girl, Jewel, etc)

Early Morning Rain
Gulf War Song (off mic)

I'll start at the end. I couldn't have been more pleased with the encore, as that was my song of the day and I figured there was no way in hell they'd do the GWS. (I was expecting it for Wednesday in Wilmington, but who knows now?) But the guys stood not two feet from me singing the song I'd been playing in my head all day. Early Morning Rain was a nice surprise, too.

OK, back to the beginning. We were in our usual spot: right up front, stage Dave. Always a good vantage point because you get to watch Dave making faces. Murray wore a surprisingly subdued shirt in an odd tan color with the sleeves rolled up, it scored a 3.5 on the Murr-O-Meter. Jian started the chatter by going on about Monday night in Baltimore. He thanked us for coming instead of staying home watching Ally McBeal. Murray predicted that there would be a lot of "Calista"s born in the late 90s, and Jian said he thought the premise of the show was very reasonable, as he could see that Ally would have trouble dating.


There was a great bit when Dave first strapped on the accordion and tried to get Cal to adjust his levels. "The stomach can come down a little" he said, so Mike gave him a hard time about using code, and started in with "Dogs barking at midnight." This went on for a minute or so until Murray chimed in with "Keep 'doing sound' Cal. Keep 'doing sound.'"

The improv was funny. Mike rhymed "Richard Belzer," with "Bromo Seltzer," and Murray couldn't come up with a verse. Jian told him he could do a haiku if he wanted, but instead, Jian did another verse about how they were going to wait for Murray to finish; then everybody stopped, Murray sang about not being able to come up with a verse. "This is the sad part of the song," he said. On the other hand, he rhymed "humble piety" with "performance anxiety."

During the intro to YWGttM, Murray said we'd all be going to hell, or to Delaware; it kind of went haywire from there, marked a distinct inability to actually start the song. Because of chatter from the audience, Dave couldn't hear the pitch pipe. The audience could, though. Mike asked for the a third from the audience, and then "down a fifth." Then he went into a Close Encounters riff for a bit.

On the whole, this was a great show for banter. Baltimore's City Paper provided much fodder, as did features of the city such as "the one-square-foot red light district." Dave described "The Block" as a circus of vice crammed into a really contained space. For some reason it seemed like Murray was more in the spotlight than he is sometimes. In contrast, Dave seemed more subdued. Mike and Jian were their normal, effervescent selves.

It was great to hear Green Eggs and Ham and The Greatest Man in America. (I'd hoped they might play the new one, Grudge, but they didn't.) It was *not* great to hear audience members drowning out the band during quieter songs; it was even worse to step aroung a crowd of sleeping homeless men on a grate with a steam vent on the way back to the car after the show. Nothing like a little reality check.

Needless to say, I'm back at work today, looking forward to Wilmington, possibly NYC for New Year's, &etc.

Blah blah blah,


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