Live Show: 12/31/98


New York City, NY

Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley, Lizzie, d, Kat, & Koogle

The Details

Very short review:

Vika and I left Boston around 11am on Thursday and made it to Jersey City, where we were staying that night, by around 4:30 in the afternoon. After visiting with her friend Lee for a few, we headed into the city, got some food at Cafe Espanol (great seafood...great place), and headed to the Bottom Line for the second show.

Dan Bern went first, making it possible for Fruvous to ring in the new year. If I remember correctly, they hit the stage around 11:30 and were finished between 12:30 and 1 in the morning. The set included Auld Langse Syne (I'm sure I'm spelling that wrong) at midnight, along with two frufans on stage to perform a "sex act" at 12 o'clock. They played a few new songs that may be on the upcoming album in the spring.

After the show, chatted with the band and friends, and headed back to Lee's around two in the morning for some much needed sleep.

From Lizzie:

I have been so busy that I haven't posted anything in a really long time. Anyway, here goes my review of the late show last night. Bear with me, as this is my first actual review, I think.

Well, this was my very first actual trip to New York City. My parents and I went to the Museum of Modern Art in the morning hoping to see the Jackson Pollock exhibit, but when we got there, the line for it was stretching all the way around the block, so we just decided to see the regular stuff which was fun on its own. Then in the afternoon we went to Rizzuli Books and F.A.O. Schwarz which was so crowded I decided it wasn't worth it. After a quick nap, we caught a cab to the Bottom Line. I was so worried that we weren't going to get good seats since we were only going to the 10:30 show, but someone directed us to the first three seats directly in front of Dave. We were sitting across from two of the Smith girls, Beth and Katie who had been at the 7:30 show too. Everything started amazingly on time, and Dan Bern came on at maybe 10:35 and did a great set of about 50 minutes. His sound system made a very loud noise and then died right in the beginning of "Talkin' Woody, Bob, Bruce and Dan Blues" so he came out to the edge of the stage and somewhat on the table next to me and finished the song while someone came and fixed the sound. He said it was a good thing Fruvous were going to be on at midnight, because if it were him, he would probably start singing a long, depressing song at about 11:55 and not stop until 20 after.

The guys came on at about 11:35. They all seemed to be in great moods and full of energy. Murray was bouncing around quite a lot. I didn't keep track of the setlist, but here's what I remember (probably terribly out of order). They opened with "Darlington Darling", which my dad seems to be vaguely obsessed with now. Then Jian said he had always imagined getting intimate with a partner/significant other at midnight on New Year's Eve. Since this hadn't happened yet, he said, he wanted to invite a couple up onstage so he could experience it vicariously through them. So the volunteer couple, Pat and Kelly, were invited up onstage and given chairs to sit on until it was time. At this point, Mike was at the piano, making up a song about the chairs appearing on stage which I can't exactly remember. They did "Horseshoes" with the piano. They started talking about how weird it was that it was going to be 1999 soon and when they were little, 1999 had seemed a long way off and kind of scary. Jian said he had been scared of 1984 coming. Murray said there was a Twilight Zone episode about how in 1991 there would be colonies on planets further away than Mars. Then, for some reason, they all started talking about velcro that was going to take over the world which led to Jian wondering what the word was for brand names (like Velcro, Kleenex, Xerox) that have come to mean all of the different brands of the thing (that doesn't make sense, what I just wrote, but I can't figure out how to explain. Example--Kleenex now refers to any kind of tissue. What is the name for a word like Kleenex?). Then I think they played "I Will Hold On" which is still my favorite of the new songs because it absolutely makes me cry. Then it was almost midnight, so Jian said he thought we should all stand up. We counted down the last ten seconds, and then it was 1999 and all the balloons came down from the ceiling and everyone used their noisemakers and the guys all gave eachother hugs and then returned to their places for a funky version of "Auld Lang Syne." Then, for the first time this year, the King of Spain appeared. They did the short GE&H, Organ Grinder (!), Boo Time, B.J., Michigan Militia, Substitute (which I had been hoping to hear for quite a bit), then the song that's "Spanish" on the setlist, but I can't remember what it's actually called, and then Psycho Killer. For their encore they did MBLABOA and Jian asked us to do duck calls on our noisemakers. Mike introduced "Johnny Saucep'n" by saying that the other noisemakers sounded like someone grating nutmeg, but then the tin whistle didn't work, so Jian told Mike to play some Johnny Cash while he got some water to clean the tin whistle. So Mike played some of "Folsom Prison Blues" and then the tin whistle was okay again, so they played "Johnny Saucep'n." They closed with "The Drinking Song" which I haven't heard in quite a while, so I was very happy.

I gave the gingerbread cookies I had baked for the guys to Tobey, because the Bottom Line people kept trying to make us leave by telling us that the club was closed, and I figured the guys might not be coming out. But then I saw Murray and got a picture with him. I had never talked to him before, but he is really really sweet (not like the rest of you don't already know that). Mike came out, but I only caught a glimpse of him. Jian was having a pretty involved conversation with some people, so I decided I would say hi to him next time, but I have to say that he looked really really wonderful in his suit and tie. I know I forgot a whole lot of stuff, but this is too long anyway. Now I'm just excited for the show at the Trocadero!!! A little over a month...maybe my Frubliss from last night will last 'til then.

From d:

i lack the time and the intensity to write reviews for all the shows we (myself and my significantly other and better half, valerie) attended, but i wanted to instead give scattered bits of what moved me most, what i noticed, and how i felt about the new year's eve shows...

we attended all of the shows except the early show. the best combined show, for my dineiro, was the later new year's eve show. there was a specific yet unbridled energy and sense of humour for both dan bern, that show's opener, and fruvous, who soundly resonated us into the new year. the later jan 1 show was a close close second, mostly for the addition of fruvous before the encore of dan bern's headlining set. the new year's show was quite exciting - and it was the best viewing for dan bern through the whole thing - he had a good and fun edge about him, which was delightful to my little-trained bern appreciation.

at one of the jan 1 sets, when dan bern had the fruboys up for collaborative jamming, something happened that really proved my suspicions about dave. dave is truly a brilliant and well-trained musical mind. as they jammed through one of dan's songs, dave's ruddy-brown electric broke a string, i think the bottom and highest pitched (e?) string, as it was wont to do throughout the shows we saw. but on dave played. i've been in bands, and i've seen (heard) better-to-excellent guitarists do this with a little work and concentration. as the song continued, and dave aptly worked around his 1 string handicap, another string popped, and i think this one was the third up from the bottom (g?). meaning that he couldn't just block off the broken strings because they were together, but instead had two gaping holes in his instument in different places along the scale. and on dave SOLOED. and i was marvelling at the feat, and i looked at dan bern, who had just noticed the second of dave's wayward strings hanging and swaying from the tuning peg, and he performed a surprised and then humbled double-take, playing his chords and not looking dumbfounded by any means, but still quite impressed that dave just carried right on through it. just take 30 keys off your keyboard and force yourself to mimic the pitches in different registers WITHOUT FLINCHING and see how hard it can be. dave's amazing. i know they all are, in some degree, but dave was the one i saw tested, and dave was the one who made it look like walking and talking.

dan bern spits a LOT when he sings. man i'm glad we never had to sit stage center. oh man. they say saliva is the first stage of digestion. that means that dan bern was DIGESTING all those people in front of him.

during the first of those jams, i was paying attention to murray to see how he was keeping up. it's fairly easy for a bass player to sit in and get the feel for a song, play the roots of the chords by following the finger positions of the guitarist, and then feeling the changes. well, feeling changes in dan bern songs is like closing your eyes and driving your neighborhood entirely by memory. dan's songs are almost never conventional - he'll add another repitition or two or seven of the riff at a whim just to be sure that the important words all fit, his chords are rarely standard and easy chords, plus he plays many songs with the kaypo (is that what you call it?) - the device that holds down all the strings at a certain fret and thus shortens the instument - and murray sailed through it all. dan faked him out a couple times, but more because murray didn't always have a clear view to dan's hands to be able to process it all.

your average fruvous crowd is a highly trained bunch. from the WOO WOO and the NO SPOUSES in green eggs and ham when they played the stripped-down quickie version for the malcontents yelling for it (the great moment in this was from jian - "...not with the beatles with the long long hair." HEY!" "not the beatles. fuck you.")...when the WOO WOO came and the crowd hit it in stride, mike was equally surprised and tickled to hear it and reacted thusly. i thought that was pretty cool. how often do you get to please the performer within the context of their own song?

new york sucks. on the last day we parked our car on two busy streets (ave of the americas by the village and spring st down in soho) and at one of those two places, some nefarious streetwise loser jammed a screwdriver in our trunk lock and pried it open and stole our suitcase. i hope they don't clone duplicates of me from my dna left in my dirty socks they thieved. or maybe i'm thinking too far ahead. at least we didn't have to unpack (thank you, valerie, my love, for saying this first ).

once upon a long-ass time ago, i fell in love on the internet on the failure (a band) mailing list...and as i said my farewells to my friends in texas to move to baltimore, i made mention of how i feel that my love is my "paradigm shifter" - causing me in a few bold strokes to see the world differently, to change my entire perspective. it's not a very common term. and one night our fruvescent crew renamed themselves "paradigm shift" and we both got a good charge out of that.

i saw chris o'malley's butt. all right, to be fair, only the top part of one buttock, and only for the purpose of exposing a budgie dog tattoo to us, but hey, if you ever see someone's butt in a public setting, it's worth noting.

on dan bern's last set, a kid came out and played his "tiger woods" song ("i got big old balls...on a good day they swell to the size of small dogs"). the kid was good. i don't know who he is, if dan actually knows him and played like he didn't, or if the kid just walked up, took dan's guitar off him and started jamming, but either way, i thought that was really cool. the way dan did his sets i thought was great. as a one man show, he is his own master, and he'll have moxy come up and play songs with him, he'll play unplugged for a song because of a bad electrical connection squealing through the p.a., he'll put a kid on stage, he'll restart his song because he used the wrong pronoun, and have everyone laughing WITH him. it was all great.

so there are some of my random firings. good fun. good night.

From Kat:

well, i'm not the first to relate my new york adventures, but i didn't want to be the last, so here we go:

my mother, father, friend elizabeth & i left dayton, OH for NYC around 12:30 am monday morning. we spent the week doing touristy things [seeing the UN, going up in the empire state builiding, etc.] and *shopping* -- i swear, there isn't a clothing or shoe store in manhattan we didn't enter. but none of that really concerns any of you, so i'll skip to thursday [new year's eve]...

we took the subway to greenwich village around noon, stopping at a starbucks [yeah, yeah, i know, promoting an evil corporate empire] for warmth before we sought out the venue. what struck me as ironic was the writings on the wall inside the restroom: there was a fiery debate about *noam chomsky's* beliefs for society. here i am, en route to a fruvous concert, in a starbucks restroom, reading about noam chomsky... the implications were staggering. ;)

so, we found the bottom line, and i convinced my mother to purchase tickets for the early show, as well [we were only going to attend the late show & the early show the next night]. having done so, we wandered the city a bit more, finally bidding farewell to my father & getting in line around 5:30.

all was fine until the owner came out & informed us all that this is a "21 & up show and double-proof of ID is needed". this announcement chilled us even more than the icy wind breezing past those of us in line. fortunately, they meant only to purchase *drinks*. we had no trouble entering the establishment, & got seated three seats back at a long table stage dave. perfect.

i left the table to change from warm winter wear to concert-attending garb [read: dragon t-shirt & fire pants :) ], and when i returned, we placed an order for food. no one told us that the food there was tastless & *slow*... but we found that out on our own soon enough. ;p we got our frumiles cards stamped (#3), then returned to the table in time for our food to arrive & fruvous to come onstage. let me say that there is *nothing* more decadent than watching fruvous perfom live while eating cheesecake. mmm... the set:

THIS BOY -- an a cappella ditty i'd never heard before. they chose the dan bern fan sitting next to the stage at our table for "that boy," which i found rather funny.

SAHARA -- non-extended, but still a pleasure.

JOCKEY -- w/ the elusive second verse. oooh.

audience chatter, reprimanding those people not staying for the later show [as if they'd have something *better* to do...]. however, the reactions were mediorcre. jian told me later he felt like they should've been singing dirges instead...

YOU CAN'T BE TOO CAREFUL -- never heard this one before, & it's pretty catchy. even now i'm humming the chorus after only reading the title on my self-made setlist here. i just really couldn't hear what they were saying in the verses b/c the instruments were turned up so loudly. but then, i s'pose that'll be what the next album is for, right? :)

SAD GIRL -- *sigh* 'nuff said.

they mentioned having a new studio album this year, and that they would be recording it in march. this brought forth many cheers from the audience, prompting murray to commment, "let's hear it for march!" all the songs would be related to march, and dave informed us that the title would be _comes in like a lamb_. watch for it.

I LOVE MY BOSS -- oooh. this cracks me up every time i hear it. [and jian's pretty, ah, *entertaining* to watch, as well. mmm.]

YWGTTM -- they broke into a piano-improv... well, actually *mike* broke into a piano-improv about the moon before actually singing the real thing. dave, right above us, was letting his facial expressions run wild, while mike & jian kept jumping around each other singing "fa fa... fa fa... fa fa..." it amazes me, even from a technical standpoint, how these guys can play instruments, move wildly, and still keep *singing*! wow.

ASH HASH -- this was a total surprise. i really didn't like the song itself before seeing it performed. now, it keeps finding its way into my head. they all had the funniest facials and the song itself was totally rockin'.

FLY -- following this, jian posed the question, "tureen or fly?" there was a long moment and some scattered responses before i realized that they were *asking* us. ;p i shouted, "fly!" someone [dave?] commented that the answers tend to fall along gender lines [i leave it to you to decide which wanted which. ;) ] "fly" was the winner b/c, as jian put it, it was requested the last time they were in new york opening for the violent femmes, & they didn't play it. "so, this is for the people who requested it -- that aren't here." a beautiful rendition, as always.

GET IN THE CAR -- hmm... no comments here. typical good stuff.

LOVE POTION MEDLEY -- excerpts from jewel, alanis, & that barbie girl song. the dan bern fan next to me asked how many albums they had, & seemed shocked when i told her five. i recommended _live noise_... i think they converted many a dan bern fan over the course of the three nights.

we cheered awfully loudly for an encore, but the lights came up & we prepared ourselves for dan bern. i'm not sure what i expected [i think my mental picture had a beard...], but he wasn't it. he had some hilarious songs -- i particularly enjoyed the one about God & the other about henry miller & marilyn monroe. (i'm glad i liked those two, 'cause he played them at all three shows...) he really did sound like [what i've heard of] bob dylan, though more humorous & clever w/ his lyrics. nevertheless, i doubt i'll be buying his CD. his lyrics are sharp, but not the kind i'd listen to over & over again.

after the show, we moved to the bar area so that they could clear off the tables, then got our hats & noisemakers for the new years festivities. we snagged the same table, but got the 2 seats closest to the stage [enabling eliz to snag a setlist for each of us afterward -- she got dave's, i got mike's & his rhymes for "boo time," also]. we had our frucards stamped once more (#4), and mom spotted a suited figure w/ dark curly hair chatting across the room. eliz & i promptly left our seats & went to talk to jian, who greeted us warmly, commenting that we'd come all the way from god knows where... [ohio, i reminded him.] we talked briefly, with his inquiring as to how we managed to get into a 21 & up venue... *heh* before getting the obligatory pictures & wishing him luck for the next set.

dan bern opened this time, & the only 2 songs he re-played were the two aforementioned god & henry miller tunes. his "people" would clap about 4 bars into any song they liked. at one point, they clapped so loud that he had to stop & said, "all my life i've dreamed of something like this . . . and now that it's happened, i'm like 'shut up so i can play the fucking song'." we got the up-close-&-personal view of dan when the wiring to his guitar started to crackle & pop. he unplugged the guitar, stood in front of the monitors *right above* our table, & played. then, at one point, he actually stepped *on* our table, scattering noisemakers & beer bottles. it was quite the performance.

so, a brief break and then... fruvous, a mere half hour before the new year. :) the set:

DARLING -- a new one for me to hear live. dave was watching his accordion so intently, he looked like he was growling. it was *hilarious*.

BJ -- live performances of both this song & the last one really make them sparkle. instead of "as with logic...", mike muttered, "intergalactic planetary planetary intergalactic"...

they bantered a bit after this, & jian commented that he'd like a volunteer couple to kiss onstage so that we could all live vicariously through their "sex act." the couple looked like [meaning no offense] a pair of aging hippies, but they certainly loved each other, as was evident by the "sex-act preview" we witnessed before...

HORSESHOES -- w/ a *real* piano. as dave said, an appropriate song for new year's resolutions.

HOLD -- as soon as jian prefaced this song, i was mesmerized: "a song that some people see as happy... but even happy events can have a sad side, as well." this is shaping up to be my favorite fruvous song yet. it's just so beautiful...

after "hold" we had only a minute & a half until the new year, so the countdown began, w/ jian drumming in the background. as the clock struck midnight, the balloons on the ceiling were released, but the static from the plastic bags they were in kept them all from falling at once. periodically, balloons would fall throughout the rest of the night, just sort of slowly floating above our heads. the lights went out onstage, so we missed seeing our couple kiss. oh, well. the band members hugged one another while we tossed streamers & made noise. [apparantly my mother got kissed by some drunk fellow sitting next to her. ;p] we broke into several choruses of auld lang syne, after which the lads joked about there being no truth to the Y2K myth, since everything still seemed to be working. mm-hmm. sooo, we were then treated to the first appearance of 1999 for...

KING / GREEN -- *perfect* song to follow the new year's festivities. we were all standing anyway, so we just kept dancing & singing & overall celebrating. and i've *almost* got all the words to "GE&H" down...

BOOTY -- more dancing & general revelry... here's mike's bridge, straight from his own paper: bottom linin' * auld lang zinin' * guy lombardo * waiting 4 godot * harry carey * bells st. mary * shilly shally * chris [written "father"] o'malley * henry miller * phyllis diller * bottle chivas * marion fruvous * ... and then something about new year's eve & fruvous for the repeated line, i think, but he changed it the second time through after jian laughed at him. i never quite caught all of what he was saying. whoops.

MICHIGAN -- funfunfun. elicited many cheers from the audience.

ORGAN -- whee! this was a *treat*, absolutely. yet another song that sparks when you can feel the energy zipping from one band member to the next on the verses...

SUBSTITUTE -- that's what i thought it was called, & what it says on mike's setlist... but i'd never heard it before, & could barely understand what the guys were saying due to the high level of the instruments. *shrug* it was appropriately loud & rockin', tho'. happy new year. :)

SPANISH -- yeah, and i had no clue what this song was, either... someone posted here that it was "walking spanish" by tom waits. there was a tom waits fan named jason who only attended the early show that was dazzled by their cover of "jockey." he should've heard this. sorry, jason.

PSYCO [sic] -- after this song, the crowd was on their feet cheering for an encore, which we got. thankfully. i was upset when fruvous didn't come back, even for one song, for the early set.

AUTHORS -- murray said "my crucifixion," jian said "i was looking straight". i couldn't help grinning, considering my resolution to read works by all these authors. atwood is my first...

SAUCEP'N -- i have "duck skwawk" scrawled on my handwritten setlist... i can't remember why, though. i *do* remember jian's problems w/ the penny whistle, however. he dashed into the stage R audience looking for a glass of water, during which mike covered w/ a johnny cash song. *heehee* the water did the trick, fortunately...

DRINKING -- my, the end of the evening came all too soon, even tho' fruvous stayed a bit past when they planned to stop playing. my mother surprised me by singing the chorus -- she's now a full-fledged fru-convert. *grin* i did the appropriate hand motions, tho' not many others did [as far as i could see]. it's so unifying to have a roomfull of strangers singing & swaying to the same song. god, do i love fruvous shows. :)

we dashed out immediately after the show b/c it was nearing one am [the time my father was to come to pick us up], only to find him standing in the lobby of the bottom line. we hopped in our station wagon, drove back to the hotel... & proceeded to talk about fruvous [ok... we talked about *jian*] until 3 am. :) and yet, the best part was, there would be another show the next day...

From Koogle:

(First Show)

I took a poll, and decided to go with separate reviews for each show. It may take a while to do them all, but I'll try.

12-31. I stopped by the club to pick up my tickets, and the guys were soundchecking. IWHO sounded very warm, which led me to believe we were going to get a nice, loose show.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

I was with two friends who knew Fruvous from Bargainville, but really hadn't kept up since then; neither of them had ever seen the guys live. We were at a table far Stage Dave, kind of behind a pole. The drinks seemed ridiculously expensive and the club was cold. I was sure I'd feel better once Fruvous went on.


That Boy
You Can't Be Too Careful
Sad Girl
Ash Hash
Get in the Car (Chelsea Morning intro)

They started off with That Boy, all gathered around one mic. Good sound, but it was clear from their posture and breathing that they'd been off the road for a few weeks. Still, I was into it. The classic doo-wop is a nice change.

Jian started the chattering by talking about playing two shows that night, so they were going to save something for the second show, just in case some of us would be there for both.

Of course, he said, the people who weren't going to be at both shows were implying that there was something better to do in NYC on New Year's Eve. So Jian said they'd be holding back, but they'd still do a great show. "As much excitement as four songs in an hour can be!" Mur quipped to a murmur from the audience, most of whom seemed to be there to see Dan Bern. Like Phish, suggested an audience member.

"No, even more boring than Phish," was Jian's response. (Has Jian ever seen Phish live? I don't think so...) It seemed like there was a little much talking at the beginning of the show. The guys were obviously trying to find a groove.

Sahara seemed forced, but segued into a nice Jockey. Mike really rocked out on that. (That's what my notes say "Mike Rocks Out.") They intro'd Careful as a new song, which it is, and Dave said it's Double Edged. As they were playing it, I found it not even single edged, lyrically; although the tune was nice and they played it with a lot of energy. Mur aptly called it a rocker after it was over.

Sad Girl followed, with Dave on piano. He was nattering around for a bit, and Murray remarked that Dave was the most entertaining piano player you were ever going to see. Not the best, but the most entertaining. At that point Dave went into Misty, except that he changed the words to reflect how Mur was being snotty.

Boss was possibly the lowest highest point of the show. They seemed to be in good voice, and finally settling in a little, but when Jian held out the mic to the audience after "Fruvous luncheon date" there was little reaction. Like the other a-capella numbers, Boss was very fast and tight. That can be good, or it can be off-putting; tonight it was off-putting.

I had never seen Ash Hash live, and it was as entertaining as I'd always assumed. The crowd wasn't biting, and I felt a bit weird cheering. Jian mentioned that Fly was requested the last time they played in NYC, but that the person who made the request probably wasn't there. Standard version.

The Chelsea Morning intro to Car was actually very cool, I wish I could remember why it happened. Dave sang the first verse and then paused for a split second before going into "I'm All Right..." It worked for me, and I thought this was the best song of the set.

Closed with a fairly standard Love Potion medley, I think it rocked harder than usual. It was tight, as all the songs were. As I said, sometimes tight is good; but sometimes it's just a sign of nerves. Fruvous left the stage quickly and Dan looked downright mellow in comparison when he came on next. His set was entertaining and engaging, and the crowd loved him.

The friends I was with were disappointed that they didn't do anything from Bargainville, I was psyched to see no songs from Bargainville, but I'd like to have seen another new song in that set. I was quite relieved when my friends stopped complaining and left; I wondered what the next set would be like as those of us who were staying for the second show were herded into the "bar area."

Stay tuned...This was a hard one to write.

(Second Show)

Dan Bern said during his second set that the only condition to his agreeing to play New Year's Eve was that Fruvous be on stage at midnight. We weren't at all disappointed in this condition.

The guys came out and started playing straight away. Dave had the accordion and Mur wore a deliciously dreadful brown polyester shirt with diamond-shaped medallions.

It was 11:30 and Fruvous was ready to tear the roof off the place and bring the walls down around us. Bang: Darlington. Tight and fast, but a brilliant tight and fast. "Guest starring on the accordion, New York's Fascist Mayor Rudy Giuliani!" Darlington went straight into BJ, also a good version. Then Jian started telling about his New Year's fantasy, of having a loved one to kiss at midnight. "How many of you can identify with that?" Some cheering from the audience and he continued, "great, all the losers." But he said it with a smile. Then they recruited a couple from the audience to share their love at midnight. Pat and Kelly volunteered; for the record, they are a het couple, though I never figured who was Pat and who was Kelly. We would all be able to live vicariously through them.

They stayed on stage for about 20 minutes, through IWHO and Horseshoes, alternately clapping a a little and smooching. Mur told them not to sing along, half serious and half jesting.They were remarkably good sports about the whole thing. Mike did an improv about saving their love for midnight.

IWHO was warm and touching, though Jian introduced it by saying that a lot of people thought t was a "nice song." It's that, he said, but it's also about obsession. Eh, I've been there, too. I think we all have. Heard the song in a whole new light because of that comment, and loved it more.

Horseshoes. Well, I love Horseshoes with the piano; I've started to think of this as the quintessential Fruvous song, even more than chestnuts like the King of Spain. It's the individual verses and the harmonies on the chorus, plus the arrangement.

Then the countdown, and among the noise-making and confetti throwing there was Auld Lang Syne, completely unrehearsed. Nobody really knows the words, and it seemed that Mur and Dave were singing different verses at one point. It beat Guy Lombardo all to hell, though. Pat and Kelly smooched away on stage and the room was filled with hugs and kisses of friends and strangers.

"Now, for the first time in 1999; The King Of Spain!"

Standard version, except for "I'm not wearing underwear." Seemed rote. Mur said "Once the King of Spain, always the King of Spain." at the very beginning. GE&H followed; I love that one for the hard-driving bass line. The thing I remember from the Not The Beatles break was Mur saying that Mr. Cheese had broken his two word New Year's Resolution: Be Nicer.

After it was over, the crowd got a tad restless, but Jian insisted they'd keep playing for a while: Michigan, with a funky Walk This Way intro, Mur playing the melody on the bass, Mike singing. Then Organ Grinder, which always brings a smile to my face.

"We're just going to jam for a while."

They broke into Substitute, Walking Spanish, and a rocking Psycho; then encored with Authors, with all the quirky lines including "I was looking straight" and "My crucifixion." They were set to go into Saucep'n but the tin whistle didn't work, so Mike did Folsom Prison Blues at Jian's insistence. Finally, Saucep'n and they closed with the Drinking Song.

Swaying, swaying, nobody wanted to go home, but the lack of a plan sent us our separate ways into the night.

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