Live Show: 1/1/99


New York City, NY

Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley, Anna, Kat, & Lori

The Details

Very short review:

Vika and I roused out of slumber around noon-ish or so in Jersey City. Spent the afternoon there with Lee, and by around 5 in the afternoon, headed into New York for the second night of fru-shows.

This was the only night we went to both the early and the late shows. After freezing in line from about five to six, they finally let us in and we claimed a space about halfway back from the stage. This night, Fruvous opened for Bern during each of the sets. Fruvous did a pretty good job mixing up their setlists, and during each of Bern's sets, Fruvous came on stage and joined him in a few tunes. During the second set, Vika and I also claimed seats right by the stage in front of Dave.

Dave's setlist for the late show reads:


After the two shows, Vika and I headed back to Ella's place in the city and fell asleep around three in the morning.

From Anna: some of you may know, I live in MD. I decided to drag two of my friends with me to make a little road trip up to New York for the Fruvous show on January 1st.

I suppose it's been said before that a Moxy Fruvous concert experince is like no other experience in the world. As far as this trip in concerned, it's so true!

This is my story...


In this story, it is quite necessary to include at least a summary of the events leading up to the show. Only then can one truly comprehend why, at 5:15 the morning after, I was riding down I-395 in a milk truck.

To begin with, I have bad luck. I can't explain it, nor do I ever expect to. I am a walking example of Murphy's Law: If you hang out with Anna, expect everything to go horribly wrong. The few days before that has already brought botched ticket purchases, flat tires, and an awkward New Years party...

Part One - The trip to NY.

Looking back, the Fruvous Gods were probably telling us to stay home. We woke up late as it was. I had hoped to leave for the city by one that afternoon, but we didn't get out of bed until 12:30. After all the showers were taken, breakfast eaten, and disposable cameras purchased, it was almost 2.

The brakes on my car had been acting up for a few days, but I wasn't really worried. I had taken it into the shop the day before, and figured if anything had been wrong, they would have been sure to tell me, and offer to fix it for an outlandish price.

Once we started up the car, however, Kendrah was convinced that we needed to take her car. Perhaps it was the severe grinding we heard when I pressed the brake pedal. Unfortunately, her car was back at her place in Columbia, nearly halfway to DC from here. Pressed for time, we decided against it.

The ultimate clue that this evening wasn't meant to happen was that we got lost leaving our own city. How many times have I driven out of Baltimore by way of I-95? Maybe a million? Although I don't think I'm that stupid, it certainly is possible. I think it was fate trying to tell us a little something.

Once we finally got on our way, Melanie realized she forgot her FruMiles card. A minor detail, yes, but it all adds up...

After that, we were making good time. We even stopped at a rest stop somewhere in Jersey so Kendrah and Melanie could pee. Something I did not know: All the gas stations there are full service!!! After fumbling about with the service man for a minute, I finally realized that he was not going to let me pump it myself. I went to hand him my credit card, but...where did it go!? I searched for a minute, but concerned for time, eventually handed him my debit card, and spent the last ten bucks in my account. Now sufficiently overdrawn, I will be fined by the bank company. Thppt. To make matters worse, if I need cash in NY, I'm screwed.

Once the service guy walks off, I find the card under my seat.

Back on the road, I'm pushing 85 mph. I think we're making pretty good time, and my carefully prepared Fruvous mix tape seems to be a big hit. I had made "An Introduction to Moxy Fruvous" tape for Kendrah, so she would know what to expect. We're all singing along, scaring the other drivers, and having ourselves a mad cool time. Melanie exclaimed, "Anna is driving Fruvously!" and for some reason it was incredibly funny.

Then we hit the Holland Tunnel.

Traffic, traffic, and more traffic. Who bulids a tunnel into a major city and only puts in two lanes!? We start to panic, because the traffic has taken away our "lost in the city time." We estimate that once we get to Canal Street, we better make all the right turns, or we will be late. We wait quietly in the car, going nowhere, listening to "the sad part of the tape" The Gulf War Song comes on, and we grow more and more impatient.

Fruvous sings, "We'd like to play hockey, have kids and grow old…"

All of which, I observe, are quite likely to happen before we can even get out of the Holland Tunnel. O

nce out of the tunnel, we figure that we have it made. Our directions were mapped out by Yahoo, and then checked by a friend who goes to NYU, and were judged to be accurate. For the record, I no longer trust Yahoo, or my friend.

We were lost for at least an hour. We stopped at a million places to ask for directions. I think there was a city wide conspiracy against us. I think Broadway was hiding from us, but we kept running into one street in particular...Murray St.

Perhaps it was a coincidence, but perhaps not. Either way, Murray St. didn't take us anywhere useful.

Finally...FINALLY...we made it. There was a short encounter in the parking garage, as I failed to realize it was a valet garage. I tried to park my own car, and succeeded in being chased down by the parking attendants and feeling like a nerd.

We sprint across Washington Square and towards the club, hoping against hope that tonight was a Dan Bern first night. But alas, Fruvous was opening, and we missed whatever they opened with. We came in right at the end of 'Horseshoes'

Reserved seats or not, the ticket guy said, we were late. As such, we were relegated to the dreaded...Standing Room Only. The upside to this was more room to dance. The downside was, of course, a terrible view.

Part Two: The show itself...

I'm no good at remembering exact details of things, especially concerts. I do remember a lot of banter about Paradigm Shifts, a bad picture that was taken of Murray and Jian for some NY paper, and the usual comments about Dave's ass.

I have never really noticed how neat Mike looks cool playing guitar. I can't really explain it, maybe it's the way he stands, but he is just one of those people who just looks right at home with a guitar. As opposed to say, me.

I think this was the first time I heard 'I Will Hold On' live, and it was beautiful!!!

Murray looked like a goofball dancing during 'The Kids Song' and it was especially amusing when Jian came over and danced with him! They had Dave "redeem" himself during 'Green Eggs & Ham' by dancing as well. It had been about two months since my last show, and I forgot how fun it is to watch them all jump around on stage!

Maybe it was just me, but the harmonies in the 'Gulf War Song' sounded different. At any rate, it was still awesome, as usual, to hear live and off mic.

After the show, we went to the bathroom. I saw Mike wandering around and talking to some folks from the audience, so I stayed outside hoping for a picture, but I was too shy and he left. Dan Bern came on next, and we managed to snag some good seats that had been abandoned. They were right in the middle of the stage, but right behind the first aisle.

I had never seen or even heard Dan Bern before, though I heard he was very good. A few minutes into his set, I saw Jian come out from behind the stage and sit down with some people two tables away from us. Melanie and I both wanted to ask for a picture, but not in the middle of the audience during Dan's set, or while he was having a conversation for that matter. Eventually, he left and went to stand by the end of the bar closest to the stage. Melanie and I summoned our courage and went over to talk to him.

He was very nice to us, which I sort of expected, because he seems like a nice guy. Anyway, he signed Melanie's shirt, and I got my picture taken with him, after a short debate about where the best place to take the picture would be, since I didn't have a flash. I think he briefly considered jumping over to the other side of the bar, where there was more light, but decided against it.

I introduced myself to him, realizing that in my nervousness I had forgotten. He shook my hand and said "Hi, I'm Jian." He said it so nicely, and sincerely, like he really thought I didn't know his name! He smelled nice.

We thanked him and went back to our seats, quite pleased with ourselves. I was a little sad that I didn't have good seats for Fruvous and was seriously considering trying to buy a ticket for the later show, when Dan Bern intoduced them as special guests! I was so happy, because I could finally get a better look, and hopefully some decent pictures. Aside from that, they songs they played sounded amazing, and I was a much happier camper after that. I snapped about a zillion pictures, happy to have a good view. I think Melanie and Kendrah was secretly relieved because none of us could really afford more tickets.

We tried to stick around after the show, hoping to meet the rest of the guys. I saw Mike and finally had the nerve to go and talk to him. He was also really nice, complimented me on my shirt (a Ben Folds Five sweatshirt) and let me get a picture with him. Melanie then gushed about how great the show was and how we had some all the way from Maryland to see the show. He thought that was cool, but I still felt silly having him know that. I got over it pretty quickly though, figuring that they must get people saying stuff like that all the time.

I think Melanie and Kendrah wanted to get out of the club, but I was hoping to get pictures with Murray and Dave. I never did see Murray, but Dave walked by from outside at one point. He was wearing a big coat and a hat, so I wasn't sure if it was him at first. When I was finally sure, he was too thick in the crowd for me to walk over too. At that point someone made an announcement over the loudspeaker about how the people who were waiting around hoping to meet the band should just "give it up and leave." We were scared, so we left.

Part Three: The trip home...

We sat around at some diner for an hour, just bonding. We talked about the next road trip, which is to the Philly show on February 6th.

We were making good time home, and we stopped in Delaware so Kendrah could stop at her bank and deposit a check. Cutting through some back roads she knows also saved us some tolls. I had planned on stopping for gas after we went to the bank, but we suddenly realized that Kendrah's wallet was gone. Thinking she left it at the bank, we double back, but no luck. Five minutes later, we found it buried in the folds of Melanie's sleeping bag. During all the confusion, I forgot to get gas.

We were getting out of the Fort McHenry Tunnel when I realize how long I have been on empty. I'm praying that we will make it to the gas station when the car sputters and dies. We leave Melanie in the car, and begin the long walk to the gas station. Luckily, three nice girls pull over and give us a ride. Once at the gas station, the attendant informs us that they don't have any gas containers to sell, so we decide to walk to the next gas station a few blocks over.

A homeless man heard us talking to the attendant and offers to give us a container that he has. The catch is that we have to walk several blocks back to his "place" before we can get it. Now, I am usually a fairly trusting person, but not at 3:30 am, and not after the day I have had. We walk to the Citgo station, which will henceforth be known as The Evil Gas Station.

We walk inside and find, thank god, the last gas container. Feeling victorious at last, we take it up to the register. The clerk, who must be deaf, starts yelling at us through the glass. She's trying to tell us that we can't buy it. I try to explain that we're stranded on the side of a major interstate. Through the glass, she yells that it doesn't have a price tag, and we can't buy it. Kendrah and I urge her to at least type in the UPC, but she refuses.

Eventually we give up we buy a gallon of windshield wiper fluid and dump it out in the parking lot. Then, we buy one dollar worth of gas and fill it up. Now the tricky part…how do we get back to the car?

Thankfully, one of the men in the gas station overheard our little dilemma and offered to give us a ride back to the car, since it was a good five miles away. We walk out to his car, only to find that it was a milk truck.

And so, this is how, at 5:15 in the morning, I was riding down the highway in a milk truck.

It started out as a simple trip to see Moxy Fruvous, but because I am Anna, it ended up like this!

And, as literary convention would have it, this story has an epilogue...

I took my car in for repairs today. The mechanic said that if I had brought it in before driving it to New York, I would only have had to pay for minimal damages. Since I did drive it to New York, I can now expect at least $250 worth of repairs.

I took my pictures to the one hour photo place to get developed, thinking that nothing worse could possibly happen to me. Unfortunately, they were all underexposed, and none of them came out at all.

On the upside, I got to spend some quality time with my best friends, and introduce one of them to a great band. They are both very eager to come with me to both the upcoming DC and Philly shows, so that's something right there. Meanwhile, I think of the somewhat short-ish NY set as an appetizer of sorts, because now I am really very psyched for the DC and Philly shows!

I'm more amused by my misfortune then anything else. In the end, it was an awesome show, and I had a lot of fun, and certainly came back with more than one story to tell.

Our next big trip? Besides Philly (only an hour drive) Melanie and I were thinking about making a run for the border and actually going to FruCon!

And that, as they say, is that.


From the New York Times on 1/1:

Under "Pop and Jazz Guide": Dan Bern listed as a "highly recommended concert"

Dan Bern, Bottom line, 15 W 4th St, Greenwich village, (212) 228-7880. With the Dust Bowl nanality of the young Bob Dylan and an acoustic guitar in his hand, Dan Bern is a 1990's revision of the old folkie style, more interested in wry twists than in grand pronouncements.....

....Sharing the bill is Moxy Fruvous, a cutely clever folk-pop band that would love to be Canada's successors to the Barenaked Ladies.......

From Kat:

ahh, the first day of 1999. jan. 1 dawned bright & *very* cold. we spent the day visiting with relatives before driving to the bottom line & becoming the first ones in line around 4:45. we chatted w/ someone named bonnie, another early arrival, before others appeared. we'd been waiting up by the marquee, but the Dan Bern Lady i'd been sitting next to the previous night informed us that the line always starts back farther, so we should all move back. [last night there'd been a metal chain up to define the start of the line; no such marker was out today] so, about 12 of us move back. then... others appear. and line up in *front* of us. that was a bit upsetting. i don't think i would've cared nearly as much if 1) they didn't all seem to have carloads of friends pulling up & joining them in line, & 2) it was *really* cold. & we'd been suffering outside for longer then they had. justice rang out when they brought forth the missing fencing, around 5:20, and defined us as the front of the line. [if you were in the front & moved back, we meant no disrespect. hopefully you found fine seats & enjoyed the show as thoroughly as we did.] we chatted among ourselves, and i met andrea, amy, and bruce [? i think that was his name...]. they identified themselves as the pumpkin people, & i complemented them on their artistic abilities. turns out andrea used to live in centerville, OH [my hometown] & both she & bruce enjoy returning to kings island for the rollercoasters. :) wow, small world...

we sat with the three of them once we were inside, stage dave once more [in, actually, the same seats as the early show the previous night]. after restoring circulation to my fingers [i'd already lost all hope for my feet], i got a table-wide game of uno going. the problem was the red lighting: blue/green & red/yellow colors were nearly indistinguishable. we had to keep holding cards up against the light to determine exactly what color they were... kinda added a new spin on an otherwise mindless game. ;p when we sorta gave up on playing, eliz & i got our frucards stamped (#5 for me, #3 for her). she redeemed her card for the keychain. me, i'm still trying to figure out how i can get 25 more stamps in one year... ;p tobey commented that i wasn't wearing my fire pants tonight. *heehee* i told him no, new year's was just a special occasion. we returned to our seats in time for fruvous to enter the stage. the set:

banter about their new name, "paradigm shift." this became a running gag throughout the set. at some point, also, jian commented on the horrible picture in the new york post that not only eliminated mike & dave, but made jian look stoned. [murray didn't fare much better, either...] *shrug* my NYC relative is sending it to me, so i'll be able to judge for myself soon enough. :)

HALF AS MUCH -- didn't recognize it at first... can't remember if i've heard this one before or not. really wish i could discern what they were saying. i liked the melody, though...

SPIDER -- i was disappointed that mike didn't run through the audience with wild abandon, as usual... but i s'pose neither the acoustics nor the packed tables surrounding the stage lent themselves to such an act. "eight legs good, two legs bad..."

YOU CAN'T BE TOO CAREFUL -- yes, i like this song a *lot*. it's darn catchy, with some amazing harmonies. i don't think the new album can come out soon enough...

a bit of banter about "sad confetti," and the remains of the party the night before. jian untwined a "happy new year" tiara from his drum kit, looked at it distastefully, and tried to put it back... but it fell. a few more balloons released themselves from the static cling & floated silently past the stage.

HORSESHOES -- i can never hear this song too many times. it's wonderful, particularly w/ mike on a grand piano. followed by banter about yo yo ma, "the world's most *fly* cellist." :)

I LOVE MY BOSS -- oooh. rowrr. andrea asked me after the show, "did you enjoy 'boss' as much as i did?" i dare say i was inclined to agree...

more banter, this time about the US annexing canada: it's not difficult, really, since 97% of the population lives within 7 miles of the border. just send 4 tanks across the border w/ a megaphone saying, "you're all american now." it won't even get a headline. the headline will be, "Puerto Rico Votes on Independence," & at the bottom of the People section will be a 2 line blurb: "US annexes Canada. 51st state announced." :)

KIDS -- highly appropriate for the "all-ages" show. this song always elicits some wacky dancing from the lads, i've decided... it got lots of laughs from the audience. i shouted, "NO!" to quebec separating, but not many other people realized that they were being asked, i guess, 'cause not many others responded [that i could hear, anyway]. oh, well.

I WILL HOLD ON -- ohh, i was *so* happy to hear this a second time. they could perform this at every show i see & i will never tire of it. makes up for not hearing "no no raja" [the only other jian-song i would've liked to catch live once more... but i'm not complaining. no sirree. ;)].

KING / GREEN, BJ -- all ages, many kids -- i expected these. still fun, nonetheless. i think, at some point during BJ, everyone was *doing* something, so that i couldn't place where to look. i was too close to the stage to see all four of them at once, so i kept shifting my gaze back & forth frantically, so as not to miss a bit of it. now, for how many performers can you say such a thing, i ask of you? hmm? ;) rhymes: "looks like phyllis diller / runnin' like henry miller..."

DANCING QUEEN -- oh, when they started the "doo doo"s for this, i nearly shrieked with excitement. i'm a closet ABBA fan, tho' fruvous does this with more flair than ever ABBA had, i do believe. *grin* afterward, we shouted for an encore... & we got one, all right:

GULF WAR SONG (off mic) -- i'm pretty sure this is my favorite way to end a show. they stepped to the stage just above where we were sitting... and sang. a few snickers from the back on the humorous lines... it was prefaced as a song that they wished weren't still applicable today... but yet is painfully so. a beautiful ending.

during the brief pause before dan's set, mom spotted mike in the audience, so i went over & said a brief "fantastic job" or somesuch before he was engaged in conversation. i sat down for yet another dan bern show... and was pretty darn surprised to hear him open with "tiger woods" for the all-ages show. but, from what several songs i've heard, he doesn't seem to have an "all-ages" show in him. either that, or he just doesn't care. fruvous was pretty good about respecting the children & kept the curse words to a minimum. oh, well -- to each his own.

suddenly, mom nudges me: *jian* has appeared by the bar. [i don't know how she's able to spot these guys, having never attended a show before this...] eliz & i went to the bar, on pretense of getting water, and sipped it until he came toward us. i gave him a hug... and boy, did he smell *good*. mmm. i told him we were leaving after the show, & he informed me that they had a show in *dayton* coming up in early february! this was news -- *fantastic* news -- to me, and tempered the bittersweetness of having seen our last NYC show. it'll be *much* nicer only to drive 25 minutes to see fruvous, instead of an hour... or two... or twelve. ;p so, we sat back down for the rest of dan's set, & heard that god song again... but w/ fruvous references this time ["even planes going from, say, new york to toronto, go through phoenix"]. and the next thing i knew, fruvous was coming out *onstage* to play with him! it really sparked up dan's set... no offense to the dan bern fans out there, but he needs a backup band sometimes. they did 3 or 4 songs together, one of which was about his being the messiah, one being the long one about the thanksgiving day parade... & the marilyn monroe / henry miller ditty i enjoy so much. & with fruvous along for the ride -- wow. :) made me *extremely* glad we didn't perversely leave in the middle of dan's set. even his encore was fruvous-related: instead of singing "cheese, cheese, cheese..." we all sang "moxy moxy fruvous, moxy moxy fruvous..." and dan concluded with "all i eat is moxy fruvous." *heehee*

at last, we parted ways with our newfound fruvous friends after the show. we had to pack; we needed to leave before the worst of the storm hit saturday; we weren't sure we could sit through another of dan's sets. but we left with amazing memories, and a new year unfolding before us. my mother is a permanent fan now, & swears she's going to buy a separate set of fru-cd's when i'm off with mine at college next year. [she also forgot to get her *own* frumiles card, but she plans on showing tobey her ticket stubs at the dayton show]. as for me? i spent the day today making my own "fruvous conversion tape," and dubbing copies of it for three people [using, as tape covers, my overexposed photos from NKU... hopefully the pics i took w/ the 400-speed stuff will turn out better]. and i keep closing my eyes and returning to that little table in the bottom line, immersed in harmony and hilarity. but that will have to wait until another time.

From Lori:

Well, folks, I can't review the NYE shows because I wasn't there, but I still had a mighty good time in NYC on Jan 1 and 2 1999. Here, then, is day 1's events:

The trip didn't exactly start out great, although Andrew's parting comment, through tears over being left alone with Daddy the bossy one all weekend, did make me smile as I stood in a fairly crowded line to get on the train: "I guess a LOT of people are going to see Moxy Fruvous tonight".

Once on board I found myself in the situation of no one wanting to sacrifice their precious second seat to new travelers. Finally I forced the issue by asking someone to please let me sit; that person, in moving his own possessions, proceeded to spill tea all over his own seat, make a big production of the cleanup, and spend the better part of the trip scowling at me. Sheesh, like it's MY fault he was a seat hog.

At Penn Station I found a cab without much ado, and directed the cabbie to 3rd at 53rd. He starts driving; I relax; but no, it's way too soon for that. After three blocks he turns to me and says in that thick cabbie accent: "So. 33rd at Flamingo, yes?"

I simply could not believe my little pink ears! Concluding that evidently his first cab-driving sojourn in this country was Vegas, I hastily corrected him, and fortunately soon found myself in front of the right hotel, in the right time zone, with no desert and no lawn ornaments resembling me in sight. Well THAT was a relief. :)

Called ladywench/Chrissy/Trace from the lobby and sped up to the room, where we proceeded to nosh on the madeleines and truffles I'd brought, cuss like demons, catch me up on the previous night's jokes and antics, and dumbek ourselves into loopiness well before 5 pm, when we decided that perhaps it was time to dress and leave for the show. At the BL there were a whole bunch of obnoxious people trying to crash the line, implying that they were somehow special, with the band, deserved to be up front, or whatever. But the club personnel seemed to have things pretty much under control.

The wait wasn't too long, and once inside we found Mosh, Amanda, Valerie, Dan, Gordon Lewis, Chris O'Malley, and some other people (forgive me, I can't remember all of you!) The club has exceptionally long, very narrow tables arrayed out from the stage so that everyone can face the stage by just turning their head. We found a table next to Murray's monitor (we wanted to be WAY outside Dan Bern's "spit zone"), and parked ourselves with Amanda and Mosh, then went bopping over to Tobey to get stamped and entrust him with the Fruvous stash of truffles, madeleines and assorted cookies. Once we settled in, Queen Lisa of Maryland introduced herself to me, as did Andrea, and I met Vika, Bastet and a few others who came over to chat. We also yelled long-distance hellos to tall Chad across the room, as we couldn't get out from our table at that point.

The 1st set that night was technically tight -- but good tight, and the mood was looser than apparently it was the 1st night, maybe because it was the all-ages show and they were having fun playing to the kids. They broke us up with banter re: the Time Out review, especially, to those who remember the V. Bargainville thread, when Jian noted that now they'd been "panned". They also mentioned how great it was to be playing with their good friend Dan Burns the Scottish singer/ songrwriter, did a comic bit about that pseudo-scientific Benilyn commercial that's been on the air in Canada since at least 1993 and irritates me beyond bounds; and renamed themselves Paradigm Shift for all of 24 hours. I must comment that Murray wore a most amazing shirt: for those of you with Windows '95, imagine the Bubbles wallpaper, but in white on black. Mesmerizing!

I don't have a setlist, but they opened with Half as Much. First time I've heard the song I think -- a pretty cool tune! Spidey, Kids -- I love this live, but I really appreciate it more when they do the quiz about the overlooked constituency. Jen did manage to attract Murray's and Jian's attention on this one by screaming out that Quebec SHOULD separate -- I believe she was the only one in the room who yelled "yes", and she wound up with Murray's mic in her hair as Chrissy and I stood over her, pointing. Nothing like being conspicuously shy. :D

Jian played double-entendre games with the I Love My Boss intro -- somehow I thought Katonah might've cured him of that with me and Jen around, but I guess he's incorrigible. :) (see, chad, he really DID start it :P) Horseshoes was awesome -- gee, can anyone tell I LOVE this song more each time I hear it? Naah I didn't think so.

BJ rocked, King/GE&H wowed the target audience and the Fruheads too (especially Dave's lovely little dance when the other guys demanded he do the "right moves" to get back in their good graces) IWHO was absolutely gorgeous, as always (it might be an obsession song, but I think it's a relatively normative obsession -- the kind of sad hangup on an unattainable someone that everyone's experienced at some point, not the unhealthy, stalker kind like in Sting's "Every Breath You Take.")

At the end Dancing Queen medley had us all jiggling, and Gulf War Song for the encore again held us rapt.

Dan Bern's first set was cool, although I don't think the man has it in him to do a real all-ages show. I sure as heck wouldn't take MY son to see him, and I don't envy Queen Lisa her task of explaining his stuff to her daughter. His themes are wonderful, but definitely mature-audience material.

Between sets the guys came out and mingled for a bit, and club management got a little irritated that fans w/o tickets for show 2 weren't leaving in orderly fashion. As Jian wandered back and forth I figured out what it was Trace and Chrissy were tuning in to, and decided it was quite a nice way of knowing he was around. Talked with him and Murray a bit, until finally they went backstage and we all got herded over to the bar for a few minutes before we were released for the mad scramble to upgrade seats. We had been hoping to move to the other side of the room, as Jen wanted a view of the piano, but we found ourselves in exactly the same seats as the first set. Which turned out not to be bad at all, although poor Mosh wound up stuck at the bar for the entire second set, as he came back from a smoke break a bit late.

We also ordered food during the intermission, which turned out to be a huge mistake, as it wound up being delivered just as the guys walked out for the second set . Jian, noting all the fried-food aroma in the air, made us laugh, but YOU try to eat pizza and samosas (sammy sosas) while singing along, doing hand jives, and applauding. ;-)

The guys seemed, well, pumped for the second set, which was a doozy. I got a withering glare from Murray when I inadvertently commented that his gorgeous orange polo shirt with black and white racing stripes was a "Flyers shirt". Oh well, I guess that's what we do: piss off the band. It's how we show we love them. :D

Here's the setlist:

Tureen --     they started this, stopped it, goofed around a bit with banter
                 about magical trips, then eventually played it
Saucep'n -- Ji missed a couple of notes and Jen and I couldn't look at
                 each other.  This was the first time I was able to sing along
                 without losing my breath -- I guess that confirms Fruhead 
Sad Girl -- the neat thing about this venue was how the vocals 
                resonated, were very distinctly identifiable but formed 
                a wonderful whole.  Mike's falsetto was really clear here.
Sleepy Drinker -- my first time with this one.  a lovely little thing.  
Message -- made Jen's night.
River Valley
Love Potion medley

the "GE&H on 45" encore was hysterically funny, especially as we tried to keep up and for the most part succeeded. We all made the train whistle cue! And to have the whole audience pointing at Dave as he yells "fuck you!" was just TOOOO funny.

The "real" encore was Early Morning Rain -- a wonderful ending, with harmonies that just send chills down my spine. (that's GOOD chills mind you.)

Dan Bern's second set seemed a little more "on" than his first, although it was late and some of us were practically falling asleep. We jolted awake, however, when he made reference to some friends of his backstage, and soon our heroes once again were onstage. And in a *great* mood. Murr and Ji were having some mic problems, but it didn't seem to faze them too much, and soon they were rocking away, taking over Dan's set with a Christmas medley of Do You Hear What I Hear, the Little Drummer Boy in Bowie voice, and a few other implausible pieces. Eventually they settled down, remembered it was Dan's set, and devoted themselves to the task of providing an awesome dance beat and some lovely backing harmonies to Marilyn (which I STILL can't get out of my head) and some of his other tunes. Amazing what a wretched backup band can do for a sensitive-guy coffeehouse-style singer!

At some point the three amateur drummers at our table noticed that Dan's beat was nice, easy, repetitive, and we started whacking the table regularly rather than just doing random beat-keeping, such as I usually do on my knee instead of clapping along. Jen was trying to work out the beats with me as if we were playing dumbek, and presently Jian went to the dumbek case and took his out, then played it for a minute or two before putting it aside. We thought that was an awful tease, as they hadn't played any dumbek songs all night. I mean, c'mon, Jian, Dan Bern's music is just NOT all that dumbek-y. Not like SOME songs ... oh, Sahara, perhaps. :)

(BTW, apologies to anyone at our table whom we may have irritated with our playing -- we didn't realize it was loud, but Amanda later told us it was. Sorry! Didn't mean to interfere with anyone's enjoyment of the show! We'll be good in the future we promise -- in fact the next night we restricted our drumming to our laps!)

After the show the usual Frudelirium ensued, and i can't really remember who I talked to or what was said, just that Dave, standing near the door in a parka and a tuque, looked absolutely frozen, like Frosty the Snowman. "Thanks for coming," said he, as if we were the ones who had just given THEM an an amazing seven hours of fun, laughter, and music. We got back to the hotel way late, and sat up nattering until Chrissy threatened us with extreme crankiness. Went to bed around 4:30, fully aware that we had big plans for the next day as well, and that it already WAS the next day...

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:

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