Live Show: 2/21/99


Toronto, ON

Reviewed by: Chris, Bridget, Amanda, Josh & Lori

The Details

Short review...

Decided to break the vicious circle and actually sleep in this time. Woke up around eleven, and AJ, Vika and I walked to Spadina for Dimsum (sp?). Pretty good, I thought. We then walked to Indigo music stoor (on Bay/Bloor) to see Susan Werner's instore appearance. She did a handful of songs off her most recent CD and spent some time chatting afterwards.

Drove with Rodney back to the hotel where we lazed around a bit. By seven, AJ, Chris T, Cee and I drove to Lee's and kept warm in the Pizza Pizza across the street.

Doors opened earlier this 8:15 and once we got inside Tory Cassis was pretty much starting. He did about six songs, then had to run since he had another full gig to perform later that night. Only one of the songs he did was new to me.

Sarah Slean did a short set next. Similar kind of stuff to her set from Friday, including that wonderful cello. :-) Susan Werner was up after Sarah, performing a short set which included the same piano number (which I love). All three of the openers' sets were pretty short, actually.

Fruvous came on and played for about two hours, ending around midnight. Highlights of their set included performing one of Sarah Slean's songs with her, and two songs with Susan Werner (Summertime and a random medley/jam). Moxy did some of the same new songs, but no Splatter Splatter, which I still have yet to hear. I was still tired even though I'd gotten more sleep, but this show was still VERY good, and the audience seemed to eat it up.

Mike's setlist reads:

2 Care

Afterwards, spent most of the post-show time saying goodbyes to people I could very well not see until next year's con. Rodney drove Vika and me back to the hotel and I went to sleep around two in the morning.

Monday morning. Woke up around nine (stayed with Cee and AJ in AJ's room), and packed up the car. Cee, Vika and I left Toronto by 10:30 and made it to Boston by 6:30. Now that I know it only taked 8 hours to get to Toronto, I may visit it more often from Boston.

Fun, fun, fun weekend. Relatively relaxing, considering all the running around, and I'm glad I got to see so many friends and make a sizable number of new ones. Can't wait till next year's Con festivities!

From Bridget:

Seemed like we had to wait FOREVER tonight to get into Lee's. And not only did we have the Canadian cold to deal with, but it was darned windy!!! I didn't warm up until Früvous came on... Well I was kinda worried tonight that we wouldn't get a full set, since there were 3 opening acts... and the doors opened late.

Much to our surprise (and delight), Tory Cassis came out only about 15 minutes or so after we got in. I'd never heard him before, I enjoyed it. Then Sarah Slean again. Then Susan Werner. Susan was definitely a crowd favorite this weekend. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing her open for Früvous again sometime. I thought I was in the twilight zone or something for the opening acts. There was only about 10 minutes between each set, INCLUDING between Susan and Früvous. This isn't Früvous time!!! No complaints, though...

The crowd seemed a little thinner, although still energetic. We theorized that a lot of people left for home before the show. Suckers... We had an excellent vantage point. We were stage Dave (I guess change IS good every once in a while)... as Chad says, stage Murray is old hat. We were on the platform at the side of the stage, so at eye level with the band. Had lots and lots of Mike eye contact tonight. YAY!! Plus we were all armed with egg shakers and stuffed animals and all sorts of toys. And I suppose the chocolate covered espresso beans added a bit to the früvolity... OK, we were totally wired!!! But considering it'll be a while before any of us can get another Früfix... Setlist and my random thoughts...

Sahara (non-extended) - hey, an early opportunity to put those egg shakers to use!!

Laika - YAY!!

Too Careful - YAY!!

Horseshoes - I was surprised that they did this twice over the weekend...

I Love My Boss - more egg shaking action...

Sad Girl

Pisco Bandito - they put the apple strudel line back in this weekend... *grin*.

Angel - Sarah Slean song with Sarah on vocals.

Michigan Militia - OK, it ROCKED!!!

Today's the Day that We Fight Back - very appropriate for the benefit. Hadn't seen the lads perform this one before, it was great.

Present Tense Tureen

Johnny Saucep'n

Summertime - with Susan Werner. Incredible.

Then we get a long banjo jam (with Susan) that starts "You Shook Me All Night Long" and somehow ends up "It's A Small World". BANJO OVERLOAD!!!!!! Not that it's bad thing...

King of Spain - no intro...

Green Eggs & Ham

Darlington Darling - Mike made a great save after starting with the wrong verse. Works in a line dedicated to his wife. Very cool...

Love Potion #9


Brown-Eyed Girl - this totally made my night. Not only do I ADORE the song, but the Früversion is so bouncy....

The Drinking Song - for whatever reason, it was extraordinarily powerful tonight... great crowd participation... electricity was created that hung in the air long after the last note was sung. And after the lads left the stage, we got the King of Spain dance mix, which just prolonged the party atmosphere. We stayed 'til we got kicked out...

This was a phenomenal weekend, and I hate to say I have any complaints... well, not COMPLAINTS, but observations... we didn't get "Downsizing" this weekend... )o: I adore that song. AND... in three shows, THREE TIMES, Murray's silver lamé hat was placed on stage... as if to taunt us... JUST ONCE I WANT TO SEE THE LONG VERSION GREEN EGGS & HAM!!!!! Is that TOO much to ask?!?!? I also thought "Message" was sort of conspicuous by its absence. Thought we'd hear that at least once this weekend. No "Authors" was rather strange. I've heard a couple people mention that they were surprised "Gulf War" wasn't played. I've seen it performed twice (hee hee), so it doesn't bother me. I do feel that it's a song they'd RATHER perform off-mic, and Lee's is not really very conducive to that. And not a dent was made it my "MOST WANTED" list... STILL wanna see "Raja", "Love Set Fire", "Nuits de Reve". There's always next time... And we did feel a little cheated... we thought we should have gotten "It's Too Cold"... since that was everyone's motto this weekend...

So now I'm home, trying to get back into the swing of things. Gotta be at work tomorrow, and I have to say that making the transition from Früheaven back into "the outside world" is far from easy. I had an absolute BLAST this weekend. To all the people I met... it was great. To all the people I met and actually had a chance to have a conversation with... it's been an unforgettable experience. Thanks Traci, Jen, Amy, Kevin, Chrissy, Lori, Fiona, Drea, George, Michelle (thanks for the rides), Jordan, Rodney, Andy (thanks for the rides), Chad (the short one), everyone else I met and can't remember in my sleep-deprived state. It was wonderful to meet you and get to know you for a short time. Hopefully it won't be too long before we can hook up again. Dan, Brandie, Jen, Kate, Carrie, Lynn, Katrin, Tom... it was awesome to see you guys again. Please keep in touch and I'm sure we'll be getting together again very very soon!

From Amanda:

Setlists have already been posted for Friday and Saturday , but I wanted to share a couple of impressions, just in case I don't get around to writing a proper review.

The shows were all very nice, the guys were more laid back because, as Dave said, "We soundcheck, then go home and warm up a chicken leg." Jian remarked that some of them would be warming up a Tofu Turkey leg. "It tastes like shit, but I'm a man of principle, so I eat food that tastes like shit."

"...on principle." Mur added.

More banjo songs than I've ever seen in one show on Sunday, possibly every banjo song. (Michigan Militia, Tureen, Today's the Day We Fight Back, Saucep'n) That was followed up by Susan Werner joining the guys on stage for a beautiful Summertime. It was more complicated than the way they did it in Noho because Susan is a very accomplished vocalist.

They followed that up with a medley, with Dave on banjo, Mike on electric guitar, Susan on acoustic guitar, Mur and Jian on bass and drums, respectively.

I loved the medley. It started out with a countrified You Shook Me All Night Long, went into Theme from the Beverly Hillbillies, Ironic/Hand in my Pocket, and then Leaving on a Jet Plane, closing with the John Denver song that starts "You fill up my senses like a light in the forest...".

I just melted as soon as Dave started singing Leaving on a Jet Plane, the first *swoon* moment for me with Fruvous. I'm not sure what happened to me, I just went all liquid and girly. It's such a sappy song, and they did it really well, Dave's voice with Susan's harmonies were perfect.

I was very impressed with her willingness do that medley. I've been a fan of hers for a while now, and I'd been telling people what a good performer she is, but the medley surprised me. She and Dave could go on tour together, no, I'm not kidding.

Let's see, other moments...Dave asked if anybody knew any more modern rap numbers, since every time they start a groove he hears "The Message" from 1982. Mur agreed that that's what he heard, and then they didn't break into it. Mike suggested Bust A Move.

Apparently somebody needs to supply Fruvous with a Puff Daddy CD.

They closed with Brown Eyed Girl, which was better than at Northampton. They introduced it by saying that they weren't sure what to play, and when people started shouting out requests, Mur remarked "No, we thought of something." Mike continued "We'd like to take you to the million and one basements of Thorn Hill..." It was sweet, and they were obviously having a great time playing for us.

Closed with the Drinking Song, strong audience vocals. It's really cool that you can actually hear people singing harmonies.

It was a nice show. I wish Tory Cassis had played longer, and Sarah Slean struck me as talented but one-dimensional, much like Jess Klein. *yawn* I liked Tory a lot. He's looks and sings like a hybrid of Elvis Costello and Chris Issac.

It was a good closing to a nice weekend. I stood out in the cold longer than I should have, was frozen to the bone by the time we got inside.

From Josh:

Sahara (short), Laika, Too Careful, (Undead Mamba), Horseshoes, Boss,
Sad Girl, Pisco, Angel*, Michigan Militia, Today's The Day, Tureen,
Saucep'n, Summertime**, Massive Banjo Medley*** -> King of Spain -> 
Green Eggs^ -> Darlington%, Love Potion #9
E1: Fly, Brown-Eyed Girl
E2: Drinking Song

* With Sarah Slean on vocals, one of her tunes.
** With Susan Werner on vocals/acoustic. AMAZING.
*** With Susan Werner on vocals/acoustic. A planned jam of songs in
    bluegrass style. Songs: You Shook Me All Night Long -> Alanis ->
    Lovely Again -> So Lonesome I Could Cry -> Leaving On A Jet 
    Plane -> It's A Small World
^ With guest appearance by Sgt. Dave Tobey.
% With Mike singing the second verse first accidently and changing
    the words to say hello to greet Therese. Very high-energy!

From Lori Martin:

Sunday: This, perhaps not surprisingly, was the calmest day of the weekend. Guess we were all pretty much worn out. Steve and I met Valerie and Dan for breakfast and headed to Auntie Emm's, where the service was great until the rest of the Fruheads showed up --- (Hi Zard Chris Laurie Loren!) at which it slowed to a crawl. Which wasn't a real biggie, but we did have a few things we wanted to do ...

Valerie will insist I had the Lumberjack's Breakfast. Well, no I did not. Dan did. She is evil and just makes these things up. I had Auntie Emm's breakfast, which was quite enough protein and cholesterol to sustain a small 3rd-world country for a week. In fact I only had about a third of it before deciding it would be best to go out and exercise most of it off. So off we went to Yonge Street on a mad and wildly successful CD hunt -- I found the Wyrd Sisters, Dan found all sorts of stuff, and Steve and Val had a good time too. Shopping finished, we proceeded to the coffee bar at Eaton Centre for some direly needed caffeine and, lattes in hand, set off on the tourism portion of the the day. Hockey Hall of Fame here we come!

To Dan, it was Nirvana. No, not the band, the place of ecstasy. To Steve, it was a chance to explore without a child in tow. To me, it was cool -- I got to see Clarkie's jersey! (I hope my shots of his display case turn out!) And to Valerie, it was an interesting fashion survey ... we determined that the Eastern European countries have the most interesting and stylish jerseys, while the Junior ones are the cutest. As I had been there before, and she wasn't all that interested, the pair of us kind of whizzed through while our boys bowled over little kids on the mini-rink, then headed back to the hotel for naps. (I briefly sought entertainment on Ramada 7, but found no one in a playful mood ... I wish I'd known there were people staying on 6 too!)

Steve and I eventually drove over to Bloor Street to find a suitable place for dinner, and did so about a block from Lee's Palace, a wonderful Thai restaurant. In we walked to find Katrin and Doug just being seated; we quickly opted for larger table instead and they filled us in on their adventuresome day spent trying to get last Monday's WFB loaded at Kinko's. Remind me not to go into a Kinko's expecting anyone to know anything technical ...

Before leaving the restaurant and standing in line for an indefinite period of time I ventured to the facilities, and that was when possibly the strangest event of the weekend transpired. I found the name of my dining mate affixed to a wall fixture. Thinking this might amuse her moderately, I mentioned it to her when she ventured downstair, little expecting Katrin to attack the wall in an effort to pry a tissue dispenser from it. After watching her nearly pummel her hands bloody, and wondering how she was going to escape the restaurant with a rather large and conspicuous prize, I suggested that perhaps Steve had a swiss army knife on him and it might work a little better than fingernails. By the time we got upstairs a cooler head prevailed, and she instead accosted the waiter demanding to buy the thing. Doug and I were in gales of laughter over the whole thing -- I can't imagine how we ever saw our way out of the restaurant, we had such tears in our eyes.

The line outside Lee's Palace was marginally warmer that night, thanks mainly to a massive snuggling circle of 3 Smithies, one random fan along for the fun, and a Very Tall Friend of Caroline's. We again congregated stage Dave (stage Tobey, alas, was taped off -- I wonder WHY?) and staked out several chairs and tables, with Kevin Way, and Tom Salyers joining us. Frunique was wearing her amazing texturized maple leaf shirt in honor of the occasion, and was shamelessly groped by all and sundry. "Oooooh! Velvet!"

At some point all this touchy-feely business evolved into another backrub marathon ... oooh. And thus was the unspeakable Lisa Schapiro inducted into the Society of Cuddly Fruheads. The poor girl had innocently taken a seat next to me ... that'll teach her. Her friend Ben somehow evaded this fate, but she seemed to accept it with a grin, and soon we were sharing shaker eggs and chocolate espresso beans as well.

A note on the crowd Sunday night, and this may be somewhat politically incorrect, but it bothered me: there were far fewer than the first two nights. Which was nice in a way, as we had more room to maneuver, the sightlines were better, and we weren't constantly crashing into one another when dancing.

But this was supposed to be a benefit, and it seemed to me a little sad that more natives didn't turn out for it. I know some Fruheads are strongly pro-life and stayed away for that reason, and that's very cool with me -- I vote my conscience with my wallet all the time and respect anyone else who does so. I know many others had to leave that day so as to get back to work or school. But it struck me that the concert, supposed to raise funds for an Ontario choice organization, was conspicuously bereft of Ontarians -- that Americans, and Canadians from other provinces, were the ones supporting this organization. And that seems wrong to me -- I don't mind supporting what I consider a necessary cause, but I'd like to see a little more local concern as well.

The show: like I said, it was a very relaxed atmosphere. I had never seen Tory Cassis before, and ... well , I'd like to see a full-length set! Good voice, good bass, and a decent stage presence. I was bummed he had to take off so early to go do another gig -- I was hoping he'd jam with Fruvous.

Sarah Slean did another interesting set, with varying degrees of backup, and Susan Werner again engaged the crowd. She really seemed to enjoy herself, and mingled quite a bit with the audience before Fruvous came on.

The Fruvous set:

Sahara -- not extended, but still wonderful.
Laika -- rocked rocked rocked
Too Careful 
Undead Mamba [improv] 
Horseshoes -- always a highlight for me, don't care how many times
                      I hear it (I had it stuck on repeat this afternoon.)
I Love My Boss -- Jian's expression, as he surveyed the stage Dave
                      crowd and saw about 15 different people with shaker 
                      eggs, was priceless.
Sad Girl 
Pisco Bandito 
Angel (with and by Sarah Slean) 
Today's the Day That We Fight Back -- I was expecting this, and
                         I got it, and boy was I happy!  
Present Tense Tureen 
Johnny Saucep'n 
Summertime (with Susan Werner) 
Banjo Medley (with Susan Werner) -- this was one of the absolute 
                     high points of the weekend.
King of Spain/Green Eggs & Ham 
Darlington Darling -- dance dance dance dance!
Closed with 
Love Potion #9 Medley 
Encore 1 
Brown Eyed Girl -- I hadn't heard them cover this before, and it was
                          another great treat.
Encore 2 
The Drinking Song -- the absolute #1 highlight of the whole Con 
                               experience for me, the one that will get me 
                               through until the next show.  After the Con
                               weekend, I finally get how something so sad 
                               can also be such a bond -- a sea of people 
                               arm in arm, upholding each other.  You all are
                               some of the nicest folks I know, and I love 
                               sharing stuff like this with you.

After the show a mix tape of King of Spain cranked up, and we all danced for awhile. Then, sadly, time to disperse. Goodbyes to all took some time, but eventually we wound up back at the hotel, said a few last goodbyes, and tried, really hard, to sleep.

The saga of Kevin's dumbek, the trouble with US Customs, the sheer exhaustion of the next day ... it didn't really matter, any of it. Yes yes yes, the weekend was worth 18 hours of driving and about as many of sleep. Yes yes yes, I'll do it next year by hook or by crook. Cheers to the Con committee, to Fruvous, and to all with whom I danced, hugged, massaged, rubbed a shirt, watched tv, ate candy, shared a cold drink, banged a drum, or just smiled. Glad to have met you. Let's do it again sometime.

Not much left to categorize in the way of random stats here. I think they're all mushed together into just one: Number of similar weekends I'd like a year, in an ideal world: 52.

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 1999 page