Live Show: 6/2/99


Portland, OR

Reviewed by: Steve Lieber & Ken Barr

The Details

I don't have a long report to offer because I didn't take any notes, but I didn't see anything on the group about the Portland show, and I thought I ought to pipe in.

My wife Sara and I hadn't been to a Fruvous show since we'd left Michigan, and have looked forward to their finally performing here. We got to the Alladin theater early, and having some time to kill, decided to snarf down some dinner across the street at a place called Lulu's diner. About ten minutes into our meal, two members of the band came in and sat close by. We thought it might be clever to send a chocolate eclair to their table, but decided that given a choice between a few minutes of quiet anonymity and having to be nice to a couple of strangers, they'd probably prefer the former.

The show was a blast, marred only by a few over-eager schmucks who couldn't stifle the impulse to howl inanities whenever the band tried to speak. A woman named Merlin won big points, however, with a balloon heart given to Jian during a stretch when the band left the stage and did "Boss" and "Spiderman" from the floor of the theater. It was strangely thrilling that they broke the fourth wall, and it reinforced the bond with their audience that Fruvous is so great in evoking. The bond is an unusual thing to experience. At the restaurant, my initial impulse was to walk over, say hi, and chat as I would with any old friend. After that second of course, the voice of reason kicked in-- "These people have no idea who you are. You might have spent hundreds of hours listening to their voices, but that relationship only goes one way." Still, I almost felt like I was snubbing a buddy from way back by *not* going over and talking. It's weird to be a fan.

Sara and I got a huge kick out of their cover of "Jockey Full of Bourbon." Tom Waits is one of our favorite musicians, and Rain Dogs a favorite album of his. Many, many talented bands have crashed horribly trying to do covers of Waits material, but MF pulled it off.

And I might have halucinated it, but do the lyrics of "Authors" now note Robertson Davies' death?

The show was well attended, and even though a majority of the attendees had never been to a Fruvous show before, it was clear from the wild enthusiasm that shold MF make it back here, they'll find an even larger and more appreciative audience.

From Ken Barr:

Well, I tried to encourage all of the Intel interns to come to the show, but I ended up only convincing three people. Nevertheless...

The show was at an old theater called the Aladdin. The opening act was Here Comes Everyone. At first I really couldn't stand them, but their music grew on me.

It was the first time in Oregon for Moxy Fruvous, and they coined the slogan: "Oregon: all the beauty of California without the shit." And of course they improved a song about it. Since it was their first time, almost no one had seen them live before (I may have been the sole veteran, thanks to my usual home in Ann Arbor. In fact, I got my pewter pin!)

That's another great story... Toby rocks. I didn't get stamped in Toronto last summer since the Tastefest show got rained out halfway thru, but he had sympathy and trust, and went ahead and gave me credit. Woohoo!

Anywya, the show itself was highly enjoyed by the crowd. They arose -immediately- at its conclusion to delvier a standing ovation. And for a crowd that hadn't seen a show before, they were extremely free in their banter with the band. One guy asked for King of Spain after the first song or so, and he got shot down by the band. I thought that was funny :)

I wasn't laughing, however, when Mike Ford decided to beat me up for taking a photo during Spiderman! Is that against the rules? He ran over to me and pushed me down, then proceded to pretend-punch me, all without interrupting the song!

A couple of numbers seemed a little tired (Message was not as awesomely tight as I've heard it before for example), but we still got a fun show (with the mandatory Canadian content (jokes about Alanis and Bryan Adams)).

As for the new stuff, I didn't care much for Splatter Splatter, but maybe because it was the only song I'd never heard. My Poor Generation is beautiful, but I'll always remember hearing it when it was used as a solo opener. It's just more poignant that way, i guess. Nevertheless, I expect that to be my favorite song from the new release.

Setlist (now hanging in my cubicle!)

when she

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