Live Show: 7/3/99


Fort Erie, ON

Reviewed by: Donna, Paul, Angie & Drea

The Details

Thanks to three clueless but helpful stage guys (One of which looked remarkably like Jax from General Hospital) ;) I got a hold of Murray's setlist.

(*not written, but performed, "Walking Spanish"--Tom Waits)
Generation (*not played)

*Encore 1

*Encore 2

All right, first off I have to say that this was the easiest road trip I've driven. :) Cleveland to Ft. Erie = 90 --> 190 --> Bridge --Follow signs. :)

The show was incredibly energetic last night. (I'm weak, Lawrence... I slept!) In fact, Mike and Jian both seemed to be to be on some kind of rush... whether it was sugar-related and whether that has anything to do with any confectioners here on the ng, I cannot say. :)

There were quite a few tech/sound problems, quiet bass, losing the guitar sound, broken strings, etc--but hey, that's what you get when you play outside.

Besides, because of a broken string on the electric guitar, we got to hear "Walking Spanish" which was just incredible! How one decides to "fill" with Tom Waits, I do not know--but it's certainly part of the magic of Fruvous.

So, something I noticed at Baltimore and was repeated here... there was this group of fans who I can't help but describe as "jock"-y, tearing it up. I don't know if these are "new" fruvous fans (although I know the batch in Baltimore could certainly sing along!) or just an "East Coast" group that I haven't experienced in my "Mostly-Midwestern" world, where the typical frufan is artsyfartsy. :)

Anyway, this particular group of "jock-like" fans had a huge stuffed animal (wonder where they got it!) and repeatedly chanted "monkey" about it. I thought it was a parrot, which I think Jian also perceived. Eventually they were fulfilled by Jian's "Well, throw it up here, then" and some banter about it, which led to Murray's line of the night.

Murray's line of the night: "It's name is 'Monkey', I guess. Who's the Shakespeare who came up with that?"

To borrow a format of Bridget's, I'll sum up with a "Best of" list. :)

Best Ensemble: Dave. He looked like he was in pajamas. :) On closer inspection, he was simply wearing a large "Fleadh" T-shirt, and baggy white pants, but he totally looked ready for bed. Add to that the large-sunglasses he kept on the entire performance, and he was one laid-back guy. :)

Best Crowd Noise Diffuser: Mike. Even after the monkey was on stage, the chanters were chanting 'Monkey.' And Mike replied "I know you're chanting for Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch again, but they're not comin' out here until that moshing stops!" I don't know if there was any actual moshing going on, and I don't care, it was still funny.

Best Riot Avoider: Jian. After some dangerous banter regarding Hockey, Jian agreed that it was "no goal" and made some comments that relaxed a heavily-Buffalo-laden crowd.

Best line in KOS: Mike. "I play the congas!"

Best place to stand at the festival: On a box with Mindy (and her brother, and her friends), stage Murray. Despite our diminutive statures, we got to *see*! And I only almost fell off the box twice. :)

Best "toy" at the festival: Lori's "Pisco" um... Hat? :) Hours of fun for children of all ages!

Best Cake: Cake provided by a number of fruheads for Chrissy, Jian, and Murray, with a nice picture of the guys on it! Wonderful! Darn good cake, outside and in. :)

Best non-fruvous related line o' the night (/morning): Joe, after my fretting for hours about hitting Cleveland-highway-rush hour traffic, "You're not going to hit rush hour. It's Sunday, and it's the Fourth of July. Nobody's going to be up!" :)

Happy Independence Day! Go Blow something up!

From Paul:

Okay, here is my review. Short format, because long format is just _way_ too long.

Spot Coffee: Mondo cool place. Great food. I give it 3 stars. I think they should install rocket launchers on the roof so they can take pot shots at the S***bucks across the street. Welcome to a new frufan, Megan (sp?) joined us in our trek to Ft. Erie.

Border Crossing: (As best I can remember it ;-)
Customs Agent: "Where are you from?"
Chrissy: Buffalo
Customs Agent: "Where are you headed?"
Chrissy: "Friendship Festival"
Customs Agent: "Are you carrying any weapons or illegal drugs?"
Chrissy: "No."
Customs Agent: "Do you know what time it is?"
Chrissy: "uhh.... it's... uhh... 4, uh... 4:30..."
Customs Agent: "You mean you don't know exactly what time it is?"
Amy S: *whisper* "it's 4:43! it's 4:43!!!"
Chrissy: "it's 4:43."

The customs agent just stares at her. I'm thinking... oh no, we're gonna be pulled over. This was the longest 5 seconds of my life.

Customs Agent: "Okay, go ahead."

Mount Fujifilm: One of the novelties we saw was a giant inflatable climbing mountain, promoting Fuji film. We watched one guy climb to the top. They wouldn't let him down until the guy screamed the praises of fuji products. Amy S (who is from Rochester) and I (I go to RIT...) were going to shout "Kodak!"

Cash Card: They had these nifty little smart cards. You get the card, and you put money on them, and they can be used at the various vendors around the festival. They handle cash conversions (at $1.40, a pretty good exchange rate.) I still have $3.50 CDN left on mine. Oh well.

And now, Up With People. (Oh lord, I have but one question... Why?) Poor kids. If ever I have thought about the meaning of "Cruel and Unusual Punishment", I realize now that our (American) forefathers were thinking about this when it was added to the American constitution. Good message, just that these kids were paid a bit too much to be so perky.

Tobey: Tobey is da man! we worship the ground Tobey walks on!!! well, sorta :-) After giving Tobey offerings of Pez, I felt saucy and got the jersey. I will wear it with pride :-) I also got to talk to Tobey on the "Other Side"... I remembered that I was legal (ahh, the joy of being 20 in Canada.), and could go into that "other area" where the alcohol was being served. I felt so proud getting carded and passing :-)

Roach Motel: Pretty cool show, the Toronto based group dazzled the audience with their Pop/Lyrical Rap mix of music. (I don't know how to describe them!). Pretty decent opener for Früvous. Got the people in the right mood.

Set change... and we waited... and waited....... Maybe it's time the guys picked up a second sound guy, huh? It still felt a little long, and it feels like the change keeps taking longer and longer, although I must admit that it was kinda cool to see Cal playing the accordion and the banjo.

Früvous Set: after a false-start opening, the guys had the lights dimmed and Murray introduced the band.

Lori (sp?) had this little paper-crepe hat that looked like a fish when turned on it's side. It immediately got the name "Pisco". That got my hopes up, but it wasn't played.

It was a good frühead showing, with many people, including the reunion of the Trouble Trio, Chrissy, Drea and Fiona. Among others, there were Amy S, Amy B, Dante, Lori, Joe (Tapin), Mike Wood, Michelle, Rosemary, the new Megan, hK, MC... Veronica... Chris (talarin), Maddie (Myla), and their friend Alex... Michelle's Mystery Fruheads, whose names i cannot remember.... three was the guy from the U, registering in at 6' 8"... then two women, one from LA, and the other from France. Probably the people who came the longest distance to see the Friendship Festival.

Show notes... (things that I can still remember...)

"No Goal!", and Jian's pointing right at me, and then giving me the 'cut it out' look.. or maybe he was just signaling to Cal. Of course there wasn't too much hostility between Buffalonians and Torontonians... (I mean, the two team owners met at the top of the Peace Bridge and raised both teams' flags on the bridge.) What really got me peeved was that Mike won a $25 bet on the Stars. (More about that later.)

Cheesemonkey.... Jen, it was a pleasure meeting you, and you saved yourself from becoming lakebait by not wearing your Dallas Stars jersey :-)

Monkey! Monkey! This group of people had a big stuffed monkey. (baboon?) Well, it made its way onto the stage. I found out later that the people were really shouting at the stage, and really ticked off a bunch of the people in front of them... (Much like U of R, or Utica shows...) oh well. I guess alcohol + people doesn't mix.

Fly: no it wasn't my allergies acting up. I really was crying. Jians' intro to fly. It speaks the truth.

After the show:

Happy Birthday! Happy birthday wishes were given to Chrissy, Jian, and Murray. Thankfully Jian and Murray showed up after the concert :-)

Amy Schrader had a cake made. It said: "Happy Birthday Chrissy Jian Murray", and had a picture of the lads made out of frosting! (Real picture it's cool! I swear! The picture is going to FDC as soon as I have it ready.) I had Amy save me Mikes' head from the cake. "This is Mikes head. Mike cheered for the Stars." *gulp*. And then, Mike's head was gone.

Where's Waldo? (er... hK and MC?) well, enough said about that.

At least the border-crossing coming back was easy. Probably because it was 3 in the morning.

All in all, it was a great concert, and a great experience that I hope we'll repeat next year. So here's to friends and the Friendship Festival :-)

From Angie:


I was there, I sweated my a$$ off, but had a great time! I remember bits and pieces of things... some were personal observations and experiences that I'll keep to myself (some compliments are best enjoyed alone... hee hee)

Anyway, here's a few bits:

During "Boss," Jian started his little hip-wiggling salsa way early into the song (normally it appears somewhere around "And tho he pays me minimum wage..."). Of course, all the girls went nuts (ok, I admit it... I screamed a bit too... involuntary reaction)! So, he wiggled a lot, had a great time with the song, and made the funniest comment afterward. Not verbatim, but along the lines of "you know how sometimes when you're singing a song or something how your mind just wanders and you imagine yourself in another place? Well, when I was doing my little dance there during the song [brief hip wiggle to demonstrate], and everyone started screaming and stuff... for a moment, for just a moment I thought I was [or felt like] Ricky Martin! *snort*

Mike and Jian were in quite the mood Sat night (and no, this confectioner had nothing to do with it, didn't get a chance to bake because my friend Carrie had her baby 3 weeks early... Tristan Alexander, the cutest thing!)

Cute little grin from Murray as "his people" shouted a resounding "Way to Go, Murray!" at the end of a song.

I caught a glimpse of Jian reaching up and holding onto his pendant during "Drinking Song," for just a moment, then let go...

I bought one of the new Tank Tops to wear to Toronto on Sun... (with the FruCon2 MF design, very nice!), and Jian paid me a nice compliment before signing it. Jian was wading through the crowd, Murray appeared behind the lattice fence and signed a few autographs from there. Jian made the announcement after the birthday cake was presented that notice _he_ was out with the crowd, while Murray was hiding behind a fence. After he first saw the cake and "Happy Birthday" was sung, Murray says, "Do I get some of that cake?" hahahaha, a man with priorities!

I went to give Murray a hug and said, "...hug, over the fence," he glances down at the fence and says, "hmmm, not the most brilliant idea, was it?" and before I could stop myself I said, "Well who's brilliant idea _was_ it, anyway??" then laughed and apologized, he agreed totally and said, "no, you're right... it was mine." I forget myself sometimes and talk to them like friends I hang with everyday...

Hi again to Veronica and Rachael and Cheesemonkey that I met for the first time, sorry I missed you Lawrence!!! Sorry I missed you Lawrence and chris and Hi again to Drea and Fiona and Paul and Lori and Amy and Chrissy and Wild Bill and Mindy and oh man... the list is waaaaaay too long!

I'll see folks this Sunday at Toronto... and hopefully this time I will be bringing my latest concoction: rum-chocolate ravioli (Murray looked a little frightened at first and then said, well... I will have to sample at least one. I asked him first how he felt about rum, he paused and said, I am definitely Pro-Rum... hee hee).

Guess that's it for now, unless I remember something else.


From Drea:

Sun, Fun and Fruheads - Fort Erie show review

It's been a long four months since my last show, especially after the spoiling that 1998 was for me in the area of frutrips. This was also my first frutrip where neither an airport nor crossing an international border (or both) were involved - a definite advantage to being back in southern Ontario.

The weekend began Friday night when my train arrived in Toronto (early *gasp*) and I met Fiona at Union Station. From there we headed over to the Horseshoe Tavern and caught the first 20 minutes of Fred Eaglesmith's set. (We left due to time constraints, not the music.) As usual we stayed up far too late and went places we definitely did *not* have the bus fare for at 4am *g*

Our little two car caravan (KatieWow, Mike Wood, Marie-Claude and hKatherine in Katie's car, and Rosemary, Fiona and myself in Rosemary's van) arrived in Fort Erie around 5pm, shortly after which we started running into other fruheads. Eventually we claimed spots on the grass in front of the stage in the Stage Murray area and settled in to watch Up With People, the first group of the night. They're okay, but the only truly fun part of the show was the "benefit concert" where music from different decades of this century were played.

After Up With People, a lot of us began to congregate at the barricade in front of the stage to claim our spots for the rest of the evening. Between the barricade and the stage was about 2-3 feet of space in which the bouncers stood, and where a hose (or hoses) were hung just below the edge of the stage, with which we were sprayed occasionally by said bouncers (more on *that* later).

Roach Motel's set was a lot of fun :) The best way I can describe them is "rock with some hip hop thrown in." At least one Frulad appeared to be enjoying himself as much as we were; some of us who were standing Stage Murray could see Jian dancing behind a large speaker near the front right corner of the stage and generally looking like he was having a great time.

While Fruvous' instruments were being set up, the bouncers suddenly surprised us by grabbing the hose(s) and spraying the crowd. Though it felt good (it was *HOT*), it made seeing a little difficult for those of us who wear glasses. Imagine trying to dry off a pair of sunglasses on your t-shirt after bouncing around for an entire opening set, then magnify it by the fact that it's a very hot evening, and also by the fact that you need them to be able to see Frulads instead of Frublurs, and then you can appreciate the problem. My glasses didn't defog until *just* before Fruvous took the stage. *g*

The show itself was really good, with lots of energy but not that much banter. Murray's Fender bass made a reappearance - to quote Mur post-show, "I think the Spector's Y2K...but I think it will be back."

 The setlist (with no guarantee of order in the middle section):
Half as Much
Walking Spanish
Splatter Splatter
Independence Day
Boo Time

Encore 1 - Michigan Militia
                   Dancing Queen

Encore 2 - Drinking Song

Walking Spanish wasn't actually part of the original setlist - Dave broke a string on the electric before the end of Half (which *has* to be some kind of record), handed it to Tobey just as Mike was starting the opening bars of Laika, and quickly told Mike what had happened. Mike then suggested Walking Spanish, during which was the first of many times that evening where Murray came out from behind his microphone to play at the front of the stage.

Splatter Splatter was introduced as being from "the latest of the Scream series featuring Neve Campbell." It was nice to finally hear this one live, after hearing a recording of it from one of the shows last fall :) This was followed by Horseshoes - oddly enough, the last chorus of this song had been stuck in my head for the previous three weeks (don't ask). Apparently the cure for a long-term Fruvous earworm is hearing the song live *g*

Independence Day was next - was it me or did the keyboard part of the bridge sound a little different than the usual arrangement to anyone else? Then a "right wing dictator" was introduced to the people of Fort Erie. "Oh my unspeakable wife Phil Donahue."

Being so close to Buffalo, the guys took great pleasure in bugging the Sabres fans :) It started with Jian talking about the goal/no goal controversy from the final game, and mentioning that Mike had bet Murray about the playoffs. Mike was roundly booed by some of the crowd after gloating he'd won $25 from Murray when Dallas won, after which Jian reminded him just how close they were to the border and how easily the Americans could get to their guns *g* Dave's commentary on the whole thing was that the Leafs would do better once they "get that Kenny Dryden out of there."

Ji's intro to Fly was, for lack a better word, on the bitter side - "How many of you are having a sh*tty summer because of a breakup?" I love the song, but living it twice in a very short space of time means far too many memories, and that intro didn't help things. These things happen I suppose.

Other random highlights: "Way to go Murray!" strikes again during Boo Time - with an ear-to-ear grin in response. The responses to the "monkey" or whatever the heck that stuffed animal was: "I think it looks like me in a racial way." "Its name is 'Monkey' I guess. Who was the Shakespeare who thought of *that* one?" and Jian throwing it back out into the crowd after the show. Seven false starts to Psychokiller. "My crucifixion" and the Elvis-like "turnin' pages." The expression on the face of the bouncer in front of us when the guys started Dancing Queen. The 30 seconds to a minute of the KoS dance mix playing after the show *g*

The bouncers, however, almost ruined the Drinking Song without realizing what they were doing. I noticed the bouncer in front of me reaching for the hose and starting to stand up to spray us mid-song. Pointing at him, I said "No! Don't do it." and received an odd look in response, but fortunately he crouched back down, putting the hose away. Either my "teacher voice" came out or it was louder than I thought, as a "you tell him!" came from somewhere behind me. Trying to explain *why* spraying people during that song wasn't a good idea to the bouncer after the show only got me another "okay, whatever" look. *shrug*

The cake that Amy brought has already been commented on, so all I'll say is that it was delicious *g* One of the best quotes regarding it came from Paul: "Mike cheered for the Stars. This is Mike's head. *chomp*" Post show activities mainly involved consuming cake and all the water or other liquids we could get our hands on, and delivering presents to Jian and Murray. Every time I think I'm finally beyond the point of making a fool out of myself in front of Fruvous...I make a fool out of myself in front of Fruvous. Case in point: talking to Murray. What I was *supposed* to say was "Would you mind if I gave you a hug for your birthday?" Instead, what came out was "*point* You need a birthday hug." OOPS. That gets a high 8 on the DreaStupidity Meter Alex! (Fortunately Murray's a good sport about these things.)

Then a quiet ride back to Toronto (accompanied by a tape of the first Ann Arbor show), arriving at 4:30am, and attempted review collaboration till 6am. Then sleep - which isn't for weak when you're home Lawrence *g*

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