Live Show: 9/24/99


Pinawa, MB

Reviewed by: Josh & Koogle

The Details

Robin Attas wrote:

Hello Fruvous fans!

My name is Robin and I've been a huge MF fan for at least 6 years. I have been fortunate enough to have helped bring the band to my hometown twice, my town being Pinawa, MB and the most recent concert being Sept. 24. Anyway, I've been lurking around on this list for the last few weeks because I noticed that there were some serious Fruheads at the Pinawa concert and I wondered what their impressions were of my town and of the concert itself. So, if you're out there, what did you think?

Well, I'm not sure if I count as a 'serious Fruhead' seeing as I didn't come in from out of the country or even out of province, but having attended both the Pinawa show and the previous night's concert at the West End, I did notice some substantial differences.

First of all, there's that whole EMCA (Eastern Manitoba Concert Ass'n) thing, which guaranteed the first six rows for season ticket holders. While I can't say I disagree with that policy, it did change the concert dynamic drastically. The people at the front were obviously not just casual concert-goers, but more likely a lot of them were not really hard-core Frufans; if you have season tickets you'll go to pretty much every show. There may have been some really rabid fans up there, but I don't know for certain; for the most part they were either older people or family groups, and quieter than the WECC crowd. As a result, the more hardcore fans were pushed back to rows 7 and back, and I think the band had less energy to feed off.

Secondly, the location. In a high school gym, to be specific. While this was novel, and made for some nifty lyrics ("King, how are you such a genius? There's a basketball overhead, and food on our plates!"), the acoustics suffered somewhat. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the West End, which recieved ringing endorsements by both Fruvous and Tory Cassis as a "great room".

Now, there's also the demographic issue which I sort of mentioned before. Pinawa was more family oriented, with more younger and older audience members, and a lesser concentration of hardcore Frufans. The audience was also, dare I say it -- more conservative, both big-and-small-c. I couldn't help but notice a few Darren Praznik signs left from the election a few days before. The references to the election were fewer and far more neutral than at the West End show; no "Greetings, emancipated Manitobans!" or long diatribes about their hopes that Gary Doer wouldn't "sell out" like Bob Rae.

Actually, on the whole, I think there was less banter at Pinawa than at the WECC; the band played a more standard, "safer" show, so it kind of lacked some of the quirks that make their show great. Well worth catching both shows, though.

And as for your fair town, well... sorry to say it, but it kind of freaks me out. I mean, driving for an hour, passing a few small towns, into the Whiteshell wilderness, enjoying the scenery, and then Bam! you're in this weird suburb-like environment, only with no real downtown, just nicely landscaped streets and big houses, though there was almost no one outside. Mind you, it was 6:30 when we got there, but still... spooky.

On a few side notes, I have a setlist for Pinawa that I forgot to post, so I'll try to get that one up, and were you on the Pinawa Secondary School Reach for the Top team by any chance? If so, I have some serious avenging to do. In any case, have a good one.

A long time coming, but regardless, here's the setlist:

You Will Go To The Moon
My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors
Assiniboine River (improv)
River Valley
Get In The Car
I Love My Boss
Pisco Bandito
Minnie the Moocher
Present Tense Tureen
Johnny Saucep'n
I Will Hold On
My Poor Generation
Splatter Splatter
King of Spain
Love Potion #9 medley (alas, no Tory Potion #9)
    (Ohio, Stayin' Alive, Save Your Soul, Thank U, Barbie Girl, Love Shack)

Gulf War Song (off mic; Mike was a bit off ;))

From Koogle:

Pinawa was the last show on my tour through the upper midwest, I came in from my home in Washington, DC. Unlike Josh, I was completely charmed by the town, and thought the show was terrific. Yes, I should have posted a review by now, I'm working on it, but have been frightfully busy trying to get together after some inconvenient hardware problems, plus catching up at work.

It really didn't bother me that the first few rows were subscribers, since I can often be found draped over a monitor up front. It was a nice change being a little further back. The acoustics weren't the best, but the enthusiasm of the crowd made up for it.

The great thing about the Pinawa show was being in a room full of people who were hearing some of the songs for the first time. That was truly special. I realized yesterday that at this time last year, I'd seen Fruvous exactly twice. Over the past year I've seen a lot of shows, yes I've lost count. The politeness with which both Fruvous and Tory were received was impressive and refreshing.

It was a very different show than the one the night before in Winnipeg; the guys worked very hard, and I thought Mike and Dave had particularly good nights. The two things that stand out the most for me during the show were:

--During Minnie, the Energizer bit actually got a laugh. In my notes, I wrote it this way: "Energizer gets a laugh!!" Mike really worked the crowd during the call and response, and it paid off by the end.

--Despite 30-some-odd shows in the last 14 months and more King of Spains than I can count, Pinawa was the first place I ever really heard Dave's vocal. It was really pretty cool.

I did like Pinawa, it seemed peaceful. As an American, I wouldn't know about local politics; I saw only nice people who were enthusiastic and polite. The fact of seeing a favorite band in a high-school gym was fairly surreal, but in a good way. The guys were up to the challenge that audience presented.

The only thing I have to compare the show to was my sixth show, last November in Wilmington, DE. It was held in a Unitarian church with amazing acoustics, but it was also part of a concert series. They played a really different, folkier setlist that night, opening with Early Morning Rain and closing out with the Gulf War Song.

Like in Pinawa, there were nervous titters at the amusing lines in the GWS. You never get that in a room full of Fruheads. The harmonies were stronger in Wilmington, fused with a sense of reverence about the place and the meaning of the song, but I was left with a similar feeling that I had seen a wonderful thing.

Been a long time since then, seems like more than a year. I'm glad to say that I still leave most shows very satisfied.

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