Live Show: 11/7/99


Charleston, WV

Reviewed by: Lawrence, Ellen & Amanda

The Details

I didn't expect anything truly unique from the Charleston show, given the nature of such shows, but they still put on an enjoyable set of 5 songs, and most of the audience, who probably went in saying "who the heck are Moxy Fr... Fr... Moxy, anyway?" seemed to really enjoy them. They started with Authors and then Boss, I guess to get people's attention, and then did I Will Hold On, Splatter Splatter, and My Poor Generation.

I Will Hold On was introduced as being either "a love song... or a song about unrequited obsession..." but there was definitely something about the way Jian said that that was amusing... and I forget exactly what he said, too.

The stage was set up backwards, so Murray was Stage Dave, Jian was Stage Mike, and so on... it was a little disorienting (probably more so for them :) They also had wired mics, so they couldn't move around at all during Boss or Authors, and Jian had to perform I Will Hold On from behind the drums. So the atmosphere was a little odd, but the show was good, still.

I unfortunately had to leave early (because I didn't plan things very well) so I didn't get to see the reported "all acts" song at the end, where they joined all the other performers to sing a song.

Also, if you ever go to Charleston, make sure whoever is driving is the kind of person who is *always* calm and relaxed. I don't think there are any two way streets in Charleston, which makes it very difficult to find things if you're from out of town, and worse if you're the kind of person who gets unnecessarily frustrated and stressed when lost (like me! :)

From Ellen:

Friday evening: Drive to WV, pitch tent, etc. Saturday: Build a trail. Saturday evening: Eat mexican food, drink red wine, laugh the evening away with friends, sleep hard. Sunday: Be lazy, sit in the sun, drink coffee, climb until about 4PM, jump into the car, drive an hour or so. Sunday evening: Catch a show.

Can't beat that, as weekends go.

I was in the lobby waiting for Amanda and Donna to arrive (I had their tix to this way-sold-out show) when Larry Groce explained how the Mtn Stage taping works, but I understand that the show will air in 2 weeks. Whether that means 2 weeks from yesterday, or 2 Sundays from now, I do not know. I have told you all I know. ;)

As Lawrence mentioned, the stage setup was a mirror image of how it usually is. One of the things I scribbled down on the back of this crumpled envelope was that it wasn't until the third song that Murray actually picked up an instrument.

OK, so we basically got the Hook-'Em-and-Sell-the-New-Album Short Set. They started with two easy crowd pleasers to get everyone interested, then switched to the new stuff. The crowd seemed pretty into it. I heard people around me singing along, and laughing at the right places in Authors and Boss (not that there are wrong places to laugh in either of these songs).

All in all, a good, tight little set. They were in good voice and good spirits, it seemed. Everything was a bit less spontaneous and more rehearsed than usual, which is to be expected, since this show was being taped for airing, like, all over the place, in a few weeks. The improv bits were short, tried-and-true quips. [1]


(short bit about the people of WV looking so beautiful, but maybe that's
because they'd just left OH)
-IWHO (small lyrics flub)
(short bit about the Future of Music-- contrary to what the kids of today
seem to think, the future of music is not bands like Limp Bizkit and
Korn.  It's the accordian.  And songs from Dr. Zhivago.)
-Splatter [2]


ellen (i think that was longer than the actual set)

[1] and I swore to myself I'd never use the word "quip" in the company of other people. *sigh*

[2] man, I dig this live. The album version is nice, but it's so much better live. I scribbled "faster, faster!" beneath this b/c it seems to get faster every time I hear it live. which is *cool*

From Amanda:

Yeah, I know, Cincinatti was actually 11-6.

We arrived at the Cultural Center in Charleston with scant minutes to spare before the show started. Ellen had tickets for Donna and for me; Karen and Sara got on the waiting list. I managed to get a seat in the third row, on what should have been the Dave side.

The host came out, and the On The Air sign went on; we were signalled for applause at the appropriate moments. They did two takes on the intro because somebody fumbled the sponsor's name.

Leo Kottke started things off, he played a delightful set. If you like the guitar, go see Leo Kottke. Period.

Fruvous came out next, with a producer guiding them on as those guys on tarmacs at airports direct planes in and out of gates. The first thing that was strange was that Dave and Murray were switched. This was strange because shortly after I came back from my previous tour, I had a dream that featured a Fruvous show in which Dave and Murray were switched. The venue looked strangely like the one in Charleston, and in the dream I was seated in about the same spot.

It was about that time when I decided it was a good idea that I had come.

I had been hoping for either Earthquakes or Downsizing in this place. The acoustics were nice, and I felt like either one of those songs would have fit the tenor of the program. They started with Authors, then Boss, Splatter, IWHO and MPG.

Quick notes: the guys sounded great in that room, I'd definitely go back to see a whole show in that venue. Not that I'm not biased, but Dave was in particularly good voice. He was mixed way up during the choruses on Splatter, definitely sounded like he was the lead vocalist. It was different.

The audience really hadn't come to see Fruvous, but they were very well received, and I thought that was cool. The guys hauled their equipment off the stage, and Odetta started her set. She began by saying how impressed she was with Fruvous. She was quite impressive herself, truly a legend, she's recently released an album of blues songs written by women.

Two country artists followed: Mandy Barnett sounds like a nouvelle Patsy Cline, she's got a big voice and a really good band; Don Williams is in the Country Music Hall of Fame. I wasn't really into his music, it was just too feel-good for me, but I liked his voice.

I was very surprised when he broke into a song I knew about but had never heard called "Amanda, Light of my Life." It was sweet, in a similar vein as If Only; my Grandma has been telling me about that song for years. After it was over, he led the audience in a chorus, which was also sweet, but I was really glad almost nobody there knew my name.

We went out into the lobby after it was all over, the other Fruheads were pretty much gone. Jian was chatting up Don William's merch gal, whom I referred to as Dawn Williams at one point. She had really big hair. After he told a family who complimented Fruvous' performance that they should come to a real show, I suggested that they make the trip to Washington for the show at the 9:30 club. Then I announced that I was going to hell for such a suggestion. I was relieved to find that Sara and Karen had managed to get seats.

We were about to leave when Donna finally got me to turn around, Dave was lurking right behind me; I was completely oblivious. We talked about the size of the room, and Dave said he wished he had a skateboard. I said it was a little like playing the Kennedy Center.

With hugs and "drive carefully" on both sides, we got in the car, back on the road and drove to Cleveland. Nice ending to a nice weekend.

Thanks to Jordan, Shell, Tonya and John, Sheryl, Donna, Sara and Karen to making it so much fun. It was terrific to see the rest of y'all in Chambana and Cinci: including Drea, AJ, Mark, hKath, MC, Andi, Chad, Joe and Debbie, Kumar...anybody I've forgotten.

It's great to be a Fruhead some times.

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