Live Show: 11/16/99


Pittsburgh, PA

Reviewed by: Lawrence, Donna & Mike

The Details

Just got back from Graffiti's, where Früvous were excellent and the audience was... not so excellent. lots of drunks being rowdy and continually heckling them. the first time is funny. after about 10 times it gets *really* old.

not to mention there was someone insisting on fondling me during Michigan Militia, while I insisted on looking forward and seeing the band...

anyway... the set was... interesting, to say the least. there were about 8 songs that they did in February, and all the rest different.

Video Bargainville - dance remix, usual "sometimes a guy just wants to dance" intro.

BJ Don't Cry - I was surprised to hear this. I heard the intro and wasn't quite sure whether it was going to be Splatter Splatter or BJ, but it was good... the last line had something to do with the Steelers (apparently they are unaware that the football team's name in Pittsburgh is actually pronounced "Stillers" :) Also, one of the accordion straps was broken, so Tobey brought a chair out and Dave played this one sitting down. (they fixed the strap later)

Improv - "The people on the left... the people on the right..." Intra-Pittsburgh rivalry... LONG improv about the balcony setup at Graffiti's - there are left and right balconies, and a floor in the middle... they separated the people into groups... (like last time :)

Half as Much - what is there to say about Half as Much? I've heard it a LOT recently... I like it, but that's about all I can really say.

Independence Day - haven't heard this one in quite a while. Very well done. Love the harmonies.

Sad Girl - Another one they didn't do in February. Some topic distracted them and it took a while to get to it for some reason. I forget what they were talking about.

Lazy Boy - about a guy from the other side of the border who just sits around...

King of Spain - with the usual intro - there aren't a lot of Früheads in Pittsburgh, so there were a lot of newcomers. But they did the whole intro thing, although before the ending, Murray asked if he could leave, because he actually wasn't curious, having heard the ending before.

Green Eggs and Ham - short version, a little bit during the Beatles part... Mike making some weird noises for the "look what you did to him!"

Boo Time - a few local references, but falling back on "Smokin' a little boo with the Früvous crew" for the repeat. still fun.

It's Too Cold - surprise! but appropriate, given the weather here. :) lots of people in the audience seemed very appreciative of this one.

Splatter Splatter - different from the last time, that's for sure. in February it was the fast version with piano and electric guitar.

You Will Go to the Moon - it's good to see this one coming back. Enjoyable for those of us who have seen them a lot, and definitely something good to get the newcomers into things.

Misplaced - that's right. Misplaced. Introduced as being played "twice in the last four years" but with a much shorter story than Annapolis, and an alternate title given as something to the effect of "I fucked up. It's my fault." No violin this time, but Mike played harmonica and Dave was at the piano. Jian forgot some of the lyrics, but that's ok. It's still a wonderful song. (although it was strange for those of us in the front who could hear the guitar amp directly - the electric guitar was oddly loud)

Present Tense Tureen - for the second verse, Dave just stopped playing the banjo due to sound issues, and it sounded interesting. not as empty as one would expect without the banjo, either. (also, it was met with many cries of "BANJO!" from the hecklers)

Johnny Saucep'n - intro about food, lots of audience participation

River Valley

Get in the Car - always a fun combo.

Psycho Killer - ugh. too much heckling during the quiet intro. what can I say? it was the end of the show. people were drunk.

First encore

it turned out that someone in the audience was there for their birthday, *and* their name happened to be Tricia, and her people were shouting her name and they introduced the song saying something like "We knew... we've been waiting for it..." and played Michigan Militia. During the song, her friends lifted her onto the stage, and she, seeming quite drunk, didn't realize that she wasn't really supposed to be there....

Next encore...

I Will Hold On

My Poor Generation - this is a great way to close the set. And a good transition for these two songs.

Hmmm... this isn't much of a review, I guess... I think from now on, I'll just post setlists if they haven't been posted already. I can't ever think of that much to say about the shows that's worth a whole post... :)

so, uh... I'll see everyone in Harrisburg and Philly, I guess. :)

From Donna:

Man, I fuckin' hate Pittsburgh.

It's not really the town itself. It's not the people. It's the fucking layout. I've never not been lost in Pittsburgh, and Tuesday was no exception.

So we (me and Karen and Mark and Sara) slid into the venue (after parking in some guy's driveway... he said it was OK) late. Our ears peeled for familiar sounds, Mark says "Oh, we're not late... and they're playing Guster!" But as we picked up tix, the lads took stage, and we slithered stageward just as the lights went up. If you must be late, that's the way to go, I guess... but I'm disappointed we missed the opener.

So Lawrence already wrote all about setlist and comments, but I really wanted to write about how the band related to everything.

If I never hung out in Pittsburgh except to see Fruvous and judged the population of the city on the crowd, I would think Pittsburgh was full of drunk, obnoxious, rude, inconsiderate, self-centered people.

I know there were/are exceptions, and I love each and every one of you.

But I really felt that the guys, coming back from a week off, were happy to be playing. They had terrific rapport with each other, especially. Jian kept cracking up over the antics of the other guys, Murray was hysterical, and I've never seen Mike and Dave have quite that much chemistry.

During "Disco Bargainville," where Murray gets to show off the bass, he did that whole "Oh, no, it's nothing really, thanks, no, really, but, it's too much" pose.

My roommate thinks that Murray's line of the night was when he and Jian were talkin' about something, and Murray points at Mike and says "I'm with Mike." We think it was during the intro to Sad Girl, but we can't remember, and if anyone knows what the heck we're talking about, please help.

There was some amount of banter before PTT, Mike doing a little improv about the Banjo, and Dave and Mike sang "If only he could tune it" at the same time, and Dave looked at the audience and said "We didn't rehearse that. That's just how well we know each other." :)

Dave also did a little of Chopin's "Death March" [you know: dum dum da dum, dum da dum da dum da dum] on the banjo, and they were joking about how hearing the Death March on the banjo either made you wish you were dead, or made the thought of death a little less scary. :) Jian commented that it might be nice to have Dave play funerals "He knew the guy. He's only $50."

During KOS, "There's a balcony overhead" "This is my beat!"

Dave asked if we were curious about the epilogue, and Murray said that "Some people already know the epilogue." Dave asked Murray if *he* was curious about the epilogue, and Murray said "No, I'm one of those People." Then, during the "Ask King Questions" portion, is when Murray asked permission to leave, as Lawrence wrote about already.

Now, during GE&H, the "Not the Beatles Break," while Jian, I mean, Sam-I-Am was abusing Mr. Cheese, Murray slung the bass back around his back, so it's hanging behind him, upside down, rolls up the shirt sleeves on his black t-shirt, folds his arms, and does his best impression of "buff angry white youth." He stood there, full of attitude, for a few minutes while Jian continued his tirade--[Jian having his back to Murray.] Dave, finally, laughing, says, "Will you ask your friend if he can sing that 'Buhbudda buhbudda buh bum' [ala Bowzer from ShaNaNa] song? I love that song." Where Jian turns around, and cracks up. Dave threw some other abusive comment at Murray, who, chastised, quickly rolled down his leaves and meekly returned to his mic.

And Mike's impression of some prehistoric Shaggy, and did a little improv of "Oh Carolina," during the "Never mind what you've done to all the ex-hippies, look what you've done to HIM" break.

"Oh, my unspeakable wife, Queen Lisa" "The Fifth Teletubbie!" And Dave did some beautiful Teletubby impressioning.

Lawrence forgot to mention that River Valley was followed by "Get in the Car," and instead of the "Twist and Turns" verse, we got to hear the "You fill me with big emotion" verse TWICE.

And Yes, Misplaced. How very, very nice. One of my favorite songs, and I haven't heard it in years. I liked the little small acapella break. Jian did drop the lyrics at one point, and looked like he was beating himself up over it. Misplaced is a beautiful song, and we know the words, anyway. :) Besides, it shows that they don't just go into automatic pilot, and don't just churn out the same thing night after night--if they did, he wouldn't have missed the lyrics. It's the art of the live show. :) It was very nice to hear.

Oh, and no, because there was so much banter between Mispalced and PTT, it wasn't jarring at all.

Mike, Jian, and Murray all came out to chat afterwards. I was so tired, it felt much later than it was.

Lawrence gave us beautiful directions back to the freeway. (Thanks!) But then the freeway went the wrong way (Why would you go East to get back to Cleveland?? Pittsburgh engineers are fucked!) Eventually we got home, I was exhausted, and mis-read a sign, and parked somewhere I shouldn't have. I have felt the wrath of the police, and they towed my car. I've never been so messed up in the head as I was walking to where my car was supposed to be, and having it not be there. Then I had to figure out how to get to work. :P

While I won't say that it was an extraordinary Fruvous show, it was really a big blast, and I'm so glad I went... school day or not, Pittsburgh or not. :)

From Mike:

Rammalamma cats and kittens...

Time for another "not quite a review" concert review from your's truly, the AMERICAN Michael Wood.

Now, MIND you, the OTHER Mike Wood DOES have better health care AND is taller but, what the hey.

So here's the skinny: Figured I'd get out of work at 5 instead of 6 so I can get to GRAFITTI early, get a decent seat, have a few beers, whatever. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. I manage to smuggle myself past the border at 5:45 and hook up with Bauhaus. We're supposed to meet the Angel Lizzy (first timer) at about 6 and the bus ride to the venue would have taken about 25 minutes...So we grab a good old yellow cab and hit the road. Got there, paid for our "tickets" (which was actually a mark on your hand denoting if you were ABOVE or BELOW 21).

Met up with Amy and her three friends (let's see here)...MegHan, Mia, and Ashley (leopard skin gloves...killer). We stand on line, play a quick game of hopscotch and finally are let in.

Now, mind you, all the while I (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT) I was handing out copies of the new Fruvous mini-comic I did based on "Splatter Splatter". Reaction was pretty good...I decided to, much to the chagrin of my over 21 companions, take a seat in the UNDER 21 section...Now, see, Grafitti has never been my favorite place to see a show...Just don't dig the seating but the under 21 seats are actually the BETTER ones to sit in. Said hi to a few of the regulars (Troy and his family, the Short One..minus the Tall One, god help us..It's unnatural...And B and M, designers of the new fruvous logo) and the show began.

NOTE: I had given Toby (sup man?) some comics to give to the boys...Had no idea if they got them...At that point.

Now, as always, the boys were on TOP...I, as you may recall, NEVER keep track of playlists. I'm just not good at it. but i CAN tell you that the selection was WONDERFUL...Lots of stuff from "Wood" (MISPLACED for god's sake...they ACTUALLY played MISPLACED). This show, I must say, was better then the last time I saw them here...They were in the middle of recording THORNHILL then, I think, and had TONS on their minds. This time they cut lose and LOOKED like they were having a blast.

THEN it happened.

Good GAWD.

They began to introduce the next song and Mike said something like "This is going out to a local cartoonist named Mikey Wood".

That's FRIGGIN me! The MAN himself actually mentioned my name ON STAGE! Do you know what this does for a single guy?

My eyes teared up.

After that, it was a blur. So I leave the ACTUAL reviews to those who paid more attention.

I needed to BASK one last time...Forgive me.

You rock.

See you all soon.

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