Live Show: 11/17/99


Harrisburg, PA

Reviewed by: Lawrence & Kate

The Details

if you thought Pittsburgh was hard to get around... Harrisburg... it's more one-way than Charleston. And the street we came in on from the highway is one way the wrong way, and then the one that supposedly parallels it back to the highway doesn't have any signs indicating such... so I ended up in some weird part of Harrisburg (somehow I went over the highway and didn't notice) and was terribly lost...

because it's 3am, I'll spare you all the gory details of the show, which was amazing... the sound system ROCKED, and the mix was incredible, especially the bass.

setlist (these are not copied off an official one, I just like abbreviating :)

if only
boss (off mic)
sad girl
boo time
lazy boy
drinking (acoustic!!!)

there were a couple of amazing improvs, too, that I'm sure someone else will tell you about... and hearing the Drinking Song acoustically was incredible... they all stood up in one of the balconies and played, with much audience participation.

ok, so I will make a few comments...

for Spiderman, they started off stage doing an a capella fanfare (that sounded familiar, but I can't identify...), and then going into Spidey, with Mike up in the balcony the entire time. As a result, Jockey had a *very* extended intro while Mike worked his way down to the stage.

during Get in the Car, Dave broke two strings and Mike signaled someone to bring him the other guitar, which he switched to during Mike's solo.

the opener was amazing, too... for those who were in Bowling Green, this was the band that included the guy who played with them on Jockey there... They played for close to an hour (and one of them played a dumbek for one song!), and got a tremendous response from the audience.

Michigan Militia was... the best I've ever heard it. the perfect mix really helped this one, because the bass was *very* prominent, but the banjo was also coming in clearly.

the atmosphere was a little strange, but certainly a nice contrast to the smoky club full of drunk hecklers... the non-Frühead part of the audience seemed to be a considerably older group than you usually see at shows, but they were appreciative...

see you all in Philly. :)

From Kate:


Three months without a Fruvous show is nearly inhumane, I've decided. That's why I was so excited to pick Val up and head to Harrisburg for a show at the *lovely* Whitaker Center.

The place is just gorgeous. Brand new and beautiful, complete with cool-ass light fixtures about the (two)balconies and cushy, impeccably upholstered seats. The stage was spacious and obviously designed for theater; I near drooled over the fly space and three or four scene curtains. I thought I saw more than one scrim too . . . but I digress.

The openers, a trio called Maggie, Pierce, and E.J. played some great, offbeat tunes. I picked up one of their CDs, and I hope they'll get down to Baltimore eventually. I'd really like the see a longer set. E.J., I believe, said that he'd rather be a Frupie (like a groupie) than a Fruhead. I was mucho impressed afterward when Pierce introduced himself to me and pulled out his old Fruhead card to show me.

Anyway, around 8:25 Val and I and a few other people claimed some empty seats at the very front of the room (they had been promised to us if they remained empty until 8:15). The lights went down and over the speakers came the rumblings of something Fruvous and a cappella. Murray, Jian, and Dave wandered on stage singing the beginning of Spidey. No Mike though.

Suddenly, he appeared in the balcony, slinging webs and donning someone's Canadian flag as a skirt. "We brought you the toque, then the toke. Now we bring you the Can-apron."

Spidey led into a great version of Jockey, and Jian segued into Medicine Show by noting that there were places in the U.S. (but certainly not in Canada) where you could have your body altered. After that came one of the best improvs of the night.

Dave began talking about going to see the latest teen horror flick, and Jian somehow picked it apart. It got rambly, and finally Murray said "The segue lurches on." Of course, that became a song. They'd play a few bars of a smoky dirge with those lyrics, then someone would attempt the segue again . . . then back to the song. This continued for a bit, and finally they played Splatter.

Mike then issued a neat, tidy segue into If Only, after which Jian abandoned his mic. "Can you hear me this way?" He had talked earlier about how the average ticket price for a Fruvous show was $15, and that for that you get a $17 show. That was something that Marcy Playground couldn't say. He wasn't sure, he said, that they were ready, though, to play a $20 show (the price of tickets for that evening's performance). So we might just get an $18 show. He suggested (in layman's terms :) that we take something home to make up the extra $2, like a piece of the upholstery, or a lighting fixture.

Anyway, after If Only, Jian left the mic and assured us that we'd get a $20 show. With that, he jumped off-stage. Murray mimicked being old and weary, but then jumped off after him. He was followed by Mike. Dave started the song on-stage, but then joined the others in the stage left aisle. To be honest, this was the *best* Boss I've ever heard. The harmonies were *outstanding* . . . and the human voice is always so much better unamplified.

They hopped back on-stage (with Dave and Mike displaying great dexterity, I might add) and Jian started talking about how he got another free haircut from the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon (or saloon as he called it in his makeover special :), and about a magazine he saw there called Style. He said that a poll of women (or at least people who would have sex with men) were asked what makes a man sexy, and that 79% of them responded that they liked slightly unshaven, rugged looking guys better. This, evidently, was why Jian hadn't shaved in a few days. This led eventually into Sad Girl.

Then Mike told us all how excited they were that they got to be tour guides . . . to a little town called Flesherton, Ontario. Pisco inevitably followed :).

I can't remember if it was here or not that Jian started rubbing the stubble on his face and talking about how he was going to grow a mustache to look more Persian. He then began impersonating an Iranian (I guess) trying to cross the Canadian border into America.

Guard:  "What is your nationality?"
Brown Guy (w/ Middle Eastern accent):  "Uhhh . . . Canadian?  Right,
Guard:  "Do you have anything to declare?"
BG:  "Just some explosives!  I like to see your Secretary of State."
Guard:  "What do you want to see him for?"
BG:  "I just want to . . . talk with him."

Eventually a few of us corrected the gender of his pronoun. "Whatever," he said. "I'm thinking about Alexander Haig and the hostage crisis!"

This led Mike to comment on Madeleine Albright's raspy voice. "There's someone jonesin' for a smoke, eh?"

This led to an extended Madeleine Albright jam. It was *hysterical*. o/~ She's Madeleine . . . smokin' Madeleine . . . o/~

Anyway, regardless of whether that improv was there or not, Indy was next :).

This was followed by Boo Time, complete with Tobey personally delivering the guys' hats to them.

Mike's Minnie notes are the following:

3 mile island
Keystone stylin'
Big pirhanna
IMAX keener
Jumbo screener
Hip Hop Hooray

And the traditional "Smokin' a little boo with the Fruvous crew . . ." Great fun :).

This was followed by Half As Much (always splendid), and here is where my joy finally hit me. I discovered that I'd been smiling so much that my cheeks actually hurt. Like, bad. I turned to Val and told her so :).

Okay, I'm getting tired. Here's the rest of the setlist:

Michy (*huge* crowd response for this one)
Potion (Dave messed around with the amp feedback and was generally

The encores (not noted on Mike's setlist) were Lazy Boy, Get In the Car (Dave breaks two strings and eventually gives up - a house crew member had to get him another guitar), and a lovely rendition of the Drinking Song from the balcony. Not many singing along, but Val and I certainly did.

And that was that. Afterward, we hung out a bit and I got back here to the comfort of my dorm room at around 1:45. A wonderful night altogether. Can't *wait* for Philly :).

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