Live Show: 6/18/95


Alexandria, VA

Reviewed by: Paul Sabourin

The Details

This isn't really a detailed concert review; just a strong recommendation to run, don't walk, to see Moxy Fruvous if their current tour comes anywhere reasonably near your area. They appeared at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA this past Sunday, and put on a great show. I've seen them 4 times now, and have never been disappointed.

For those who don't know, Moxy Fruvous is a quartet from Canada (The Official CASA 51st State) that, though not a cappella, place a strong emphasis on vocal harmony, have a hell of a lot of energy, and are just plain good. They use pretty spare instrumentation (snage drum, guitar, bass, accordion, occasional percussion), and do perform some a cappella tunes (so any purists out there won't be completely satisfied). I don't know that I'd call them folk, though their sond tends toward the acoustic, and many songs are of a leftward political bent; more sort of an acoustic rock/folk/semi-pop/ vocal group. Hell, that doesn't do it, either. Anyone help me out here? They're just good, damnit!

They played a healthy mix of songs from "Bargainville" ("Stuck in the 90s," "King of Spain," "Spiderman," "River Valley," among others), as well as a number of tunes from their upcoming album (due in about a week in Canada, later in the states), several of which they have played for a while ("Fly" comes to mind), others that were written for the album (sorry, I didn't catch any titles except for one called "The Present Tense Tureen," or some such). They also played some concert favorites they haven't put on an album yet ("The Greatest Man in America," an "ode" to Rush Limbaugh; "Ash Hash," which I don't think they put on their new album; "Jockey Full of Bourbon," a Tom Waits cover that they segued into their own tune, "Darlington Darling;" and their "Dancing Queen/Walk on the Wild Side/Angel of Harlem" medley).

Conspicuously absent was their notorious rap version of "Green Eggs and Ham;" it was requested, but they said that they don't do it anymore, as they're really sick of it (been performing it for 4-5 years now). They said they even had a ritual burning of the costumes. Actually, while the song *is* fun, it had been getting progressively sloppier and less enthusiastic each time I saw it, and I didn't really miss it.

They've added a few more instruments (keyboard, banjo, a bass drum), and everyone seems to switch around on their instruments more than they used to. They were also unprepared for the enthusiasm of the crowd, which called them back for 2 encores. They weren't sure what to sing, so they took a couple requests. Thanks to a number of native Canadians in the crowd who were apparently longtime fans, they did an a cappella tune called "Cross Border Shopping," about shopping in Buffalo, which was quite funny. They also did "Gulf War Song," apparrently quite a rarity in concerts. (At least in DC concerts)

Well, this went on far longer than I intended it to; one less cup of coffee in the morning for me. I guarantee that you'll enjoy the show if you go (and I am not one to issue guarantees).

Paul "Long-winded Boy" Sabourin

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 1995 page