I'll be the first to admit that at the time of this concert, I wasn't exactly what you would call a die-hard frühead. I had been to one other show about two years prior to this in my hometown of Chatham ON, and the only album I had was Bargainville. My brother had a copy of Wood, but I had only listened to it a few times. But still, when I found out that Moxy was going to be in Thunder Bay the day before the Canadian Jamboree started (a big huge Scouting-related event at which I was a volunteer) I was thrilled.
After some smooth talking, I convinced my brother Chris (also a CJ volunteer) to drive me there. We found out the general vicinity of Harbourfest and Chris dropped me off at an intersection near there. He agreed to pick me up at about midnight.
There was only one problem. Like I said before, I only knew the general vicinity of the show. I got kind of lost while I was looking for it. It was about 9:50 and the show was starting at 10 so I was getting kind of worried that I would miss the beginning and not be able to get a good seat. Then, all of a sudden, I saw Jian walking down the street. Although I wasn't sure what his name was (remember, I was only a fledgling frühead), I recognized him as an MF band member. I figured that since the show was starting in 10 minuets and that Jian would know where it was, I got myself un-lost by following him the venue. Sure enough, about a block later, there was a nice outdoor stage. Jian went in the back way and I went around front. I managed to snag a pretty good spot (and an even better one later on).
I'm guessing that about half of the crowd there were also CJ participants or volunteers. Mike was doing a sound check when I arrived. After the first song (BJ Don't Cry) Jian introduced Mike as Moxy Früvous's newest roadie. The show was incredible. It was the first time I had heard some of the songs like 'The Incredible Medicine Show', 'YWGTTM' and 'Green Eggs & Ham'. 'I Love My Boss' was so funny that I almost started weeping because I was laughing so hard. I absolutely loved 'Today's The Day That We Fight Back'. Along with the new stuff I hadn't heard before, they also did a lot of stuff from Bargainville that I was familiar with. And one or two from Wood. During 'Rivervalley' at the part ?. . . he's my friend from Boy Scouts . . . .? the many Scouters in the crowd started cheering.
Part of the way through one of the songs, Murray's bass stopped working. A little box with wires coming out of it kept falling over (I trust this isn't too technical for the average layman reading this). They called a guy up on stage to draw on the knowledge he has learned in the Scouting program and duct tape the box thingy down. While he was doing this, someone else from his contingent jumped on stage and gave each of the guys one of their contingent badges. I could have kicked myself for not bringing my own crests with me and missing such a great trading opportunity (if you're not in Scouts, don't worry if you don't understand that last part.)
Later on, Jian was talking about when they first arrived at their hotel in Thunder Bay, and he was really dog-tired. He turned on the tube at 1:00 and there was a story on one of the news networks about the Martian probe that had just landed on the red planet. The news guys announced that at 2:00, there would be the latest pictures of Mars sent from the probe. From then on, ever few minuets they would remind the viewers that they should stay tuned for the brand new pictures from Mars. It was like, Oh boy oh boy, you can't miss the Mars pictures! Jian said that he got really interested and excited. With all of the building up to it, he figured the pictures must be of some cool little green alien life form. So, despite being very tired, he stayed tuned to see the wonderful pictures form the Martian probe. Turned out they were pictures of a fucking rock (his words). It was like something out of Charlie Brown's lunch box. Mike's theory was that they didn't really have a probe on Mars. All NASA had done was shoot a Tonka toy down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and take pictures of rocks to entertain the masses. the whole spiel was a great lead into You Will Go To The Moon.
After a beautiful encore of 'The Drinking Song', I bought a purple YWGTTM tee shirt and a copy of the B-Album. Overall it was a great show.
I crawled into my tent at CJ at about 12:45, never mind that I was supposed to be up at 5 am to help serve breakfast for the CJ staff (actually, I got up closer to 7) Later that day Barenaked Ladies played at the opening of the Jamboree. I got to see two incredible shows in as many days. Cool, eh?
Like I said, I wasn't a die-hard frühead at the beginning of the
concert. But I sure was by the end of it. And the moral of the story
is that you should join or support Scouts Canada. (just kiddin?)
Some other tidbits from the performance include: