Back again to tell the tale, the tale of a faithful voyage from Indianapolis to Bloomington to St. Louis to Decatur and back again for work at 8am on Monday morning.
Needless to say the Decatur shows were great and wonderful conclusions to a beautiful weekend of Frudom and travel across the midwest (thought that last hour drive back to Indy was really hard). I've gone from loosing my Fruginity Thursday night to getting a button from Marcus Saturday night. Woo-hoo.
Decatur? Where the heck is Decatur? Well, it is in the middle of Illinois, about an hour from Champaign/Urbana (the great Shampoo/Banana - home of 20 gazillion college students and some people crazy enough to put up with them ;). The guys played the Decatur Celebration there. What were they celebrating? I have no idea. Maybe it was the 12 inch sticks (the best 12 inches of meat in the midwest) or just the corn/soy beans of it all. But the Button King was there and that made it a celebration I guess.
The first FruShow was at 7pm. Andy and I got there around 5:30, with no fear of having Andy relegating back to the car for an under 21 show, since it was outside at a family show. We walked around for awhile and finally asked an orange vested pair where the "Goodtime stage" was. They said "Are you looking for Three Dog Night?" and I went "Um... no. Moxy Fruvous." They pointed across the way and said, corner of Main and Main. We said O-kay and started crowd drafting our way toward the future Frusite.
When we got to the goodtimes stage there were a couple people there already, sitting and playing cards and some guys from Chicago. We met some people and generally made conversation and sat patiently. The sign said Moxy Fruvous, the now-familiar Ontario van with the luggage pod on top was parked nearby. It was time for patience.
The show first show finally went off at I don't know what time. From talking to people, it was a good Champaign contingent there (I can't wait until they play Champaign during the year... that should be a cool show).
They kicked the 7pm show off with BJ (hookah and a brush and something about Magna bank because there was this neon bank sign behind us (in front of them - stage forward?)) and then went into River Valley. Afterwards I tried to make a set list with some help from some guys from Chicago and some other people from Iowa. We kinda got it a little hazy in the middle, but good otherwise, and I wrote down the 2nd show list immediately ;).
There was fan from Sullivan (illinois I guess) that had made a caricature of the band, for the band. It got some good conversationing going and Jian talked to the audience guy for awhile. They had a lot of Decatur talking which was hilarious. And a lot of Canada stuff (we got one tank. If all of you at this show got together you could probably come and kick out butts. The queen might try to fight back. Send in the airplane!).
There was also a private impression lingerie show or something. Dave enjoyed that one a lot. Overall, the early Decatur was the best Murray show I've seen. Murray had a lot of great lines and laid down the groove very well. I hadn't noticed the fuzz box that he uses on a couple tunes like Green Eggs. It was great!
No encore or anything for the first show. I dunno if everyone was just content with staying around for the second show at 10 and would wait patiently until then or what. After the show, I talked to Mike a little bit. He liked my Wallace and Gromit shirt and pointed me at another fan that had one on too. I gave Mike a pseudo hard time about last night when he told me that they have hard times making lyric changes up fast. But he busted fit Kazoo and Washboard Band into a song and if that isn't skill I don't know what is. And I'm not even talking about all the lyrical improvising genious that arose in the second show. Andy and I stopped by each of the guys and talked for a second, but we were just waiting for the second show and they needed to get out and do stuff.
Wondering about the second show? That is whole 'nother post entirely
The late Decatur show was great. The audience was very involved. I knew that this show was going to have to last me until Fall, and it won't, but has nothing to do with Fruvous.
Andy and I walked around for a bit before the show (and after the last one). We checked other stuff out and got Andy's Wood CD liner notes from the car. (speaking of the car, I forgot Get in the Car from the set list for the early show.. it was third) and walked back trying to remember the set list so I don't look like a rambling fool when I write this (doesn't work though ;). We passed by a latin percussion group and an Elvis impersonator. But we were content with sitting in front of the Frustage and waiting.
We met the Iowa people and three (or more maybe) guys from Chicago and another guy that I didn't talk to as much. Together we hammered out what we thought might be close for the early set list. Then the chicago guys played Egyptian Rat (or at least it looked like Egyptian Rat - card game) and we sat around and talked. We ran into two guys from the college I used to go to (in Terre Haute Indiana) and that was weird. Andy had talked to one other their friend over the cam.68k.org (or something like that... I dunno, I just listen to things) and Andy said that Fruvous was playing Decatur. Well, I guess word got around and these two guys showed up.
We chatted with Marcus a little pre-show. He fixed Mike's Conga drum Mike three times during King of Spain in the early show. He was laughing because he had no idea what he was doing. He said that there was thing grippy looking thing and it wanted to be turned. He didn't know if he tightened it or loosened it, but he turned it. We told him he should get a button or something for going on stage three times. Together we thunk up a scheme for getting Marcus cool stuff. He felt he should get more if he gets to talk, kinda like on TV you get paid more in a speaking part. Maybe a beer if he fixes a Mike stand. Stuff like that.
Some little guy in a Metallica shirt came by and asked us what kind of music this stage was. We didn't know how to answer it. I told him they are my favoritest if that would help any. He stayed and enjoyed himself a lot. That was pretty funny to me.
We waited for the show and the Chicago guys sang Gulf War Song quietly to themselves without the third part. They tried to get everyone to do Drinking Song to welcome the band, but nobody went for it (saved it for later ;).
The second show ended up bigger than the first show. People probably heard from around the festival about the crazy Canadiens. Jian said they were going do a complete set of Alabama, but they backed out. The second set opened with Darlington Darling and on into BJ. You could tell that the crowd was really into it and the band fed off that. There were a lot of lyric changes and the whole things was just so energetic.
Dave had his bondage pants on again. Black plastic, glistening in the night. He was introduced as Mr. Six Degrees of Separation, Kevin Bacon (crowd member: We loved you in Tremors, Kevin!).
Mike was called upon a lot. Spiderman came out and did his thing. ([Dave and Murray talking amongst themselved] Spiderman is a registered trademark of Marvel comics... who are bankrupt so I guess we can just do the song. Yeah, Marvel is gone... now you just got things like Spawn. To be into comics now you have either be into gothic, or animation. [Mike kicks in] which is kinda like claymation (I had a Wallace and Gromit shirt, I remind you, so I went screaming crazy ;). Mike then proceeds to lead the crown in the saying of the word claymation (in the proper way of course)).
Grampa Fruvous was there too (that guy that looks a whole lot like the Spiderman guy) and then Lou too. Mike did Minnie the Moocher and improved whole verses. It was incredible. Good crowd sing along and lots of made up stuff to repeat. In the middle we got serenaded with some Fruvous scat before it went back into Minnie.
They talked about how they were billed as the Canadien Rock stars, Moxy Fruvous. Dave toyed off into Hendrix styled Star Spangled Banner and then off into Shook Me All Night Long before they settled down and did Michigan Militia.
They seemed like they were going to close the same as the early show with King of Spain (with lots of changed lyrics - ooohh... forgot about something in the early show: In the beginning of King of Spain, there was this CB that came over the speaker really loudly and freaked everyone out. Jian was joking before about people who were in the back of the stage to look at Murray's Ass and if they wanted to see his ass, they should just ask. Anyway, the CB broke everything up and they had to restart King of Spiain - sorry for the discontinuity).
Anyway, Mike hyped up and introduces the special guest star of the night (after many other special guest stars of the night), Murray Foster, the introduction master. Murray stepped up and mumbled through Dave's introduction. Equator obviously rhymes with Decatur, so when Dave started that one, Jian forwent the normal lyrics for a "We all know where this is going".
Green Eggs and Ham went off great. And everyone screamed for awhile before what we knew would be the end of the set. Dave switched up instruments, making wonder what they were going to play, and broke out into Tom's Diner (you know, do do-do do do-do-do song) into Abba's Dancing Queen and went through a medley there. I've never heard Jian say Dig it before.
They closed and that mayor (who was talked about before as the guy with the nicer Decatur celebration shirt that anyone else had - Mayor: You guys put on a great show earlier Jian: Hey nice shirt! You heard us? Mayor: Yeah, I'm the mayor Jian: Oh, the mayor.) they talked about before said a few words before all the screaming brought the guys back for the encore. We got Billy Jian medley and they were really surprised how much the crowd was singing (before one of the vocal only (I didn't wanna spell acappella wrong) a couple people in the crowd picked up the pitch from Murray's pitch pipe and the whole crowd went with it). So they did Drinking Song and everyone sang and was happy.
Afterwards, Andy and I still had a lot driving to and had had some long days, so we just talked to the guys a little bit and wished them well and we would be waiting until they get within striking distance again in the Fall.
Oh, CeeCee, if you are still reading this, I do have to admit that they did say that they in fact hate Florida. There some people from Iowa and the guys were happy people came all the way from Iowa. Being from Canada, Iowa just seems really far away. Iowa is just like Florida. Well, not just like Florida. We hate Florida.
Anyway, that was the conclusion of my all things Fruvous
weekend. I dunno if I met any of you, but I ordered my
button (thanks Vicky) and look forward to seeing more
of you at great Fruvous gigs for years to come.
From Shawn Harkness:
I wasn't planning on going to the Decatur show, but changed my mind Saturday afternoon. Once of the best decisions I've made in a while.
Did I say both shows were great? Can I say it again?
Having never been to Decatur, I had a map to get there, and knew they were playing on the "goodtimes stage" Not knowing where you are actually going, and having 3 hours to show time and a 3 hour trip ahead of me just makes the road trip that much more interesting.
Once I arrived in Decatur, it was easy enough to follow the crowds and find the "Decatur Celebration" And I had about 25 minutes to spare. I got wrong directions to the stage the first time, and walked to the opposite end of the festival. The second time, everything was cleared up when they told me the stage was at the corner of Main Street and Main Street. I'm not making this up. But I was finaly able to find the stage, with a couple of minutes to spare.
The first show at 7pm attracted a pretty good sized, and enthusiastic crowd. There were plenty of Fruvous fans there (mostly from Champaign, 45 minutes away, and a few like me from Chicago). About half the crowd seemed new to Fruvous, which was also good. People of all ages.
The guys were pretty psyched up, and put on a great show. The crowd loved them. Among the highlights... the jokes about one of the food vendors, "Sweet Meat Stix". They served what was basically a steak Shish Ke Bob, without the veggies. No big deal. But their slogan, and again I'm not making this up, was, "Best 12 Inches in the Midwest" So you can guess where the jokes went from here.
There was also someone who drew a great caricature of the band. This provided plenty of banter material. Despite all the jokes made, it really was a good drawing. They left it on stage for the rest of the night, for everyone to see.
Another highlight for me was the woman translating the band into sign language. Not that sign language itself is funny, but it was amusing to see the confusion on her face trying to translate some of the lyrics. Jian was standing next to her during part of "I Love My Boss' trying to duplicate the signing. Running through my mind the whole time.."there's one song she'll never be able to do." Then they did it. Johnny Saucep'n.
She was with them for about the first two lines, and then gave up laughing. Afterwards, Jian complimented her for trying, and said she should have kept signing food.
For the second show at 10pm, the crowd was at least twice as big. Word must have spread that this was the band to see (we've known that for years). The banter was probably the most localized of any show I've seen so far. Afterwards, the Myor of Decatur even came on stage to say how great they were (he even watched them during the first show).
They played a couple of songs in the second show that they did in the first, but it was pretty much a different set. They even played the "walk on the Wild Side/Dancing Queen medly, one of my favorites.
They seemed genuinely surprised that they were asked to do an encore by the crowd (although it helps when the mayor gets on stage and says, "Lets bring them back out on stage for another bow.") I think they won a lot of new fans in central Illinois.
Needless to say, I'm glad I decided to make the road trip there for two of the best Fruvous shows I've seen.
Its been four shows in four days, 2 stamps, 2 cities. But I'm
definitely heading to Milwaukee tomorrow for stamp 6 and my T-shirt.
Some other tidbits from the performance include: