Live Show: 8/10/97
Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley & ??
Hadn't seen Moxy with home field advantage in over half a year.
I missed the Canada Day show in July, so it was nice to see the guys
back on their "home turf", only blocks away from where Fruvous began.
I attended a bachelor party on Saturday night, which lasted till
the wee hours of the morning. However, I was still able to scrape
myself out of bed, shave my tongue, and get on the road by nine on
Sunday morning. I got to Mike and Kelly's in Buffalo by ten, and
by eleven we drove up and met Laurie at the bridge to Canada.
Laurie and I stopped by Heather's in Toronto to pick her and Katie
up, and the four of us took the streetcar to the festival. The Taste
of the Danforth festival is on Danforth (imagine that), and the street
is all roped off; vendors line the streets selling food of all kinds.
Most of it was Greek food, since the road goes right through the Greek
area of Toronto.
The stage was nestled on a road that intersects Danforth, so the setting
was more intimate than I was anticipating. There were some picnic tables set
up, but a lot of us sat on the pavement. Despite the onset of a little rain
earlier that day, the sun was shining, but thanks to some clouds in the sky,
it wasn't that hot. The humidity was a bit high, but the light breeze
helped a lot.
Around half past three in the afternoon, Tory Chassis (sp?) and his
band went on. Very cool. I saw him last fall opening for Moxy, and was
really impressed. They're getting a CD out soon, and just signed with
a record label.
After tons of technical holdups (not related
to Cal or Moxy), and watching Cal for my first time
get the sound just right, Moxy came on stage a little past five. They played
a fairly long set, considering the fact that normal festival sets tend to
be shorter. The crowd response was great, and they even said that they
felt this was one of the best Toronto shows they'd had in a long time.
Afterwards, Laurie, Heather and Kelly headed to Hamilton to see Great
Big Sea, while Mike, the kids and I headed back home. I didn't pull into
Rochester till eleven (which struck me as odd since we left Toronto
at 7:30, but oh well).
Hello's go out to Melissa, Jude, and Rosemary (whom I'd finally met
after all this time!)
Turns out Moxy will be back in Toronto for Labor Day. Can't wait!!
It had taken the eternally punctual VIA Rail 30 minutes longer than it
have to get me there, but at last I arrived back at my home, Scarborough (or
shall I simply say "Toronto"?). I had made a sudden decision that Friday to
control of my life and quit Ottawa for the weekend so that I could see
perform at the Taste of the Danforth Festival. As usual, the Fruvous Four
let me down.
That Sunday, I met a friend downtown a couple of hours before the concert
start which gave us plenty of time to catch up as well as meander the
where tables of Greek food were set up. The time finally came for us to make
way over to the venue. I was not sure what to expect, but when we got there
knew that this was not what I'd had in mind. The stage was set up in a small
parking lot and in front of this make-shift stage were 4 picnic benches
of course were taken long before my friend and I got there). The rest was
sun-baked asphalt on which the patient concert goers had begun to seat
themselves. My friend and I found ourselves a good spot and plunked
down to wait--and wait we did. We were fortunate enough to be witnesses to
entire set-up of the Fruvous equipment, every mike adjustment, every
test. Finally, after forty-five tedious minutes, the band came out.
The strangest thing happened when the guys came on stage: the crowd stood up.
seemed that to applaud was not the reason for this mass movement; actually,
strongly suspect that the majority of the people there were new to this band.
discovered later that the crowd had not stood up to dance either; I found I
one of the few bouncing around to the beat. All in all, it seemed a most
peculiar group. (I wonder if the guys felt the same...)
As usual, the Four supplied us with a lot of bizarre banter (eg. Why was
still a campaign sign hanging up on yonder wall after the election was over?
After some discussion, the reasonable conclusion was reached that the poster
there so that this man was likely going to try to get re-elected and he was
starting his campaigning early.) I got a real kick out of the stories of
experiences in the States. They were feeling self-conscious about their
"Canadian ticks" such as the word "eh". Every time they did a concert in the
U.S., one of them would inevitably say "eh". The crowds, of course, would
up on this which, in itself, was not a problem. It was the way in which they
drew attention to the Canadianism by calling it out while pointing at the
something which made the band somewhat uncomfortable. The banter that
also included a few minutes devoted to an analysis of Dave's attire, which
included the infamous plastic pants.
Highlight for me: Murray spoke!!! He actually got a fair bit of airtime,
the last concert I went to at Ottawa's National Library where Murray said
There were lots of problems with the sound equipment, even after all the
tinkering in the beginning, but the guys kept their good humour despite it
They laughed off a mild microphone screech which occurred just as they were
start Horseshoes; they put off the song a few minutes and honoured us with
tidbits of songs whose lyrics usually only one of the guys would know (Mike
pulled "Inchworm" out of his hat).
As for the setlist, I could not give it to you in order (had no pen and
Let's see if I can list the songs...
Get in the Car, BJ, GE&H, I Love my Boss, MARION FRUVOUS :D (haven't heard
in YEARS!), Today's the Day We Fight Back, Fly, Michigan Militia, Love
medley, Your New Boyfriend, Johnny Saucep'n, You will go to the Moon,
Career, Medicine Show, King of Spain, Drinking Song (encore)
Seeing these guys is always the most incredible experience. The way in which
they work together never ceases to amaze me. There was a slight mishap which
resulted from Jian's uncontainable enthusiasm, specifically his Tigger-like
bouncing. He knocked over Mike's microphone during one of the songs in which
Mike does the lead and plays guitar. While Jian caught it just before it hit
ground, Dave slipped in to share his mike with Mike. All this happened with
lapse in the singing. It was very nicely done. I was impressed. (Still am.)
So that is my jolted version of the Taste of the Danforth (or "T.O.D." as
guys called it) concert. It was a great time. Funny, I didn't miss Ottawa
Click the description to get the pic:
- Moxy is introduced as having a "grueling schedule", and just coming
off an airplane.
- Lazlo's Career
- B.J. Don't Cry
- Jian, during the drum intro: Hello, friends on the Danforth! It's Sunday
afternoon, there's no room for passivity. You should be jumping, unless
you're weighted down with souvlaki.
- Mike uses his megaphone for the "Now on the street..." section.
- "In 1773, Mozart releases The Magic Flute"
- "every Thursday hit the Roxy"
- Jian, referring to a poster: I know I'm at home when I'm on stage and the first thing I see
is Dennis Mills' face. Everything's gonna be OK.
- Mike: He should take those 4 posters down.
- Jian: He's leaving up the posters for the next election.
- Mike: It's slightly excellent to be playing songs only a few blocks from
where they were written.
- Jian: We wrote them at Mocha, Mocha.
- Murray: It takes a good coffee buzz to write this stuff.
- River Valley
- Get in the Car
- Your New Boyfriend
- Jian, introing the song: But the problem is, my ex-girlfriend's new
boyfriend is a right wing shit.
- Jian: Thank you, fellow communists.
- Jian talks about how Americans think it's cool when Moxy says they're
a bunch of communists.
- Jian: Or during the show we'll say, "It's really good to be here, eh?",
and the Americans point and say "Eh!" "He's living up to the stereotype".
- Jian: It's really hot, so I hope it rains on all of you.
- Dave: It's not the heat, it's the humidity.
- Jian: Dave is not only sporting leather pants, but also Burkenstocks (sp?).
- Mike: Dave Matheson straddles musical categories.
- Jian: I think you'll see Claudia Schiffer wearing that on the cover
of cigar magazines.
- They start the song, but the feedback gets to be a little too much.
- Jian: I think we'll take less of the vocals.
- Mike: Curiouser, and curiouser.
- In the interim, the band jumps into a "Don't you want me baby?" tease.
- Dave: Oh, what an era to grow up in, eh?
- Jian, pointing at Dave, "Eh!!"
- Mike: They're from Canada!!
- Jian: Here comes another aborted attempt to play Horsehoes.
- Murray: There will be a Duran Duran song if this doesn't work.
- Murray: You can tell we've been in America, because we're self-conscious
of our Canadian ticks.
- Jian: Obviously, the economy in Toronto is booming.
- Murray: I think if we had one big city, the economy would really kick in.
- Jian: What a great idea!
- Murray: It's simpler, it makes sense.
- The guys screw around with the monitor mix for a bit.
- Jian says hello to the people in the 'beer garden': Look
at those red-eyed drunks.
- Murray: By the end, we expect one of you to be in the fountain,
fully clothed. But still drinking.
- Dave: Actually, there will be a Macedonian and a Greek dancing
around the statue, arm in arm.
- Jian: Maybe some of you have had, have, or will have, an employer.
Here's a song about working in a dog food store between the ages
of 15 and 17 just North of Toronto.
- I Love My Boss
- "Who knows what ??ziki will be bringing?"
- Instead of "examples", Jian says "Kristina's".
- Jian teases the crowd with the final line of the song.
- Mike: Now a story about voyages, in the spirit of enterprise!
- Dave: Yeah, what Mike said.
- The guys screw around while tuning up their voices.
- Dave keeps putting the mic near the monitor and getting feedback.
- Mike: Go join The Who!
- You Will Go to the Moon
- Jian says he wants to do a song that they wrote about Toronto, and
explains that the CBC used to commission songs from them.
- Mike: Moxy Fruvous is a special billiards move you can do. It involves
eight ball, and a large plate of flaming cheese.
- Murray: It comes from Toronto's first environmental crusader, Marion
Fruvous. She rode a horse and fought corporate baddies.
- The Ballad of Marion Früvous
- Jian and Murray comment on Dave's facial hair during the portion
of the song where Marion (played by Dave) makes her appearance.
- Jian: No more of those old songs.
- Jian: Mike, perhaps it's time for some of your beat poetry while Dave tunes.
- Mike: Any groovers in this square? Today's last night, perhaps we're there?
And grooved and rocked, what do ya figgur? To the groovin' sounds of the Skydiggers?
- Jian and Mike talk about how they missed the lineup the previous night of
the Danforth festival.
- Mike: Acronyms are a beautiful thing, so this year, and in ensuing years
this festival should just be referred to as TOD.
- Jian: I got totally wasted at TOD.
- Murray: This next song is about one of the modern luxuries we have living
in the modern world. If you have enough money, you can change your physical
appearance, and get a haircut while you're at it.
- Jian: You could never do that before.
- Murray: No, they would throw that in, if they did all that other stuff.
- Murray: This song is called, if the guitar is tuned...
- Jian: It's called something else if the guitar isn't tuned?
- Murray: Then it would be called "Satisfaction", by The Stones.
- Jian and Murray do a little jam.
- Dave, confused: This is "Satisfaction" by The Stones?
- Mike: No, it's "Satisfaction" by Devo.
- Dave: It's the strangest "Satisfaction" I've ever heard.
- Murray: It's the bass part, I'm not gonna do the guitar line.
- The Incredible Medicine Show
- Jian: We want to do a political protest song. But it's a good thing,
it's written about what we love about Toronto.
- Jian mentions the mega-city plan, the days of action, and how the song
is about what's special about Toronto.
- Jian: Here's a letter to the Mike Harris government.
- Today's the Day that We Fight Back
- Jian talks about how the coming song is about America.
- Jian: It's always funny when a Canadian band singing about
America gets radio play in America.
- Jian: Like "Subdivisions" by Rush.
- Dave: Like "Ace Ventura".
- Mike: This is an instrument that will take us into the next
- Dave does the tease of "You Shook Me All Night Along" on the
banjo. Jian and Murray join in, and Mike adds some keyboard solos.
- Michigan Militia
- Dave: Seeing as how a lot of this festival is about food,
we thought we'd play you one that's about food.
- Dave: The thing about the banjo is that it really shouldn't
be played in tune.
- Jian: And it rarely is.
- Jian: This goes out to all the people who like to eat on
the Danforth at four in the morning.
- Johnny Saucep'n
- Jian talks about how the festival is winding down, but not before
a visit from a special guest star.
- The guys poke fun at Kim Campbell.
- Jian gets various portions of the crowd to cheer.
- The introduction: "Here comes the story about a guy who when
you mention beer garden, he knows that the real beer garden is about
halfway down Logan, the King of Spain!"
- King of Spain
- During the intro:
- King: Respected and received from Poughkepsie to Pretoria.
- Murray: His shirt matches his hat, and that's a rare occurence.
- Mike: Often referred to as the randy, leather king.
- King: And now I cook the lamb at Astoria...1! 2! 3!
- "There a sky overhead...People!"
- "I introduce to you the Alex Cheese (??) players!"
- Green Eggs & Ham
- During "Not the Beatles":
- Jian: This is Riverdale. There's a lot of 60's people here.
- Jian: The Beatles, man. All those great songs...
- The guys name a bunch of non-Beatles songs.
- Love Potion #9 Medley
- Jian, during the drum intro, thanks the crowd: We think TOD is a great event.
- Jian mentions the coming Mix Beach party show in Toronto.
- Jian: Those of you getting piss drunk, good for you.
- Ohio, Stayin' Alive, Jungle Boogie riff, Who Will Save Your Soul?,
"I've gotta fix that, ahhh!!!", Love Shack, "I'm heartbroken, she's outspoken, that's the
kind of love to keep my love life rollin'", You Oughtta Know, "Would she
go down on Meredith Brooks, that bitch?"
- "Here's a fact that I just heard from the Cantina. That inflated Canadian
thing is full of Red Sina (sp?)"
- Jian thanks the crowd again, and points out the merch tent, "right
below financial services".
- Jian: Today's full of irony, like rain on a wedding.
- Dave: It figgurs.
- An audience member yells "Thorn Hill"
- Mike: Well, this next song is somewhat about that.
- Dave says he thinks that "today's show is one of the best
Toronto shows we've had".
- Jian: There was the show in your basement.
- Murray: That was good until the puppets came.
- Dave: The people weren't as well dressed at that show.
- The Drinking Song
Some other tidbits from the performance include:
- Feel free to help contribute to this section!
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