Live Show: 9/27/97
Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley & Zard Snodgrass
I would definitely have to give this show another WOW!!
Saturday morning Chris Traugott headed for a wedding, so Zard,
Jo and I grabbed some quick breakfast and left Ottawa together
by one in the afternoon. Despite some bad traffic near Ottawa,
we managed to make it to Burlington by five. We checked in
to our hotel, and grabbed a bite to eat at a wonderful seafood
restaurant down the road from the venue.
Burlington is absolutely beautiful, and we were right on
the water. We headed to Club Metronome, where we met up
with Jenn. Doors were scheduled to open at six-thirty, and
did so quite punctually. We walked upstairs to the concert
area, and after some delays due to setup, they let us in
so we could grab some floor. Dan and Jered popped in
The opening act, Hammel on trial, went on around
7:30. It was one man and a guitar, and was, ummmm, different.
He was very in-your-face, very loud, very brazen, but,
all things considered, I found him entertaining. He's apparently
joining Fruvous for a bit of the tour. Before the end of his
set, he sang 'Happy Birthday' to Mike, who joined him on stage
Fruvous went on at approximately quarter past eight, and played
a very similar set to the one from the previous night. The turnout
to the club was somewhat skimpy, but I was very surprised; the audience
got right into Fruvous, sang along, and was just a great audience. You
couldn't even tell that there was only 100 people there at most.
Here's what was written on one of their setlists:
After the show, we stayed around for a bit, but the band didn't
hang around long. We danced for a while, then headed to a small
coffeehouse down the street for a snack. Chris joined up with us,
back from her wedding, and chatted till about half past midnight.
Jenn, Chris, Zard, Jo and I headed back to the hotel for some much
needed rest, while Dan and Jered drove their 648 cans of Coca-Cola
to New Hampshire on their way to the Maine show the next night.
Sunday morning we all said our goodbyes. :-( Jenn headed home
for Connecticut, Chris for Ottawa to catch a flight back to D.C.
while Zard flew directly out of Burlington. Jo and I left Vermont
at noon and made it back to Rochester by half past five.
What a great weekend. Two really amazing shows, great friends, intimate venues
and beautiful scenery just make for a stupendous time. I would do
it all again in a heartbeat...
From Zard Snodgrass:
Chris T. had to leave early the next morning to get to a wedding in New
Hampshire, so Chris O and Jo and I drove on down at a reasonable hour (yes,
first time I've ever felt rested after a Frushow!) to Burlington, and after
finding the venue and the hotel, got a yummy dinner of lobster bisque down
by the shores of the former "inland sea" of Lake Champlain (when the seas
receded after the ice age, and the glaciers had formed the gouge of Lake
Champ, the gouge was filled with sea water. Eventually, the glaciers
melted and they and all the rivers feeding in, turned it to a freshwater
lake. See what you can learn from a place mat?!). Standing in line at the
venue, we met up with Jenn Penfield, as well as John and Leandra, who were
victims of Fruvendipity - they were travelling around that day, heard about
the show, and managed to find out what state the Metronome was in, and
cruised up happily! We saw Dan and Jered passing by, bragging about all
the coke in their trunk (that would be: 684 -or thereabouts- cans of
Coca-Cola with real sugar!! not corn syrup!! that they had imported from
Canada). Hey, we all have our things, with Chris and me, it's CD's and
Smarties! The venue there reminded me a lot of Valentine's in Albany - a
low stage, small floor with a bar, and another attached barroom with a pool
table. A good venue - intimate. For Hammel on Trial, lots of folks sat
down on the floor, but everyone jumped up to get ready for Fruvous.
Burlington was set-wise pretty much a repeat of Ottawa (who's
complaining!!?? Not I!), except that they finally skipped River Valley (if
you lurk here with any regularity, you'll remember me griping about it -
even though I love the song, it's nice to give it a rest...) - it was on
the set list, but right after Video B. Jian said "Car" to everyone, so they
skipped right over River and went straight into Car. And there were
assorted Mike birthday shenanigans - one where he jumped straight into the
crowd, then went dashing through, gave out a few hugs, and then went
running back onstage. Horseshoes was an encore, and Mike got a
"birthday-boy's-choice" selection, for which he picked "Alison" by Elvis
Costello, after doing his crazy birthday dance! (And Hammel on Trial,
during his set (which I actually enjoyed, at least some of his less punk-y
tunes, and he was pretty funny, although I don't think I'd invest in a CD)
sang happy birthday to Mike, too!)
After the show, we hung out for a while upstairs, waiting for Chris to
show up after her wedding, and had the joyous occasion, as it was 80's
night, to hear Michael Jackson's Billy Jean, and have a group of about 8
Fruheads all singing along, but cutting into Lovefool at the appropriate
time! :) After a rousing chorus of YMCA, we finally went down and out to
get something to eat and wait for Chris outside.
Voila! Wish you all could have been there, but I think this is a taste of
sets to come, and I wish you all the best you can hear! I'm a contented
little Fruhead, heading off to a long work trip with a nice set of shows
behind me, and some good Fruhead bonding accomplished. Enjoy!
From The Southern Vermont Review (Vol. 1 No. 20. Sept. 24 - Oct. 7, 1997; pg. 10):
The early show at Club Metronome on September 27th
features Moxy Fruvous. Moxy Fruvous has been playing
folk festivals all summer long, yet their album sounds like Leftover
Salmon meets the Monkees. Better figure it out for yourself.
From Seven Days (Vol. 3 No. 5 September 24, 1997; pg. 8):
EH! EH! EH! Not every band that goes platinum in Canada causes
a stir south of the border. Moxy Fruvous might change that - even
though they don't neatly fit any radio format. Starting with its name,
this quartet is determinedly wacky. Like New York colleagues They
Might Be Giants, Moxy favors three-minute '60s-flavored ditties
with humorous lyrics and a knowing wink at pop-rock traditions. The
Moog or Wurlitzer spin one mood, the banjo and accordion quite another.
You'll have to experience the Moxy, fruvously, yourself - this Saturday
at Metronome. The one-man explosion Hamell on Trial opens.
Click the description to get the pic:
- At first, there's no house music playing.
- Jian: Usually, there's music playing, that's why we're confused.
- The house finally starts some strange music (very new-agish,
like something you'd hear on Hearts of Space)
- Dave: I didn't realize that it's the theme from Planet 9.
- At this point, Murray isn't on stage yet.
- The guys call him a "sneak" when he finally comes on stage.
- Murray: It's submarine music. Amazing world beneath the waves. Explore
the life of the sea anenome and the blowfish.
- Murray intros the band: Let's have a hand for a band that is very
pro anenome, Moxy Fruvous!
- I've Gotta Get a Message to You (A Cappella)
- Poor Mary Lane
- The guys do a bunch of instrumental stuff before starting the song.
- Jian: That was called 'interlude'.
- On Her Doorstep
- Jian: This is our first time ever headlining in Burlington!
- Jian: Who's from Vermont? Vermontonians?
- The audience objects.
- Jian: Oh, I'm sorry, Vermonters. Aparrently, I didn't
ask the right question. How many are Vermontists? Vermontophiles?
- The audience answers with a bunch of different responses.
- Jian: This is not a difficult question. When people ask me where I'm from,
I don't say 'Iran'. It wasn't an ancestral question. How many people, for even
a short time, are residents of somewhere in this state?
- The audience cheers loudly.
- Murray: Finally, the right question. You see, these residency issues
are something you should sort out on your own. We shouldn't have to do all
- Jian: No, the lesson was for me to learn.
- Murray: The question 'Where are you from?' is straightforward.
- Mike: The question is 'who slept here last night?', and who makes a habit
of sleeping in this fucking state?
- Jian: And how many people slept with someone who slept...
- Murray: How many people had to cross state lines?
- Dave: Is this one of those all-sex states?
- Jian: Vermont is very puritanical, isn't it? I tell ya, the border
police here are the toughest.
- Dave: Does that mean there's a lot to protect in Vermont? Are there
a lot of drugs grown here?
- Jian: They don't want Canadians coming in and taking their drugs.
- Mike: That explains the state motto, "Vermont...the good stuff".
- Michigan Militia
- Dave: They really love that one out in Detroit.
- Mike, in a funny voice: They say, "That's my career they're talkin' about!"
- Murray: They say, "We'd like to discuss that song with you out in the parking
lot after your set, if we could".
- Dave: Here's a song that nourishes all of us.
- Mike sings a quick little "food, that indigestable..." number.
- Johnny Saucep'n
- A guy from the audience: Ya know what, you guys are fun!
- Dave: Thank you sir, I'd like to talk to you after the show.
- Jian: That's a fruvous virgin.
- Mike, singing to the tune of "Duke of Earl": We are the dukes, dukes,
dukes, dukes of fun..."
- Jian: We are the ambassadors of smile.
- Jian and Murray argue a little bit when Jian starts talking about how
nice the venue is.
- The guys try to resolve the situation, making various statements to each
other, all ending in a 'question mark'.
- Jian: I'm just feeling a lot of tension?
- Jian talks about how the venue has some "snazzy elements" to it, but
also how it looks like the place that they all hung out at for the Young
- Jian: If you're gonna have an insurrection, you need a good place to meet.
- Mike leads the boys in a quick tease: "Stand tall for victims of oppression..."
- Dave: I can't get an insurrection if I think about it too much...
- Jian: How many people have a stereo that rocks? Any time you hear
'stereo rocks', you just have to scream.
- Lazy Boy
- Boo Time (Jazz Version)
- Mike, intro, audience call and response: Hoot owl noises.
Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.
- Mike: That's right, sometime you need a little help in this world.
Little bit of Caffeine at the right time, gets you through the evening.
Sometime you need something else, a little Tom Collins? Sometimes a little
something *else*? When it's the right time... When it's the right time...
- Mike does a couple more audience call and responses with nonsensical noises.
- Mike & Dave call and response: Bilbo Baggins. Frodo. Thanks for the handoff...Gandalf.
Have another pancake, mandrake.
- Mike & audience call and response: Feelin' fine. Eastern Standard time.
Philly estate (??). Just can't wait. To see what's there. Ahh, don't be square.
Roll up the spliff (??). Don't say if. Chowder folks. Scream like folks.
Get down and boogie. Oogie woogie noogie.
- Final improv line (repeated 4x): Happy as the rain on Lake Champlain!
- Jian: This is place is so intimate. You guys are almost on the stage.
- Jian: The planning starts here, man. We meet in Burlington.
- Dave talks about how, soon, there will be no room left on the planet.
- You Will Go to the Moon
- Murray and Mike discuss Murray's comment that YWGTTM is a "distopic" song.
- The guys start the next song, then Dave realizes he played the opening
chord wrong. They start again.
- Mike: We all secretly knew in our minds that there was a problem.
- Jian re-intros the song a few times.
- Dave and Jian comment on how the people real close to the stage can hear
the monitor mix.
- The guys do a quick impromptu number for George, the guy doing the monitor
mix. "George the sound guy..."
- Dave: George, put some friggin' guitar in my mix.
- Mike: We sing him a song, and then...
- Ash Hash
- Dave talks about The Point, a local radio station.
- Dave: But it doesn't compare to the station totally devoted to relationships,
WLUV. Whenever I'm feeling blue, the theme perks me up, 'cause I know I'm gonna
get some damn good advice on how to keep that girl.
- Your New Boyfriend (Slow Version)
- At the end, Jian: His new girlfriend is...hot.
- Fell in Love
- Mike and Murray talk about Mike's birthday.
- Murray: It's your day. It's woman's day, as Peter Gabriel would say.
- Mike: Isn't he awkward in that video? (Mike makes a bunch of jarring motions
while reciting the lyrics)
- Murray: He didn't have to dance in Sledgehammer.
- Murray talks about how the next song is about a modern luxury, getting
fat sucked out, getting your chin enlarged, etc...
- The Incredible Medicine Show
- B.J. Don't Cry
- Jian, during the drum intro: I want to thank the person
in the back who was singing along to that last song. We don't often
look in the back.
- "now on the scene, it's Genesis"
- "Buddha and a brush"
- During the accordion solo, Mike says something, but it's inaudible.
- Mike uses his megaphone for the "Now on the street..." section. He selectively
removes some of the words from this spoken solo.
- "every Thursday hit the Roxy"
- "reflected in a dome...but he'd rather jam at the Metronome"
- Video Bargainville
- During the intro, Mike (speaking): It's astounding.
- Jian: I want to share an opinion. That's why I'm in the band, so I can
- Mike: Welcome to Point, Counterpoint.
- Jian talks about how he was in the bathroom, and looking at the graffiti,
and how he feels they should legalize righting on the walls in the bathroom.
He asks the audience who's written or responded to writing on a wall.
- Jian: Isn't seeing something profound on a bathroom wall the coolest
- Jian talks about how if writing on the wall was legal, and if pot was
legal, then people could use it for it's good use.
- Dave: Then we wouldn't see "Stan gives good blow jobs" on the wall.
- Jian: But that's useful.
- Jian and Dave talk about other rude things they've seen on walls.
- Dave, talking to the audience about how strange
the band's conversation is going: This is just the tip of the iceberg. Get
in the band with us.
- Murray shares the 'best piece of graffiti he's ever seen': Humanity
is only as strong as it's weakest link...and that person is Peter W. Burns.
- Get in the Car
- Jian, during the drum intro: This is called 'Get in the Car', or for
Lady Di, 'Don't get in the car'.
- Dave finally responds to an audience member who's been yelling "Dave-O!" all
night: Who's my number one fan?
- Grunge of Spain
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered
- Jian, during the drum intro, thanks the crowd, and explains how they
weren't originally sure about playing in Burlington. He thanks George and
Hammel on Trial. He also plugs some of the upcoming shows.
- Green Eggs & Ham (Full Version)
- Mike brings Murray onto the stage with a variety of introductions.
- Jian: Free love for those Vermonters.
- Jian notices his fake accent has mutated: I don't know why I'm speaking
in a Russian accent. When we were in Leningrad we had this problem.
- Murray: Sam has been left bitter by his experience as pope.
- During "Not the Beatles", Jian: There's a lot of 19 year old's looking
like 1967 here. Not that that's a good thing.
- Jian cites various 'Beatles' tunes: Surfin' Safari. Johnny Be Rotten.
- The guys do a quick tease of "Goodnight Sweetheart".
- Mike, in an English accent, speaks some highly modified lyrics from
a song I don't recognize.
- The guys do a tease of "Champagne Supernova".
- Jian: That's what they wrote!!
- Jian: Ya know, it's not easy being in a band.
- The audience moans.
- Jian: But sometimes you have to spend your birthday away from the ones
you love. We want to say Happy Birthday to the youngest member of this group
in spirit, and the mid-aged member of this group in reality.
- Murray: He was the first member of the group.
- Mike runs into the crowd, hugging various audience members.
- There's a cake waiting on stage for Mike, and the guys start singing
- Jian: Mike Ford, 30 years old today!!
- Mike blows out all the candles on his cake.
- Jian: You get to sleep with whoever you want, for blowing out all those
candles. And not just members of the band...
- Murray: Mike, can I have some of you pie, I mean, cake?
- The annoying audience member yells out "Gulf War Song!"
- Jian rolls his eyes: Can we just enjoy the birthday for a second?
- Mike: When it's your birthday, you just have to take some liberties. Well,
Fordy, that's what they call me, is gonna cut a rug, bust a move?!? Who wants
to see some dancin', eh?
- Mike does some crazy dances with the help of musical accompaniment.
- Mike sings: I used to be shy, I didn't go out much, I used to be afraid
to touch myself. I used to be crazy... There was someone in my bed, it was me, I was dreaming,
I fucked myself...
- Jian: This is a Moxy Fruvous version of a stag party. The three of us play
while you get to sing whatever you want.
- The audience yells out various requests.
- Jian: I think we should let Mike pick.
- Mike: Let's just start from the top and do the whole show again.
- Murray, imitating a famous movie personality, but
I can't remember who: Mike was such a trooper. On his birthday we did a full set and
then repeated the whole damn set. Not since the great Al Jolson...
- Jian: Mike's choice is apparently an Elvis Costello song.
- Murray: And it's a snowball, so girls ask the boys.
Some other tidbits from the performance include:
- Feel free to help contribute to this section!
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