Bright sunshine, green grass, warm breeze, a huge black dog to play with and Moxy Fruvous on stage. Heaven? Close, Herndon, Virginia. ;-) A small but enthusiastic crowd had gathered in front of the town hall "center stage" by the time I arrived and joined my friend Kathy and the aforementioned big black dog, Bear. June Rich was about half way through their set, so I had a little bit of time to catch up with Kathy and to look for fellow Fruheads. Before long I had managed to find Doug Levy and Sue Weiss, Chris and Mary Ann (who I'd met at the Birchmere), Andy Bray, and finally, after asking everyone, I finally found Dan Carps. Or rather he found me. Also got to see Jessica and Catherine (Soixante) and Melzie and her friend Gil. So before long we were one big, happy jabbering, bunch, trying to catch up on each others doings since Philly Folk, which was the last time most of us had seen one another, (or since May, which was the last time I had seen Dan). When the announcer came out we dispersed to various blankets and folding chairs. I held my breath hoping that after talking to Kathy about Moxy Fruvous for the past 3 months (since she and I started working together, otherwise you can bet she would have heard about them a lot longer! ;-) ) that the show would be great, that she would "get it" and not think me a complete lunatic. Silly me! The show was great, she got it,….. but she still thinks I'm a complete lunatic. Not for following a band around, however, she gets that now, too. :-)
The guys opened with the a cappella version of Message. When they finished, I looked over at Kathy inquiringly and she said, in amazement, "Wow, they are really talented!" Feeling justified, I settled in, a little relieved, to enjoy the show. I know I'm not going to get the set list right, and Dan and Doug will post accurate ones, but the songs I remember were: Message, BJ, jazzy Boo Time, Present Tense Tureen, Johnny Sauce'pn, Horseshoes, Lazy Boy, Greatest Man in America, Michigan Militia, Fly, King of Spain, Green Eggs and Ham (Long version), Signed, Sealed, Delivered, and the Kid's Song as encore.
The Herndon "Forthnightly Library" is situated on the other side of the green within full view of the center stage, and the guys joked about a library where you can only check out books every two weeks. Jian offered that there were in fact 13 other libraries in Herndon and that the library system was set up as a fitness regime, so you could jog from one library to another to get the books you needed. Mike talked about the founding of Herndon, and said he was glad that Jebediah Herndon (?) had fought that bear and won, and established the town. Mike kept talking about bears, and Kathy's dog, Bear, suddenly became very interested in the band's doings. He was quite sure Mike was calling his name and tugged on the leash and looked over towards the stage until the "founding of Herndon" story was over. At one point a little girl held up a placard, which had a picture of Barry (or Larry) on it and "The Kid's Song" and Dave said that with such a cute picture they'd have to play, hence the Kid's Song as encore. The guys also got a little audience participation when another pint sized fan perched himself on the stairs leading up to the stage. During GH&E, at the point when Mr. Cheese offers to share said epicurean delight with Sam, I Am, the little boy yelled "It's too small!" All four guys stopped in their tracks, looked at the kid, then marched over and started talking to him. Jian held the mic closer and the boy yelled again, "I said it's too small, there isn't enough for all four of you!" The guys cracked up and Jian finished the song, but joked about trying to finish when you've lost the song's momentum. The boy chimed in again at the tail end of the Kid's Song, causing Jian to ask for a teleprompter so he could remember his next line.
In the category of clothes, hair and accoutrements… , well, hair really, or the lack thereof. Dave hasn't any. Yes, folks, following some sort of perverse logic ("hmmm, it's getting cold out, maybe I should shave my head to keep my hair from trapping any warmth this winter") Dave shaved his head today, in time for the show. Guess that long drive from Champaign got to him and he just had to do something. Sue told him later "You walked out on stage and I thought, hey, what did they do with Dave and why did they replace him with Michael Stipe?!?" So, perhaps we can expect an array of brightly colored woolen caps as winter sets in! And in the clothing category, a bright red, satiny looking bathrobe has been added to the props for GH&E, goes remarkably well with Mr. Cheese's bright yellow scarf. ;-)
For those of you who follow these things (Chad ;-) ) Murray is playing the old bass with all the stickers on it, if I remember correctly, it is a Fender. Nice to see it back for nostalgia's sake, but I do miss the wood one.
As always, it was great seeing so many fruheads and having a chance to chatter after the concert. Doug suggested that those folks who are planning on hitting the Baltimore show next week get together for pizza before hand (the Brick Oven, right, Doug?). So if any one else is up for that, drop me an e-mail and we'll arrange a meeting place. Zard will be back from France by then and will be absolutely hyper for a show. :-) And with any luck my plane home from Memphis will be on time and I'll be there too! Until then, safe journeys!
(Oh, yeah, if any of you are wondering, Kathy is now the proud new owner of Bargainville. ;-) )
From Doug Levy:
HERNDON, Va. - (Oct 12) - I knew I was in the right place when I saw "Fruheads Rule" written in chalk on the street leading toward the Herndon Folk Fest site. Perfect weather and a pleasant suburban surrounding added to the experience. Lots of kids, good music and mellow people enjoying the Sunday afternoon. Though the performers that led up to Fruvous were very good (Dan Bern was a lot of fun. Recognizing that there were many children around, he entertained them with "I've Got Big Balls" after joking that he almost got arrested at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. His set also included a moving song about the Oklahoma City bombing. But enough of the others! Fruvous was the headline act and let the crowd know right away they were worth waiting for. The audience was captivated with the opening, the a cappella/gospel version of "I've got to get a message to you." And the energy just built from there. Here's the set list: I've Got to Get a Message to You B.J. ("Now he hikes the Himalayas But he'd rather jam with Wolf Blitzer") River Valley Get in the Car Horseshoes Lazy Boy Boo Time ("Smoking a little sage on the Herndon stage") You Will Go to the Moon The Greatest Man in America Fly Michigan Militia Present Tense Tureen Johnny Saucep'n King of Spain Green Eggs & Ham (full version) Signed, Sealed and Delivered Encore: The Kids Song The abundance of little ones let to some extra ad-libs in GE&H and the Kids Song... actually seemed to throw the band off a little bit but it sure looked like everyone was having a good time.
I was sitting next to a couple of folks who clearly hadn't ever seen Fruvous before... and it was fun watching them react. They were cracking up during Greatest Man and really got into the rest of the set. This was definitely a gig likely to recruit some new Fruvous fans. And for those of us who already knew what to expect... a wonderful afternoon. A good Fruhead turnout, too. I'm lousy with names but the Philadelphia contingent was in full force.
From Dan Carp:
Sorry that I have been so lax in finding the time to post my few comments about the Herndon Folk Fest. Time has been short and work has been long and hard, so although newsgroup posting is in my top 3 priorities, the two that edged it out (passing my classes and slacking) have been monopolizing my time. So with that said, here are my few additions to what has been said about Herndon.
Sitting behind the wheel of Jess's car with Jess in the passenger seat and my friend Jill (a Fru-newbie) was just wonderful- the only thing I get to drive here in Philly is this huge 15 person econovan, so driving a car is heaven! To get to Herndon was supposed to take a little over 3 hours from Philly. It took 3.5 because we took some interesting turns on the way (not to mention the bathroom stop- what could I do... with 3 people in a car, guaranteed *somebody* would have to go). But when we got to the fest the trip was instantly worth it! The sun was out, it was warm, the smell of Chinese food filled the air (and boy did it taste good), and once within earshot, the sounds of Dan Bern were inescapable. The three of us planted ourselves towards the front of the green on a blanket and got comfy for the show.
Dan Bern was really entertaining. As was previously mentioned, he had a lot of political/satirical style lyrics, most notably in my mind was the song about the Oklahoma City bombing, his closer. And from what I understand, he really was being "PG" this show due to the number of families and little kids (although I have heard that this hasn't stopped him before). After he finished his set, I went over to Cath and her friend Jessica, said my hellos, wished her (Jessica) a happy b-day and returned to my home away from home away from home away from home (yeah... brainfried- an all nighter can do that sorta thing to you) for June Rich.
June Rich had a really pleasant sound to them. The whole time, I couldn't help but think about how if I had been hearing them on a recording, I could easily confuse most of their stuff for Indigo Girls music. It was so relaxing that I fell asleep for a good 15-20 minutes (sleeping in the sun, listening to live music- could it get any better?!?). I woke up and took a look around to see what was happening. I had to look twice towards Marcus because I thought, but wasn't sure, that I had seen Chris T standing there. Sure enough, it was none other, so before she knew what hit her, I had snucked up and pounced her. After the exchange of greetings and introductions, I returned to enjoy the rest of June Rich's set.
At the end of their set, the Fruvous crowd gathered in a corner of the green to say hellos... myself, Jess, Cath, Chris, Doug Levy, Melzie, and a number of others whose names are lost in the archives of my memory. Sorry! So we all got really excited in anticipation of the upcoming Frujoy and the second the announcer came on the PA, we all scrambled and found our seats.
Fruvous came on (fashionable late- about 20 minutes or so) showing off the new hairstyles. The lesser extreme was Jian who (I don't know what the technical term would be) highlighted (?) his bangs. But the shocker was Dave who (as has already been mentioned) shaved his head to the skin! It was really quite a shock, but I didn't have long to be thinking about it because they went right into the new a cappella "Message". I don't know exactly what I was expecting... probably something like Murray singing the funky bass line that he had been playing, but what they did was awesome... you could tell from the beginning that the guys were very happy with what they had done! Of course my adrenaline was running high through the whole set, but the next moment of joy came for me to hear Lazy Boy. To hear that and then the new Boo Time just completely overwhelmed me- that was my undoubtedly satisfied point- had they stopped, I could have been *very* happy at that point. Luckily, they didn't stop and continued to play, doing such regulars as Michigan Militia and J. Saucepan. They reached King of Spain and muich to my delight, stopped at the end and then did the full version (another first for me) of GEaH. I don't know if there is really that much more to it, but it just looked like they were having so much more fun with it. IMHO, the short version was getting a little 'normal' but doing the full version made it all new again! Not to mention the little boy at the end who had his moment of glory when Jian gave him the mic and he said (about sharing the green eggs and ham) "It's not big enough for the 4 of ya'!" They closed with Signed Sealed Delivered which to me summed up the high energy that they had been displaying the whole night- very upbeat, happy, and the crowd seemed to love it! It didn't take much prompting to bring the guys back, thanks to the kind lady on the PA "YEAH!!!! That was great!!!! I KNOW you want them back for one more!!!! Come back on out guys!!!!" (yes, the exclamations are fitting and truly don't do justice to her enthusiasm) Thanks to the prompting of the kid in the crowd with the "Kid's Song" sign, the guys did Kid's Song as their encore. It was hilarious as always, especially when they forgot their lines at the end of the song (took 'em a few tries to get it straight)! Just a wonderful performance in all aspects- the bantering, the joking, and of course the playing!
After the show, Murray was caught for an interview, but Dave, Mike, and Jian were all out and swarmed for autographs, pictures, etc. I gave Mike a late birthday present (a Spiderman PEZ dispensor) and got a couple of pictures as well. Dave commented that he figured the best way to fight his balding was to just shave it all off! And Jian especially was in a great mood after the show. He was out talking to everybody that he could find and was happy to talk about the ng, the new songs, the tour (and how well he thinks it is going), and about everything. It really made the show worth it to have time to hang out afterwards with the whole crowd (the friends, both fans and band). Finally around 7PM we dragged ourselves away and hit the road. The 2 girls fell asleep and I made it home in a little over 2 hours with the company of the Beatles, EFO, and BFF.
All in all an incredibly great day- exactly what I needed! Not to mention I am another step toward earning that toaster: my friend Jill bought Bargainville and when she spoke to her bf she said, "So how was your weekend? No- nevermind! I have to tell you about *MY* weekend!" Let's see how many I can drag along to the TLA!
I originally wasn't even going to post, but for some reason I am.. I usualy write a lot of unecessary details and leave the important ones out. Well, here goes.
We got there around 12:30, and the first person I ran into was Doug Levy. We talked for a bit before Jessica and I split up from my parents and wandered off the the bathrooms (hey dan! *4* people in our car and we didn't stop! na na).. I started talking to some guy down there with a fruvous pin, and he told me there was a part of the street where sidewalk chalk was set out for kids to play with, and how some fruvous related stuff was written.. So we went there and I drew a nice big budgie dog and Jessica wrote something.. Then we went back to the bathrooms 'cause I ran off in a hurry to draw pictures before we got to go. We started talking to a group of three girls(everyone was so nice and friendly!), who we took their picture of them with Mike later on for them, after the show(heh heh).
We wandered for a bit before we settled down front and center by the stage, during Karen Savoca's set. Jessica and I were wearing party hats in honour of her b-day. Jessica yelled to Karen "I like your shoes!" and she said "I like your hat" and some other things.. Karen Savoca was okay, and Dan Bern was great! I saw him at PFF, but it was really hard to get into because it was a workshop and there were a bunch of other performers on stage, too. We both bought posters and got them autographed, and Jessica got the CD. Then Dan Carps and Jessica came by and we chatted for a bit, before going over to bother Murray, who had been sitting out on the grass for Dan Bern's set. We wandered off for most of June Rich's set, and after it we went over to Marcus, talked to people, I got myself some stickers and Jessica got everything but YWGTTM. We went back over to our blanket to get ready for Fruvous and my parents came wandering over to sit with us for it. I was talking to Jessica while they were setting up, and my dad said "Hey look, somebody's bald." And I looked up and was kind of dumbfounded. Dave had shaved his head, as mentioned several times before.
I loved all the new and changes stuff! I posted the setlist earlier, so I
won't say it again. "Fortnightly" was the word of the day. I hadn't seen the
full GE&H with costumes and props since that fateful day(heh) my family and I
were sitting in a hotel room in toronto 5 years ago when we stumbled across a
certain channel with a certain band performing a certain song... I got a
picture of Mike attacking the "it's too small" kid with a hay bale :). My
father kept saying all day "we're not going to stay after and hang out."
But, you'll never guess what we did.. So The first person we talked to was
Jian, and I introduced jessica and got her pic with him, and later I felt bad
because he came over to me and was like "Hi! how are you!?" all nice and
enthusiastic.. and I was like "Great! this is Jessica.." I felt like I kinda
brushed him off....ugh(Sorry, Jian). We made the rounds.. Taked to Mike
about all sorts of stuff, and Dave asked me about the crossword puzzle.
Jessica had pictures with all the guys and had her party hat signed. You
know, it feels kind of strange to walk up to them and they know who you are...
Some other tidbits from the performance include: