'Kay guys and gals, Fruvous ventured as close to my home as they get, so nothing would stop me from heading down Indiana 37 to Bloominton to see a show. I made plans to meet with Andi (Fitzer, Louisville woman, truck owner, and apartment mover-in-er) for dinner. On the way, I was switching CDs and had just seen a sign for the Public radio station in Bloomington so I started playing around the dial on teh radio only to find acappella Message coming through. It was so weird hearing Fruvous on the radio. I only caught the end though. They were joking about the Fire House the station was housed in and the interviewer (whom I later met) asked them if they were gonna redo A Hard Day's Night. The guys joked about how they'd have to decide on the first chord first and started joking around in accents.
I got to the venue at 5:30. This was the first time I've ever repeated venues in non-consecutive times. Finding the place and everything was no problem whatsoever since I've done it before. This was the place of my deflowering experience July 31st. That seems so long ago *grin*
Andi was no where in site outside. She is resourceful, so I figured she might be inside, but I get sidetracked by the door. In the middle of southern Indiana there is a Nields poster!! That usually means good things. Upon further inspection, the Nields will be playing Second Story December 5th! Woo-hoo.
As I was starting at the door, the Frulads came out to go rest a bit at their hotel. I asked the guys if they had seen Andi and of course she was inside. So, I went up and found her and we talked for awhile while Cal did wonders with the sound. It is amazing seeing to listen to Cal tune in the system by going huh at difference tones and saying things like "take 4db off 16k" and then listen to the resulting show. Andi and I talked for awhile about what has been going on in our lives and enjoyed some Murray cookies (that would be cookies made by some company named Murray that Murray offered us, making them doubly Murray cookies I guess). The guys came in after a rest and did their checks and ran a few pieces of tunes.
I talked to Ed Hammel (that would be Hammel from Hammel on Trial, sweaty bald guy, you know?) for a bit. It was hilarious to see him joking around with the guys making Canadian jokes and stuff.
Andi, Cal, and I went out to eat after that. We wandered over to the Trojan Horse which is a greek restaurant. It was really good. Murray and Jian were inside too, but Jian ended up going somewhere else. We all had a really nice meal, including flaming cheese. Yes, that's right, flaming cheese. Andi got carded upon ordering a ginger ale too *grin*.
We got back to the venue and caught the second half of Hammel's set. People really enjoyed him. They were mostly attentive and groaned at the jokes. We got snail jokes and a joke about Jian. You see, Hammel said his new challenge to himself was to be able to have a joke for all occasions. Someone yelled out Moxy Fruvous and he started to balk, but came through in the end.
Okay, you get a transcription of an Ed Hammel joke for all of you going through withdrawal:
[paraphrased of course]
One day, there was this elderly couple. They were wandering around the park in Syracuse NY on a lazy afternoon when they ran into a guy visiting from out of town. The tourist was really nice actually and started making some conversation.
"Hi. Nice town of Syracuse you have here. I've really enjoyed it"
The old man nods. His wife is a little deaf though. She looks longingly at her husband and screams "What did he say?"
"He said he likes our city" he screams.
"Oh" she screams back. "That's nice"
"Yeah," the guy says, "except last night I had the worst piece of ass I've ever had in my life"
The old man nods smiling. His wife looks again at her husband and screams "What did he say?"
Her husband looks back and screams to her "He says he's met you"
Followed of course, by groans from the audience and Ed Hammel proceeding to tell them "Hey, F*** you" which just makes the crowd cheer for him.
After Hammel's set, Andi and I moved up to the front of our front table. The venue is more or less a small bar. I'd say it is the same size as the Mercury Lounge except instead of a concrete floor and no seats, there are maybe 12 tables strewn across the room. There is this step up to the bar area which is lit with red lights and the section is separated by a railing. There was also a moat in the front. About 15 feet of floor space between the stage and the nearest table.
Between sets, I went over to talk to Josh Woodward. I had seen him wander in during Hammel. We invited him over to sit with us and talked for awhile. He had come in from northern Ohio to see the show. Steve (who teaches in Central Indiana) was there too with some others he brought. He enjoyed Hammel and had a copy of Hammel's disc afterwards. There were some others there too that we had met at the Columbus show and the Louisville show. It was great to see some people again. I'm starting to remember names. Maybe in Cincinatti when I meet them again, I'll get them down correctly *grin*
I also was pointed at the Radio interviewer from WFAB (I think that was the radio station - not sure) who interviewed the guys. She was really great. She had seen the show in July and was back again. Before the sound check, Jian asked me if I had heard the radio interview and I said yeah and started smiling really big. I pointed out that I had only heard the end though. It seems that they talked about me. needless to say, I was very happy when I heard the radio station taped it. I still have no idea what they said, but I now know I'll eventually find out...
Right before the guys came out, when the pre-show music was playing, we all formed a straight line of chairs on the far side of the moat from the stage. So, more or less there was 15 feet of dance floor with a straight line of chairs on one side and a stage on the other.
The guys started with Acappella Message. It was pretty on, but kinda low energy given the small venue. But the crowd was very receptive. Poor Mary Lane helped get people going and they kept things really hopping early on.
After It's Too Cold, Jian threatened to just talk the rest of the night since they played the first three pretty much straight through. They noticed the straight line of 25 people in the "front row" on the opposite side of the dance floor. He said that it was state law to keep at least 15 feet from the Canadians.
The guys joked about Indiana and the crowd. Jian pointed out that last time they were here there were like 14 people and so it is nice to see it getting bigger. Fruvous grows exponentionally so next time there is going to be 8000 people.
Before Militia, the guys had some intrument problems. The acoustic wasn't in the mix, but Cal fixed that really quickly. But the banjo just wouldn't work. They played for awhile and stared at Cal before Dave realized it was unplugged. He joked about how it must have been his job to fix it and plugs into the pedal and off they go.
They then started talking about Hammel. Dave was laughing because he'd sit up here on stage and tell the audience to f*** off and the audience screams. This is Indiana. Don't you all have guns? Just pull it out and get the man to shut up and play. Dave did his own impersonation of Hammel on the banjo which was hysterical. It was all in good fun of course. The guys all really got along with Hammel. It was funny to see them kid each other. Hammel threatened to crush Dave's accordion during his set. He would have went for the drums, but his amp protected them. But several times in hammel's set, he'd talk to Murray who was in the audience listening or turn to the side and sing or make faces at Marcus on the side.
For SauceP'n we a little hand jive going. We were sitting down, so it was pretty easy. After SauceP'n the radio station lady came over asked how long it look to practice that (meaning the hand jive and words at the same time) and I just smiled at her.
Mike did the intro to Lazy Boy this time instead of the stereo that rocks bit. More or less, Mike says in a semi-contrite voice "This is a song about stereos that rock" and then he and Dave start. Murray missed his entrance cuz he was playing with his bass before it and I started laughing. He smiled really big and kept going.
Boo time was great as always. Mike motioned to Murray, Jian, and then Dave during the Clown, the Cleric, the Recluse part and people giggled. Mike enjoyed the space to dance around and he danced with some of the other people dancing off to the side. It was really great. Some of the improv was In-di-ana and Prin-cess Xena and stuff about Dinah and Bwana ending with gonna make a scene with the spider queen.
This segued into the a cappella portion of the set. During Moon, Murray kept pointing to the green bulbs on the bottom of the fans in the venue. During the second Orbitting Rhondele, he added "There it is" while pointing at the bulb. This went almost straight into Kick in the Ass which the audience just loved. Mike added Marcus into it when talking about leaving milk cartons in the fridge with only drops remaining.
We got some great jokes about the Fire House radio station. It seems that the station has this equiptment with huge knobs. Like turn with two hands knobs. Murray of course provided some great mime of turning the knobs and such and they joked about how it was like the old Star Trek. This continued into talks of the Fear-hoos (which is how you are supposed to pronounce Fire House in Northern Canada). Mike offered a story about how ice suddenly bursts into flames in northern canada and so you call the fire house:
You: "Hello. Is this the Fire House?"
Firehouse: "Yes, this is the feer-hoos"
[See, the people at the fire house correct you when you say it wrong =) ]
All the talk about the radio station segued very well into WLUV. Dave did a good job explaining things. Mike accidentially called WLUV a Toronto station but was quickly corrected by all the guys who retorted that "Well, we get it in Toronto, but we have no idea where the hell it comes from".
Once again, before No No Raja, there was an extended banter. I really just think that Jian likes to sit for awhile. He brought out the Sports page for USA Today and started talking about it as the Most Widely Read Newspaper in the World. He checked around and made sure the fan that worked for USA Today wasn't there (Doug) and pointed out that the paper sucks. He proceeded to extract first lines of hockey articles and complain about them. Lines like:
[Verbatim from the paper]
"Stars C Mike Modana has been called one of the NHL's top all-around players, but he knew that would only count if he were on the ice."
"Coyotes 6, Oilers 3: Six players scored goals for Phoenix, including the last four"
After Raja, the show really took off. It was really the standard post Ann Arbor set, but the energy jumped. The crowd loved Jockey Full of Bourbon and it carried on into V'Bargainville. Normally, out there in the east, a lot of the crowd doesn't get into Video Bargainville, but the crowd dug it here.
The only oddity was the lack of audience participation. It was a small place and, yeah, sometimes it would have just been me screaming, so I guess maybe it was for the better *smile* But there was no prompting for screams in Lazy Boy, no Two scream in Bargainville.
The area near the bar kept being called Botany Bay. Murray called it as a star trek reference but Jian corrected the correction back to to Austrailia which brought on the introdution to King of Spain. Mike's intro was long and he kept laughing at himself, but the King emerged. Lot's of looking like a conehead and from tibet jokes. Dave went with "I'm telling you (I'm not a conehead) I was the king of Spain" once and that brought a large section of the guys talking causing Dave to lose track. Murray suggested to take it from the top king, but that got shot down really fast and finally we got to the countdown.
Get in the Car kept the energy going up. It is a really great song and it does a great job of making the show end on an up swing when it is near the end. Of course Psycho Killer came last and that just rocked as usually. I love Jian doing the David Byrne voice swallowing thing and Mike singing with Byrnian emphasis. In the end when they start taking the song through the room and it was getting quick, Murray, the silly man that he is, started double timing it which just made the whole thing seem faster. Crazy boy.
In the talk during the opening bass line for Psycho Killer, Jian got a little rambly. He pointed out how the band was a grass roots thing about four different ways. This led to how it is our job to advertise and get the word out because the band screwed up and called themselves Moxy Fruvous. The name pretty much sucks and makes it so no one ever remembers them. Mike asked the crowd if the show would have been better if they were called the Love Pumps (or something like that).
In between the set and the first encore, a good section of the crowd got up and filled in the 15 feet of emptyness between the stage and the people. It was a surprise to the guys when they came out, but it really helped the energy to have the crowd right up there.
Green Eggs and Ham was really good. Mike started out talking about McDonalds instead of books. He said everyone knew Mayor McCheese and Grimace, but he had a friends that kept talking about the TurdBurglar. Who the heck is that? The TurdBurglar. Anyway, Mike went on about it for a bit before Murray took over. Great boos and cheers. If you see the full version, make a point to watch the other three guys while Jian is doing the Free Love bit. They are all hilarious. During "Hey Not the Beatles", Jian pointed out the Beatles are from here. He also pointed out that we all had guns since this isn't canada and that Dave should watch out saying things like that. Murray pointed out that the audience could go postal or something and Mike started laughing. A little bit of side humor about postal started before the rest of the tune kicked back in.
After a zinging GE&H, the band did Fly. They tried really hard to get into the right feeling, but it was really hard. So, Jian picked up the discussion of the band name again. He said he was serious about how the band name works against them. It took a bit, but Fly came off really well. Josh and I stared at each other wondering how we'd deal with Fly standing right in front of the band. But it was really really good and I think came off well. I still don't agree with putting it in the encore though.
After Fly, there was a discussion and apology from the band for making everyone stand up there during the ballad. It was kinda funny actually. Love Potion Medley came off really really well. It picked up the energy that was redirected in Fly. The crowd took it and ran. They loved the "I get knocked down. But I get up again" part. Mike's part at the end was something like "When my dad gargles, he is a really great gurgler, but you always gotta watch out for the damned TurdBurgler.
Mike's Set List had Green/Fly/Authors as the first encore and Drink as the second. I was scared they'd do the Drinking Song while we were sitting down. It would have gone well with all of us standing in the front. The choice of Potion instead of Authors was a good one. Where Authors is a nice catchy tune that is definitely Fruvous, the medley is so high energy.
The road to the second encore was a long and rough one. We clapped and screamed as much as we could to no avail. fFinally, Mike comes out with his coat on and points out about how they have to catch a bus. They travel greyhound when they do shows and the driver is waiting outside. But thanks for coming. Then he had a change of heart. Screw Greyhound. Screw our tour. And Screw (now this is screw in a better more loving sort of way) you!
The guys false started a little bit, but finally Dave hit the into to Brown-Eyed Girl and the song was wonderful. Lots of singing along, smiling and dancing. It was great to hear a "new" song. I was a grinning fool through the whole thing.
It was really great to see a show at the same place I saw my first show. The atmosphere in the midwest is different, especially since this is only the second show in Indiana. But the crowds are warm and want to hear Fruvous and that is just great. After the show, the place cleared out and we all talked for awhile.
It was a work night, so we got out of there. We said our goodbyes, got a couple Murray cookies for the road. I helped Marcus carry some stuff and Josh and I wandered outside. Josh was going to sleep in his car at a rest stop, but he crashed at my place instead.
So, the last thing I was expecting to see when I stepped outside was Andy Gricevich. Well, maybe not last, but I'd sooner see the TurdBurglar than my best friend from Grade school who moved to San Diego. Now, I wouldn't be brining this up if he weren't standing outside talking to Dave. Now that was freaky. So, Andy and I talked for awhile. He is in town for a bit doing some shows and stuff and is trying to get his band on to open for Fruvous some in the spring. I hope it happens. Andy is great. His band is the Prince Mishkins if anyone ever gets a chance to see them. They opened for Fruvous in Champaign earlier this year.
But alas, it was a work night, so I said my good byes and see you in Cincinattis to Andi and had Josh follow me back to Indianapolis and a loving caring sleep. Here's to more fruving with with the southern midwest Fruheads!!!
[Oh, and I had a couple left over Murray cookies for breakfast this morning =) ]
From Josh Woodward:
Hello, all! I just got back from the scenic drive from Bloomington, IN in time for work in northern Ohio. I have to say it was worth the drive - despite getting tainted directions which routed me through downtown Indianapolis on the way there.. :-\ I made the journey alone, since the club was 21+, and all my Fruhead friends are underage. Ick.
Once I arrived in Bloomington and finally found the club (the entrance is on a side street which threw me off). I walked by the club once because I heard what I thought was industrial music or something.. that couldn't be a Fruvous show. But I was wrong - because when I found it and walked in, I was enlightened to the aggressive, yet catchy, "acoustic thrash" stylings of Hammil On Trial, who I had never seen before. Interesting stuff; I didn't know an acoustic guitar could sound quite like that. ;)
After the Hammil set, I found Chad Maloney, who I knew would be there being so close to his homeland. With him was Andi, who I had met in Columbus. I joined them in the front row before Fruvous came on. There were maybe 20 small tables in the place, and up in front of our row of tables was a "dance floor" area of maybe 10-15 feet. The catch is that the stage was raised about a foot off the floor, so if we were to get up, we figured no one would be able to see, so we sat. There was a neatly arranged row of chairs in front, which Fruvous was quick to poke fun at. I had skipped food all day (had breadsticks for lunch, nothing for dinner), so the Murray cookies that Murray had given Chad were a welcomed treat. :)
As for Fruvous' set, I think the one word that would describe the show is "casual". It was intimate to a point as well, but everything was really laid back. Very low stage lights, quiet sound, quiet crowd.
The show kicked off with the a cappella Message, which was cool but it seemed fairly low-energy. That is fairly understandable given the small room, along with the quiet and small (under 100 most likely) crowd. Once Poor Mary Lane came on, things jumped up more. It's Too Cold was nice to hear again - it was the reason I came to the show. I hadn't planned on going because of the long drive in the middle of the week. But on listening to Wood yesterday, It's Too Cold came on, and I laughed.. it's never too cold, it's never too late, and it's NEVER too far, eh?
Some chatter followed. Dave did a hilarious impression of Hammil On Trial on the banjo - basically pounded the banjo and told a pointless story. Also, Mike had some fun with the bullhorn - played an impromptu song called "Low-Fidelity Rock Band", a pseudo-grunge thing that they compared to Prodigy. They also made light of the rift between the band and the front row, mentioning that there was a quarantine from the "Canadians". After a very long banter, they finally pop into Michigan Militia. Present Tense Tureen was great.. right on, and the Untunable was perfectly in tune! Yay! Johnny Saucep'n was great as always, and once again I failed miserably trying to keep up the hand jive with Chad. Anyone have explicit directions so I can practice? :)
Mike did a short intro to Lazy Boy, barely mentioning the "stereo that rocks" line, but a few of us cheered still on the line. A super-cool Boo Time was next. Mike jumped into the dance floor to sing the whole song. It was fairly cool to have him right in the audience, especially for the animal calls. After the calls, though, he skipped the "I hear the hoot owl" part and went straight to "it's booo time", most likely because the audience was too small to maintain a good callback. Very cool song, a high point for me. You Will Go To The Moon was next, with one of the lights in the room functioning as our future home above. Kick in the Ass was next, a bit of a suprise since I hadn't heard it in awhile. It was a little low-energy, though. WLUV>Boyfriend went fairly well. Fell In Love was beautiful. Another big high point for me. Jian takes his stool and picks up the dumbek at this point, but before they started, he reads a few quotes out of his oh-so-favorite US newspaper, USA Today. I forget what it was, but he read three quotes out of yesterday's sports section which demonstrated the incompetence of the writers on USA Today. I'm sure Chad will post the quotes; he stole their copy after the show. ;)
Then, of course, No No Raja. Cool. Next was odd - they did the instrumental jazz version of Spiderman (the same version played on the World Cafe for those who heard that, with the accordion lead). This semi-segued into my personal favorite of the night, Jockey Full of Bourbon. A great version! Accordion in hand, the next song was Video Bargainville. To be honest, the only song of the night I could have done without. Not a bad version, I'm just a little tired of it. Personal opinion. King of Spain was next, with a really long banter break before the first "now I work at the pizza pizza". Get In The Car was a big suprise next; I wasn't expecting it so late in the show. But it was nice. The set closed with a ripping Psycho Killer, which I have decided that I finally like. Chad was flipping out about Murray jumping in double time, but I think he was the only one who noticed. ;)
Once they left the stage, a few of us decided to suprise them and run up to the stage. A good 10 or 20 of us took our spots directly in front of the stage. They came out and were pleasantly suprised, especially Mike. Green Eggs and Ham (full) was great, especially given such a small stage. After Dave nearly spewing his chunks on us, they went once again into Fly. Jian actually admitted that the contrast was too much from Green>Fly, so maybe we'll see some order changing. I love Fly and I love Green Eggs, but I'm not in the mood for it after getting worked up over Green Eggs. Last night's Fly was a little forced, and Dave's guitar was out of tune pretty bad. Next, I was setting myself up for Authors, but no! They broke the setlist and went instead into Love Potion #9! Yay! Good stuff.. very well done.
Second encore was planned to be Drinking, but once again they broke set. They went into something I've never seen them do live before: Brown Eyed Girl! Woohoo! It was great, if not a little long. The a cappella "la la"'s at the end were sooo good.
We said our hellos afterwards and I met a few other Fruheads, including
Chad's friend from California (Andy, right?). Chad generously offered me
his floor for the night which let me get some sleep in comfort, as opposed
to my original plan of crashing out in my back seat in a rest stop. A
great, mellow show to sum it up. Next stop: Milwaukee (maybe) or Chicago,
Some other tidbits from the performance include: