Well, now. For me, going back to Fredonia (where I saw Fruvous for my first time in March of '96) had a sort of "full circle" feel. I graduated from SUNY Fredonia in December of 95, and have always had fond memories of the campus, friends I'd made during my nine semester tenure, and the life I carved for myself during those formative college years. And the night went by without hitch or disappointment; it was perfect.
After lounging around in Chateau 'Malley (thanks to cee for the name) on Sunday afternoon (where massages and Tory filled the room), Rob, Vika, Colleen, and I left Rochester at four and made it to Fredonia by six. It was pouring rain, so we weren't able to walk around campus like I had hoped, so we went straight for the Campus Center (now called the 'Williams Center') and awaited doors to open.
People trickled in as we waited: Mary, Christine, Shawn, Lisa G, Jim Ludwig (friend/roommate from days past at Fredonia), Rosemary (made the trek down...yay!), Brent/Marianne (FruCon T-shirt designers extraordinare), Shirley, Josh, Sheryl, a *bunch* of people from my college days (Eric, Todd, Lisa, Mark, Jill, and others), Heather & her brother Bryan (who showed up _right_ before the set started), Jo, Jen/Chris, and a ton of other people (sorry if I forgot your name!!)
After playing some piano (yay!) and grabbing some food in the Campus Center basement food court-thingy, doors opened around 7:30. They handed out mugs with the Moxy Fruvous logo on them, which was very cool, although they didn't have enough for everyone (the early bird gets the fru-mug, apparently). Also, there was no opening act; Fruvous was slated to start at eight.
Moxy hit the stage by nearly half past eight and delivered an amazing set to an extremely energetic and responsive crowd. Personal highlight for me: Mike Ford sang a song that I'd heard him do in Port Dover (May 97), and he dedicated it from me to Vika. It was beautiful, and couldn't have sounded better. Also, the crowd was *so* wonderful during a song that only a couple people in the entire room had ever heard. Thanks, Mike.
They played for a little less than two hours, and overall, the show greatly resembled the two nights' prior. Sound-wise, this show was the best of the three. Crowd-wise, this show was the best of the three! The show ended with a wonderful off mic Gulf War...possibly the best I've *ever* heard.
After the set (at this point it was nearly eleven), we chatted with the guys, I got to play some more piano (despite the constant requests for happy music, I continued to depress my "listeners" with slow, sad songs :-), and just hang out and relax. It was so nice being back on the old stomping grounds; it felt like home. Murph was doing merch again, but mentioned that this would be his last show (other obligations).
Mary, Colleen, Heather, Brian, Lisa, Rob, Vika, and I all headed to the Fredonia Perkins for some grub, and finally headed out of Fredonia by around one. I must have set some kind of land speed record, since we got home by about 2:30, and we drove through a torrential downpour the entire time. Late night driving, my speciality (at least, it's becoming one)
And in bed sleeping by three or so. Wake up at nine, go to work and type this up at a very grueling eleven in the morning. Uggh, my body's going to make me pay for this lack of sleep abuse I've inflicted upon it. Hopefully, it will wait to enact revenge when I'm home near my bed. :-)
What an amazing weekend. Every moment built upon the last, culminating in a great "Fruvous Apex", as it were. Hellos and hugs to everyone that made this weekend so memorable for me...I'll see you all soon.
From Colleen Campbell:
A lackadaisical day followed, with snuggling, way too much french toast and some kickass hot choccy, massage (oh, you expected anything else?), and music provided by Chris (including some of his own). We set off for Fredonia at about 4 p.m. and met up with a big Fruhead contingent at 6. (Cee's Stupid Anecdote of the day: I left all my shoes at home except the fake Birkies on my feet, and it was raining, so rather than stand all evening in soggy footwear, I took 'em off, rolled up my pantlegs, and pattered Huck-Finn-esque through the freezing puddles to the cafeteria. Duh.) It was great to see Josh and Sheryl again, meet Marianne and Brent (yay! FruCon shirts!), and scrape my jaw off the floor when Rosemary made an appearance! We all had lots of time to visit, get to know new people, reminisce, and terrorize the Fredonia students who had no idea why these freaks had descended upon their quiet campus. Chris played "Lee" on the piano and we all sang along, with me lounging on the lid in my best sultry Huck Finn impression--all of which garnered us an amused grin from Jian when he passed by on the way to sound check.
The show was great, with far better sound than the night before and a very receptive crowd. The security threw me, I have to admit--having bulky men standing between me & Fruvous was a bit odd, but we all got over the strangeness well enough to try to buy their t-shirts from them. (No go, for the record.) The setlist was very similar to the night before, with some welcome additions--"It's Too Cold" (with Dave playing a real piano, it was a treat!. . .though the thing could have been better tuned. . .), the jazzy "Boo Time" and the a cappella "Message to You," "Darlington Darling," and a lovely and well-projected "Gulf War Song" to finish up. And as several people have mentioned, Mike's dedication from Chris to Vika, "If Only You Knew," was a beautiful and stirring song as well as a beautiful thing to do. Not that we lack for reminders, but it never fails to touch me when any of Fruvous lets us know how they appreciate us as a group.
As always, the guys enjoyed themselves between songs. My favorite moment was when, during "Sad Girl," Jian was trying to tune his guitar to the piano and Murray announced that he needed to tune the snare--which he promptly did. Before "I Love My Boss," Mike set Murray up for a monologue: "Because, 1), love the voice, and 2), I drank a lot of water before the show." He then dashed off to the bathroom, taking his mic with him; we didn't get any sound effects from him, but when Dave followed suit a little while later, there was a distinct flush from the speakers. Bathroom humor at its best (if there is such a thing). Dave made good use of the piano as a prop, at one point explaining that he wasn't really playing, he was just a head perched above one of those pianos that plays itself. He graced us with some of "The Entertainer," which was a real treat for me (who grew up dancing around the living room to daddy playing Scott Joplin). Again, in the "Hey! not the Beatles!" interlude in GE&H, the guys ran with the diatribe against Dave, which finally flowered into a rather sloppy version of "Love Me Do" (with Mr. Cheese strapping on the accordian to accompany them)--which Lou Reed commented upon in his verse preceding "Dancing Queen." The crowd was very enthusiastic during the whole show, to the extent that when Fruvous came out for the final encore and stood at the proscenium, as it were, the crowd just kept cheering on and on; Murray said that they'd gotten the cheers onto a loop and we could be quiet now. But it was clear that even apart from Frutrippers, this was a Fruvous-loving group of people.
Fruvous emerged for a long time after the show (to sign an endless line of tickets, fliers, and Moxy Fruvous mugs) and I spoke for a time to Dave. I asked whether they would be filling in the touring schedule of the upcoming dates, as they were rather sparse now. He said that they'd be touring less this year, giving themselves more of a break, and I agreed that they had really run themselves hard last year. Besides, I said, why bother touring far afield when they know we'll show up? If you play it, we will come. Hell, they must've decided we *like* driving all those distances to see them: why deprive us of that pleasure? I did tease him that eventually they'd just stop touring and put out albums like the Beatles' final ones, conceptual-studio-type things that they couldn't play live, and he laughed and assured me that that would never be the case.
And what review would be complete without mention of hair and clothes, which is all we talk about here? I really liked the look of Murray's hair growing out, and told him so. Lends him more of an air of insouciance. As to wardrobe, I particularly liked Dave's green jeans (and the Fruhead t-shirt he donned one night): they were snazzy.
So the evening wound down with a group of us (including Heather and brother, who was down from Alberta) going to Perkins for the second time that day (more kickass hot choccy!) before going our separate ways. Mary and I drove back to Chateau'Malley (can you tell I'm proud of that?), singing musicals and harmonizing to "Time" (over which I've obsessed since hearing Tory sing it last November) and stumbling in at about 3 a.m.
It was great to see so many of you (many of whom I haven't even mentioned in this rambling rove of a post, and I look forward to seeing more in a couple of weeks (for Simon's Rock/Amherst/Boston) and a couple weeks after that (MIT and whatever else they book that weekend)! And that's it for me. Happy, Zard?
ceecee, long-winded enough to remind ya'll why me being computerless might not have been a bad thing after all. . .
From Mary Krause:
Saturday - The Nines Had to miss this one because of a previous engagement in Staten Island, NY which meant I had to drive from Utica to Philadelphia to Staten Island. Then BACK to Philadelphia that night. The next day, I drove to Fredonia. Yes, it was a poorly conceived plan.
Sunday - Fredonia Great show. Great people. Yay! Great to see Rosemary and Heather make it down from Toronto, and Josh and Sheryl in from Ohio. Plus Brent, Marianne and Sheryl from Pittsburg. Got to Fredonia and managed to stumble upon the school without to much trouble. Stared at the signs for a second and then decided that Fruvous would play in the Arts Center, so I should park there. Found the building. Said hi to Mike and Murray and headed downstairs to get a sandwich. Hung out with Josh and Sheryl for a bit before being joined by Rosemary (very happy surprise) and the group from Pittsburg. Great, great show. Finally heard Organ Grinder live. LOVE that song. And the crowd was into too. Jian was trying to explain how the call and response should work and the audience was into before they were supposed to be. Cool. Again nice versions of the new songs with better sound quality (3 cheers for the return of Cal). And the segue from Sleepy Drinker to Boo Time is nice. AND Dave was on PIANO! Not mini-keyboard, but an honest-to-God piano which may make appearances in the future. Long "I Love My Boss" intro from Murray which included Mike dashing off the stage for a bit - "I had too much water before the show..." And then a few songs later came a special moment as Mike introduced a song he wrote a while back and dedicated to Vika from Chris O'Malley. It was absolutely beautiful. The show ended with a perfect "Gulf War Song." Except for one scream at the beginning, the audience was totally quiet. Gorgeous. Have I mentioned that this was a great show? After the show, headed over to Perkins for a bite to eat before crashing at Chateau Malley. Woke up Monday morning and drove Lisa and Rob home to the NYC area before heading home to Philly.
It was great to see friends again and make some new ones. All in all a
wonderful weekend worth adding about 1500 miles to my car and picking up my
first speeding ticket :-)
Some other tidbits from the performance include: