Well...here goes my first attempt at a review...
Jo showed up at our house at UGH 8:00 am, which was surprisingly right on time! It seemed like we had just left each other, probably because we had. The thought of seeing Fruvous three times within twenty four hours put an extra bounce ( or extra lead) in my feet. That could explain why we made it to Ottawa in 4 hours!
We found Ottawa and the Art gallery where Moxy was playing with no problems (thanks Jo ). I think the band that played before Moxy had just finished when we got there, because Cal seemed to have just started setting up. We met up with Ingrid and hKatherine, Myllie, Rosemary and AJ ( whom we just *officially* met the day before in Rochester), Laurie, Craig, Dante, and Jen/Chris.
The guys started a little after 3:00. The crowd was a little sedate, which may have been a result of the heat. I thought it was quite comfortable but Chris complained quite frequently. Anyway, they opened with BJ followed by Jockey and Get in the Car. They followed that with a beautiful french song entitled La Complainte. Being that I don't know any French, I have no idea what it meant, but it was beautiful, and the high point of the show for me. Only Fruvous could do that !!
That was followed by Boss, Kid's Song, Boo Time "droppin' a little dough at the Picasso Show", Sahara [regular version], Message, Michigan Militia, Johnny Saucep'n, KOS/GE&H, and Love Potion medley. They did one encore of Author's and closed with The Drinking Song. It was very strange to be in an audience that didn't/couldn't sing along to the Drinking Song.
All in all the audience seemed very impressed with Fruvous. There was one man that was dancing through the whole show. Jo, Jen and I made it our mission to get our picture taken with him. We found out his name was Roy, he's 71, and has been dancing for 14 years. He's seen Fruvous 4 or 5 times, and even he commented on how reserved the audience was. Well the mission was accomplished!! I not only had my picture taken with him, I also got to dance with him when the next band started!!
After saying our hello's/goodbye's to the band, we went off for some much needed refreshments at a restaurant called The Double Decker. We ended the night at "The Collection", a fabulous martini bar. I was never a fan of martini's before, but I am now!!!! The Crispy Crunch is a must!!
We crawled out of bed by 9:00, so we could do some sight seeing!! Jo, Chris and I headed home around 12:00. I definetly look forward to returning to Ottawa.
From A.J. LoCicero:
The next morning we were up early. Chris and Zard off to D.C., Vika back to Boston (Did you drive or bus it in the end Vik?) and me to the wilds of Ottawa.
I'd never been to Ottawa, and had no idea what to expect. It was pretty interesting. The town feels the size of one of our larger state capitals. The parliament building is beautiful. I want to go back and take a tour. The National Gallery also looks quite interesting. Being so close to Quebec (across the river) and also being the national capital, bilingualism is in full force here. Even in places where it isn't really necessary (such as freeway exit signs that read "Rue Wellington St.". I mean who is going to be confused by that? I know, I know it is the principal of the thing. But couldn't you just have all the French named streets named "rue" and all the English ones "St."? It just seemed funny to me.
Anyway, I got there in time (although it took me longer than the 4 hours that Chris O claims he drives it in.) I parked, and walked over to the gallery, where they have a nice little Amphitheatre. Cal was working on the sound set up, but there was already a big crowd. Having no reliable film, I ducked into the museum shop, where I picked up a roll of ISO 400 for $9 something Canadian. Yow! Then I headed down into the amphitheatre. From above I spotted Rosemary and Dante Blando (who I'd met the day before at the Lilac fest). I settled in a few feet back from them, and soon saw some other frufans including Chris and Moe plopping down in front of them. Rosemary kept wanting me to move up by them (out of the sun), but there wasn't really room, and besides, I wanted to be free to run around and shoot pictures.
The crowd waited patiently in the hot sun. Cal seemed to be having some problems he had to address. To fill the time, a Francophone gentleman who with his long flowing hair, big earring, and full kilt, looked like he'd just walked off the set of Rob Roy, did a drawing drawing for some Fruvous prizes including Live Noise (Not yet on sale there) and one of those wooden Wood promo sets.
After that the crowd started to get restless and began clapping in time, for Moxy to come out. Cal got things squared away and out they came. This was another good show. the sound was clear (although the left channel cut out a few times). The set was very much a popular hits kind of thing, which was entirely appropriate. Fruvous hadn't played this particular venue in many years. You could tell this crowd wasn't made up of the usual lunatic fruhead fans. Clearly many there hadn't heard that much of Fruvous' material. They knew the hits but that was about all. I tried to write down the setlist, but I don't know if I succeeded. Here's what I got:
BJ Jockey Get in the Car La Complainte Du Phoque en Alaska I Love My Boss Kid's Song (Should Quebec separate? A resounding NO! here) Jazzy Boo Sahara (Normal version, but without the beat poetry in the middle) A Cappella Message Michigan Militia Johnny Saucep'n KOS/GEAH Love Potion #9 Medley Encores: Authors Drinking Song.
The highlights for me? Well obviously "La Complainte" which I'd never heard before. I thought Jazzy Boo went over really well, and Kid's song got more laughs than I've ever heard before. I think that is both because they got the context really well, and because many of them had probably never heard it.
After the show, we said hi to the band briefly (They were busy signing) and I bought a new frushirt (The Live Noise one). Then Dante, Rosemary and I went out to dinner at a mexican restaurant. (Mexican food in Ottawa: Muy Exotico!).
After dinner, I headed toward home, getting as far as Toronto. I obtained more crash space chez Rosemary (A fringe benefit of following Fruvous, I've found is practically free travel. Very cool!), and then finished the rest of the drive home Monday. Definitely a trip to remember. I'd say about the most fun a person could have in 3 days. Now if only those eastern folks would come out here for the midwest shows!
From Ingrid Kane:
This is my review of the Ottawa show. Yeah, another one, I know, but come on -- did you really think I wouldn't write my own?? Go ahead, read.
We (we being me, hKate and her parents, and Myllie) showed up at the Gallery around eleven. For the last three days Sunday's forecast said 22oC, partly cloudy -- the definition of perfect weather. Yeah, well, right. Make that like 35oC with a clear blue sky. Scalding. Burning hot. We, of course, should have known better and brought sunscreen or at least a hat. So while I was going for hKate's South Park cap in a desperate attempt at preserving my scalp, we were looking out for Chris and Moe, and Rosemary and her friend Dante, who we knew were coming for sure. Then Laurie surprised us and we got to look at more FrüCon pics. We went to meet Tobey. As some point in the conversation, hKate pointed out quite nervously that there was a spider on the merch table and Tobey then proceeded to tell us about arachnids and how good they are, while Myllie was the one to flick the critter into (deserved) oblivion.
The show itself was great (partly due to the fact that we were sitting in the *shade* right in front of the stage) and the pictures turned out great (will post them on FDC as soon as we can). The highlights for me were 1) La complainte du phoque en Alaska, an unexpected treat! 2) the Kids' Song, which I'll never get tired of, 3) that heavy version of Sahara, which simply rocks, 4) Message, which I think will always be my fave live song, and 5) the R.E.M. rip-off "Happy Canadian People". Jian commented on "all those white people getting toasted in the sun" (I may be paraphrasing here, but bear with me) and went on about how great it is to be Persian at this time of the year ("I *always* look like this!"). There was a quick thing about the difference between shows in the States and shows in Canada (people bringing guns to shows down South whereas here you'd only get a "polite" knifing). But the best had to be when Mike (or Murray??) told Dave he was "jealous of someone else's long, long hair" and Dave just made this "you S.O.A.B." face and went on mimicking Jian at the drums. I was laughing so hard I didn't take any picture (too bad 'cause that one would've been a hoot! But hKate did get a relatively good one of that).
After the show we got a few more pictures, and I got told by Mike to get Alain Vigneault into Früvous. Hey -- why not ;) But I swear to god, if I ever drag him to a Früvous show, Mike'll owe me big time (in fact, care to make it interesting, Lovejoy???). Jian thought it was "cool" that we were French Canadian and let us in on the fact. That comment later led to the conclusion that hKate and I are, by default, representing the entire Quebec population (that's -- what -- one fifth of the Canadian population??) as far as Früheads are concerned. Interesting.
Anyway, hope Jian enjoyed his early b-day present! ("Got Milk?";)
Well, I think Moe pretty much covered all the bases her, but how can I resist putting my own two cents in? Here it is, and I guess it's kinda long...
Ingrid and I got to the National Gallery at eleven AM, way before Früvous show time, with our buddy Myllie and my mother, and caught some of the other acts, none of which delighted us THAT much. As usual, the weather forecast had lied the day before, telling us the weather would be perfect: practically room temperature! Wrong! We were toasting in point twüo seconds, and NO ONE had thought to bring any sunscreen!
At first, waiting for the gaggle of other various Ottawa dwellers we had invited to the show, we wandered around aimlessly, stretching our necks. Sadly, we didn't manage to find everyone before the guys came on. Hopefully, they caught the show and liked it...
We caught up with Rosemary and her friend Dante fairly early on (she was wearing the shirt Vika made for her -- cool) and gave her OUR little present. Then we promptly lost them again as they left to look around the city a bit.
That's just about the time we caught sight of the Früvous van. Ah, it's good to see that in your hometown! It was still a few hours before Früvous was scheduled, during which we partially watched Norman Foote, a pretty good children's entertainer who Cal ended up helping out in some way. I'm not sure how, though, since at that precise moment I was WAY at the other end of the place, getting a hot dog. I did cheer awfully loud, though, even if I WAS kind of behind the stage and completely out of view... "Wow, hey! I don't even KNOW this guy!" Go Cal!
Before Früvous came on, we hooked up with Laurie Addenbrooke and Craig, and found Chris and Moe, too. Then Rosemary came back and we settled about two feet from the stage to watch the show (Ah, shade!). The sound check took A LOT longer than anticipated, much to the dismay of the few hundred people sitting motionless in harsh sunlight who occasionally shouted complaints. All in all, the boys got started about forty-five minutes late, (should I say it?) normal Früvous time.
Now, Ingrid nabbed all the setlists, so I'll do my best to remember the highlights here. They opened with BJ, during which my mother's impending crush on Jian instantly turned to Mike instead. Then came Jockey (damn! I like that new guitar!). After that, when Jian grabbed the tambourine, I for some reason thought we were going to get Today's the Day We Fight Back. I guess it was the sight of those Parliament buildings behind them... Anyway, it wasn't Today, but Get In The Car. Oh, well.
The next one was a particular highlight for me, being French Canadian. The guys did La Complainte du Phoque en Alaska, a Beau Dommage cover from the 60s that absolutely EVERY Quebec resident knows. I saw a few people singing along. It was beautiful. *sigh*
This was followed by I Love My Boss, and then Kids' Song, which I'd only ever seen live once, when I didn't have a very good view. This time I was a full foot and a half from the stage and was thouroughly entertained, to say the least.
Then came Boo Time, although right up until the finger snapping, I hadn't totally given up hope for Minnie the Moocher. Once again, oh, well. The song was wonderful, as usual. I think all of Mike's lyrics had to do with hockey.
Then came Sahara, with Jian on drums (as opposed to the dumbek, or whatever it's called...). It had been so long since I'd heard this one live, I can't even remember how it sounded. I just know this one rocked.
Now, I'm really going to have to get used to this whole Message-in-the-middle-of-the-set thing. It really throws me off for a second or two. It's like I'm in a time warp or something.
Then, the great thing about Johnny Saucep'n (which seemed very, very fast, BTW! I didn't even ALMOST run out of breath!) was watching all the people on the other side of the stage, behind the guys, get all shocked that we knew the words. This one kid in particular had his mouth hanging wide open by the end of the song. Fun!
Then came Mickigan Militia, which was just as good as it always is, with Mike bouncing around like mad. And then came King of Spain. Dave practically stormed Ingrid during "And now I vacuum the turf at Skydome". Another twist: "It's laissez-faire, I'm not wearing underwear..." Cute.
From there, the guys went into the short version of Green Eggs and Ham. I might mention that I've yet to see the long version yet, but right now I don't mind so much. During the "Not the Beatles" bit, someone (I think it was Murray, Ingrid's sure it was Mike) suggested that perhaps the reason Mr. Cheese was saying all these horrible things was because "someone is jealous of someone else's long, long hair." Which prompted Dave's frustrated impression of Jian at the drums. This mostly consisted in him grabbing Ji's drumsticks and half-heartedly whacking whatever he could in a rather chaotic fashion. It was hilarious."That was his version of Day Tripper." Back to the Beatles.
They closed with Love Potion, and there was one encore: Authors and the Drinking Song. By the way, swaying while sitting on the ground -- painful. But worth it.
After the show, Ingrid and I gave Jian an early birthday present, which included, but was not limited to, a little innocent-looking animal that, when pressed, utters ferocious karate noises. It's probably the funniest thing I've ever seen.
Ingrid also got an unexpected chance to plug her hockey coach neighbour to Mike, who incited her to get him into Früvous. Sure! Meanwhile, I think my mother spoke French to Dave. Needless to say, he didn't understand whatever she was telling him, but he was real nice about it. That's m'mom...
Then a gang (gaggle? flock? ) of us Früeads took over a restaurant,
and subsequently a bar, and had some interesting conversation. The end. Long
enough for ya?
Some other tidbits from the performance include: