Well, after seeing the show in Ann Arbor (I'm "Andy from.. St. Louis I think?" according to Josh's review), I wasn't quite sure if a stop just 8 days later could match, but well, this show was among the band's best in St. Louis. The venue was a small place called the Side Door, which is literally that- the front entrance is a side door to the attached restaurant. There were two openers: Chamberlain, who I did not catch, and Dolly Varden from Chicago, who were very good. I think they may have opened for Fruvous before. As this is my first review (and probably last time I'll see them in St. Louis, as I'm moving to Michigan), and written well after the show, as I realize that there is no St. Louis review yet, and I'm writing an extremely run-on sentence, I apologize if this is not a good review.
By the time the band took the stage at 11:30, the place was pretty packed. I met some people who saw them in Champaign the day before, and drove down for this show. People were very clingy with the stage- I only managed to push myself up as far as the fourth row.
The set: Extended instrumental version to Sahara, then Sahara. Followed by Jockey Full of Bourbon, then BJ. Despite the late start to the set, things seem to be going well.
Improv: a bit of Simon and Garfunkel (Scarborough Fair and Sound of Silence), then a short song about the St. Louis Cardinals. Jian asks whether the audience wants the band just to do imrov all night, since "they're realized our songs suck." Cheers from the crowd (not quite sure how to interpret that one). They also introduced a Bjork-like, high-pitched thank you as the official thank you of the evening.
The next songs were Horseshoes, then Sad Girl (the only new song played tonight), then a nice rendition of Boss. A red light shining on Dave's bald head evoked a Captain Picard image, but this was about all that happened with that, though Jian did once introduce them as "Maki" Fruvous.
Before The Kids' Song, the band asked what keeps the world together. An audience member replied "duct tape." But as we learned, a REALLY sharp bread knife can cut through duct tape. Then Boo Time, with the obligatory references to the local site.
Now comes the most interesting part of the night, which I'd never seen (or heard) before. The guys split up the audience into three sections, and had each section clap a different rhythm. After realizing that most of the audience could handle this assignment, they had us sing the rhythms- and well, most of us in the audience were at least fairly toneful. With the addition of some musical backing from Fruvous, we were polyphonic for what seemed like a long time- and though it sounded cool from the floor, it apparently sounded much better from the stage.
After this, the band went into Fly, after which another improv bit- but this one stemming from a distinctly St. Louis tradition. For whatever reason, someone in the crowd tends to give food to Jian. At a show at Washington University last year, it was an industrial sized can of mushrooms. Tonight it was a package of corn muffin mix. We learned that mushrooms are fat free (perhaps because of Olestra?), and Jian told the story about the mushrooms. And by giving just the mix, and not already baked muffins, the band gets to learn a new skill! So, the tradition continues...
Then came Michigan Militia- a megaphone-less rendition, as it had failed to work. Followed by Saucep'n, the a capella version of Message (great as always), then King and then Green Eggs- disappointingly, there was NO ad libbing- perhaps they were too Simon and Garfunkeled out to debate the merits of the Beatles, or maybe it was the fact that it was about 1AM at this point. Anyway, they finished off the set with Authors, Car and the Signed, Sealed, Delieverd Medley.
Encore one: Psycho Killer. Encore two: Drinking Song.
Set length: 100 minutes.
The crowd seemed to enjoy the show, and the number of Fru-virgins was quite high, as this is a growing crowd base. Hopefully, they'll be back in the future. Overall, this was another show well worth attending. If anyone wants to add to my review, feel free to do so. Thanks.
From Jerry Iannucci:
What a crazy day that was. The Tivoli has been doing this Warner Brothers Classics series all week. Like five different cool movies a day. I had never seen Bonnie Clyde and planned on seeing it at 9:30 last night. I rushed home from work to catch the Simpsons at 6:30 (I was at the office playing Quake) and decided to verify the 9:30 showtime. Oops, it started at 7:00. Skip dinner, out the door to the movies (good movie). I got home around 9:00 and got your message. Guess those Sloppy Joes will have to wait. Made a couple of quick grilled cheese and ran out the door to Moxy Fruvous.
Of course, it was at least an hour until the band went on and I had to sit (stand) through a really bad opening act. The place did get pretty packed though (The Side Door is run by our upstairs neighbor. Remember Darryn?).
I can't decide what I thought of the band. They were definately not what I was expecting, though I dont know how I could have expected that. I guess I was just expecting something deeper. They were good, but something about the band members bothered me. I guess I just thought individually they were all very annoying looking people. Very silly.
At first, the closest comparison I could come up with for the band was They Might Be Giants, but that isn't very accurate. Eventually, they reminded me of this trio i've seen a few times on Mad TV. They also did alot of silly acapella(?) songs. Their biggest was something like "I'm the only gay Eskimo in my tribe."
There were some good times in there though. The crowd really got off on them. I was surprised to see how many people were singing along. I really liked the King of Spain song and the Green Eggs and Ham song was awesome. They also did this nice audience participation vocal jam with different sections of the audience doing different rhythms. It sounded really cool! I thought the chorus of Duran Duran's Rio during one of the encores was pretty funny too.
I'm glad I went. They said they would be back in town in October so maybe I will have more of an appreciation for them next time.
PS - When I left the Side Door I was walking behind this couple. There were some people standing outside who asked the couple what band just played. The guy responded "Moxy Fruvous" which was natually followed by "Who??" Rather than get into a whole converation on the street about the band the guy just said "Roxy Music" and walked on.
Yeah, they did alot of St. Louis raps. Talked about The Cardinals alot. Gave a big cheer for our booming economy. They also talked about how much they hated playing at The Galaxy last time they were in town.
Yeah, they did Michigan Militia. It was kinda catchy. Everyone else was
going nuts. Let's see, in looking at the web site they also did B.J. Don't
Cry, I Love My Boss (fun), The Kids' Song (didnt like), Psycho Killer (I
think that's the one that turned into RIO), and the last encore was The
Drinking Song. It's interesting how the lyrics have everybody's little
Some other tidbits from the performance include: