From the Columbia Festival of the Arts website:
“…intricate vocal harmonies with sly comic plot lines.” The New York Times
The music of Moxy Fruvous has been likened to They Might Be Giants, Elvis Costello and XTC, and their words and antics to Monty Python and The Muppets. As one astute critic put it, “To try to categorize the groups music into a nice, neat package is like trying to explain the taste of rainbow sherbet.” LakeFest, Friday, June 26, 9pm, FREE
From Mike Yank:
Hi everyone! This is my first post to the group, but I've been lurking for monthes. Anyway, here is my portrait of the Columbia, Maryland show last Friday :
After we both got off work at about 3pm, my friend Andy and I set off for the three hour trek from Charlottesville, VA to Columbia. When we arrived at the Festival of the Arts, we seated ourselves up front and center and after a delayed soundcheck (the delay due to lightning) we were treated to Eddie from Ohio, who played a very solid set. The guy who introduced them assured the crowd that "Maxy Fruvous" would be playing after Eddie, and this blunder found itself in the dialogue at several points, like when the bass player Mike mentioned "Moxy Pads." Anyway, it was my first Fruvous show, so I used to opportunity to escape the outragous prices of imports and picked up the "b" album and Wood before the performance, completing my collection :)
Here's the setlist as it appears on my "official" copy :
I UNDERST. B.J. JOCKEY HORSESHOES BOSS SPIDEY RUSH MINNIE RIVER CAR KIDS MESSAGE MICH SAUCE KING GREEN POTION ------ AUTH. PSYCHO * ------ DRINKING S *
*Not played :(
They opened up with the brief intro "It's great you came to this freebee concert / cuz spending money is an awful risk / Some came to drink beer and some came to flirt / But all we want is that you buy our brand new disc." BJ was awesome, as was the other half of the accordion double-punch, "Jockey Full of Bourbon." They then went on to talk about how Columbia was a planned community and the model of the community of the future, which they had read at some booth at the fair. I *loved* Horseshoes! During some dialogue some guy ran by in front of the stage, and Jian mocked him and the way that people crossing in front of crowds sort of crouch down even though they know everyone can see them :) At the end of "I Love My Boss", a cotton candy vendor ran in front of the stage and anncounced what he was selling, interrupting the song and forcing them to pick it up from the key change. Murray assured the guy that they were "ok for cotton candy". :) "Spiderman" was pretty cool; there wasn't much to climb on, but Mike ran through the crowd, announced that the cotton candy contained the shredded papers of Ollie North, and that the evidence was located somewhere in the crowd and that we needed to find it. He then came up right in front of _me_ and knocked me from my sitting position to the ground, which was pretty frightening but also really cool! He opened the cooler of one of the families behind us and stole some poor guy's can of Coke, announcing that Spiderman was brought to you by Coca-Cola :)
"The Greatest Man in America" went well, and then they put on their bowlers for Grandpa Fruvous' rendition of "Minnie the Moocher." --> "Columbia, Maryland is a town that has got lots / designed by computers and constructed by robots / Before the show they made you think it was raining / and those ducks on the lake are CIA agents in training." :) Witnessing the harmonies for "River Valley" in person was amazing. Jian particularly was really getting into the following "Get in the Car." During the intro for "The Kids' Song", Jian referred to Mike and Dave as "Vic" and "Tellie" :) "Is there something you like?" "Barney!" "Is there something you hate?" "Barney!". "I Gotta Get a Message to You" was ok. They started introducing the next song by saying that it started off their new live album, and also their studio album "You Will Go to the Moon", and Murray said that it would start every album from now on :) Then then went on to improv a song about Olestra, which was really entertaining! Mike blew one of the rhymes however and screamed out "Ahhhh!" instead. The sound guy was having some trouble with Mike's little keyboard on "Michigan Militia", but in all other respects it went great!
As Dave held onto his banjo, "Johnny Saucep'n" followed. "The only guy who lasts longer than Cal Ripkin" and "one of the final cuts from Booty Call", "The King of Spain" was awesome! They then broke into "Green Eggs and Ham" which caught me by suprise, with all the running around on stage, Mike "spinning on his ass", and stuff. The "Love Potion #9 Medley" was really cool, containing snips of "Stayin' Alive", "Who Will Save Your Soul", and such.
In the encore "Authors", Murray hit the low "E" at the "over when I finish my book", different than that on "Live Noise" where he doesn't. Mike as Lou Reed was introduced for their final song, a cover of "Dancing Queen" :) That guy who introduced them and Eddie from Ohio then led us all in singing "Happy Birthday" for Murray.
What an awesome show! I don't know if I've ever had so much fun at any concert I've been to, and I've been to 5 TMBG concerts! :) It's a close call. "Hi" to anyone reading this who saw me or with whom I spoke; I was wearing a TMBG t-shirt and was in the center front.
Chris and I started out at around 10:30 for the long, but uneventful ride to MD (YAY no tickets this time!!). We arrived in Elkridge, where we were staying, around 6:30. The weather was a bit of a concern, but it ended up not being a problem.
After a quick change, we headed off to the Festival. When we arrived we were greeted by Chris T, Zard, and Cricket. They were a little surprised to see us ( you mean Rochester and Maryland aren't that close???) :)
I have heard alot about Eddie From Ohio, but I had never seen them before. Now I know what all the fuss is about!! They were really fabulous, and we are now the proud owners of their live CD. I encourage anyone who has not seen them to do so if the opportunity presents itself!
Jo, Alt Jen and her Chris arrived just as EFO were finishing up. They brought with them our "Murray's People" T-shirts. In honor of Murray's birthday we made t-shirts with our favorite pics of him on them. They were pretty funny! Moxy came on around 9:15. They opened with I understand. That led into BJ and Jockey. I'm not sure how, but the subject of film projector's came up at this point, and Jian did an impression of what they used to sound like (this struck me as very funny, because I remember them very well).
Next up was Horesshoes, followed by Boss which was interrupted by someone walking in front of the stage in a "half crouch" that did not go unnoticed by the guys. Jian immediately did his impression of what it looks like to them. Very funny!! They were able to finish up Boss, and then Mike disappeared, so we knew Spiderman was about to make an appearance. There weren't many places for him to jump from, so he improvised and used the steps and went in the crowd.
Spidy was followed by Greatest Man in America ( a personal favorite). When I saw the hats go on I assumed that Boo Time was next. I guess I should know by now that I can't predict what they are going to do, because it wasn't Boo Time at all, it was Minnie the Moocher. A very fun song, with clever lyrics that showcase Mike's talent for improv, and the band's ability to scat!!.
This was followed by Get in the Car, Kid's song, Message (a capella), a funny bit on Olestra, Michigan Militia, Johnny Saucep'n, KOS/GE&H, and Love Potion medley.
The encores were Author's, and Lou Reed made an appearance with Walk on the Wild Side.
The guys thought they were done at this point. Well, not so fast. We had other plans. We were able to talk the announcer ( I don't know his name), into bringing Moxy back out one more time, so we could serenade Murray with " Happy Birthday". I also got to present him with flowers, WHOHOOOOOO!!!!. Murray later commented he felt like the prom queen. This was a very good show, and well worth the trip down.
On my scale of Budgie's this show rates a 3 1/4!!!!
Now it's off to NYC!!!
Here's the set list:
I Understand BJ Jockey Horseshoes Boss Spidy GMIA Minnie River Car Kids Message (a capella) Michy Johnny KOS GE&H (short version) Love Potion Encore 1: Authors Encore 2: Walk on the wild side Closed with: Happy Birthday Murray!
Some other tidbits from the performance include: