hEY hEY kiddies...
So i'm back from day one of Fruvous-bliss (yeahyeah, so i've never seen 'em before... you try living out here in no-man's land) :) Anyways, this evening in Denver was awesome (to say the least). Since I'm only a mere lurker over here I'm gonna review this as if i was on the TMBG-list... sorry if there's some other standard...
Location: Denver, CO @ Swallow Hill Music Hall - October 2nd, 1998
Me and 6 of my posse (converts) attended tonights show... we made up a good portion of the audience... okay well, the place only holds what we estimated to be a little over 100 people (if that). very intimate... i loved it :) Everyone was seated... we decided to sit on the nice carpeted floor so we could be front row... let me just say it was worth it... The show started with like 5 minutes of SA's (stage announcements for those not hip with the DJ lingo). The chick mentioned "Moxy Fruvous" and they all ran on stage even tho she still wasn't done. we were all very grateful that they shut her up.
First things first... they look so much better in person. don't get me wrong... i'm just a kid and i'm not like after their bods or anything... But it was pretty much agreed upon within my posse that Murray was the man, Jian's a cutie (that knows how to dress reeeeally well.. based solely on the few video boots i've acquired and tonights show), Dave's facial expressions throughout the show made him seem like a teddy bear, and Mike (aside from the fact that i think men should have to wear bootleg-esque jeans as well... ankle-huggers, ugh) looked totally blasted (as in drunk not like drug-type fried). i dunno what that was about. (does he always look that way?)
Setlist (just over 60m): -Message -BJ (one arm) -Medicine (they went off the mics here becuase it was such a small place... talk about the nice carpeted stage... and how it was the perfect andrew lloyd weber type stage, Jian started dancing off it... which was really funny.) -Boss the song that got me hooked on Fruvous... prolly my fave song still (pisco's up there now). "come for the singing, stay for the dancing" -Spidey what can I say... the pyrotechnic portion of the show was excellent (heh) :) -Sad -Pisco -Hold the three new songs... i love 'em :) without a doubt they're already some of my faves. when's the next album coming out? To my delight, Murray mentioned something about being sweaty and soon enough Jian was singing a bit of sweaty guy/particle man :) yay! -Michy -Tureen -Sauce -King the turf at mile high... now the 'lanch (avalanche) call me up to drive.... -Green okay so from what I've heard, i saw the short (?) version... where very little was acted out. I think if i could see any song live the long version of this would be it... -Potion heh, that was the coolest cover-medley i've ever heard.... (and I thought Homegrown's cover of "barbie girl" was funny) :) ENCORE: -Gulf
i dunno, this live was awesome but Mike was out there...
I'm still in awe at all the banter...
Anyways, there was a 20 minute "Intermission" after their set before the nields came on... we went out into the lobby and were just hanging around when there we see Jian talking to some people. Anyways, he was super cool, said he saw my post this afternoon and grabbed me a set-list (but i'd already stolen Dave's) so my bud LIndsey took that one... he signed a grip of our stuff, which was cool, cuz like i said, we had a *grip* of stuff for him to sign :) I dunno, perhaps i've just been seeing the wrong bands, but when the members are cool to their fans it just makes me like the bands that much more...
Well anyways, I bootlegged the show, it's the best bootleg i've ever produced but considering the fact that the only other show i've ever bootlegged was an eagle eye cherry show a while back... For those of you that trade TMBG boots... it's high quality for TMBG boots which is at best average (?) for other groups i'm sure.
I'm totally psyched about seeing them in a barn tomorrow night :) but i should go now because i've got 4 and some odd hours worth of driving to do in the morning so i can make it to this show...
I am forever indebted to sarah :)
take it easy, JOrdaN
We arrived early to the show on Friday, and I had my first introduction to the Fruhead culture. My only album was a copy of the indy release at the time , though I bought the rest that night. I talked with Toby and Dave as to whether or not the band was likely to autograph my copy of Green Eggs and Ham , and the general consensus was that if they had time , it was pretty likely. Doors opened and we all poured into the theatre and I headed toward the front, where I met Leah, Rob, and Jason; and had a seat.
The set list Jordan posted matches mine, so I won't bore you with repetition. This was my first show and it truly impressed me in many, many ways.
Message- I know it's a common opening for them, but to hear it live for the first time is a very cool thing.
Boss- Hearing this acapella was really a lot of fun for the audience , and as far as acapella goes , the group was very tight at this show in general.
Pisco- Is this song ever not invigorating to listen to? My choice for the next album, as if I get a vote.
Militia- The person I brought fell into this groove easily, as did most of the crowd. How is it that a song whose contents make me so insecure about the political choices about my countrymen makes me want to dance so much?
King- Fun to see live for the first time, although next time they're in town they may want to remember that Mile-High doesn't have 'turf, it's grass.
Gulf- The above comments on the acapella talents of the group cannot begin to describe the impact this encore had on the audience. The sincerity and relevancy of this tune still haunts us today, 6 years after we first heard this on the indy release. This was the tune that in my mind elevated Moxy past the ranks of humor bands (TMBG, Arrogant Worms, etc.) and into the ranks of performers who make a meaningful impact with a few well chosen words such as Waits, Cohen, and Collins. The devastating effects of this rendition were in evidence in the faces of the audience long after the show.
Always a nice thing to see a down-to-earth band that is genuinely approachable and appreciative of their fans.
Ok, so I know it's now THURSDAY and I'm a bit late posting my reviews for the shows last weekend, but hey hey what can I say, I'm still coming off that rocky mountain moxy high.......
Well, let my very first Fruvous weekend officially begin!!! YEEEEE-HAAAAA!!!!! I must say that this will go down in history as one of the absolute LONGEST days in my life........ I was so antsy all day I couldn't sit still, thought 8:30 would NEVER arrive!! Got to Swallow Hill around 7:15, 30 minutes prior to the opening of the doors. Cool venue. Hung out with fellow Frufans in the lobby, checked out the merch table, and just generally had a good time absorbing the atmosphere.
Finally after what seemed like 3 or 4 HOURS, doors opened!!!!! We tried to get in as soon as the doors opened, but people were just pouring in....... However, much to my (very pleased) dismay, the first folks in were grabbing chair in the middle of the room. HELLO - caller are you there???? What's their prob?? So we hauled heiney to the first two chairs we saw in the front row. Me, I desperately wanted to be stage right, for no other reason than that's where Murray & Jian spend most of their time (are there two better looking guys anywhere in this universe?!?!?) But, we settled for the other side, but sort of toward the middle.
After yet another eternity, the Fruguys finally took the stage (well, first they had an introduction, but hey hey - who's paying attention to that?!?!?!?) Went into an a cappella rendition of "Message" that absolutely sent chills down my spine. What a start to the show!! I won't rehash the setlist, partly 'cause I don't remember it all, and partly 'cause I know Jordan has already posted it. My faves - "Boss" and "Spidey" 'cause of the interaction with the audience. Very cool, even though their jaunts off the stage were farther from my seat than when they were on stage. I loved the intimacy that allowed for off-mic singing...... :-)
My partner in crime, little sister Becky, was beyond thrilled when the band broke into "Michy". Needless to say, her absolute fave song!!!!! And, yes indeed, it ROCKED!!!!! We loved "King" of course, then I almost flipped when they broke into "GEH". AWESOME!!!!! I would be remiss if I did not mention the new songs. "Hold", as it seems everyone agrees, is a very powerful, very beautiful song. I enjoyed "Sad Girl", but I think my fave new song - "Pisco". Great beat, witty, and hey - Murray on lead vocals, need I say more? Finally, the encore......... an a cappella "Gulf War Song". Yes, chills again, and a song that the audience was buzzing about long after the moxy set was over.......
So anyway, the downer of the night was when the set was over...... We went outside, ran into Dave, who was nice enough to chat with fans even tho he had just come out for a smoke. Went back into the lobby where we see Jian talking to a HORDE of girls.....hi Jordan!! :-) We ever so patiently waited our turn, and ended up talking to Jian for a couple minutes. He signed some stuff and was just basically very very sweet. I was bummed that Murray and Mike (well, especially Murray) didn't make an appearance, at least before we left.
To summarize an already out-of -hand post here, Becky & I had an absolute blast. Found Dave & Jian both extremely friendly, and the show itself was unbelievable. Went home to get some rest for the drive to C-dale the next day....... :-)
Home again, home again, fiddle dee dee.
I'm sitting once more at my Linux box in Saskatchewan, looking down the face of DejaNews. Wide Mouth Mason is in the CD player, and I'm finding it hard to write rather than sing along with "Midnight Rain". But I want to clear my mind of Fruvous influence while I write this last entry in the Expedition '98 series, for two reasons:
1) I didn't bother to write reviews, and 2) I don't want to write reviews anyway.
I wanted very much to make sure that people knew what happened at places like Calgary and Salmon Arm. The moving hand, have writ, moved on, but the important part was the writing. I don't know exactly why it made so much difference to me that it was written down, but it had to be.
So this is more travelogue than review, more memory than notes. Anyone who disapproves is free to join me on Expedition '99....
After a full day of heel-cooling in Saskatchewan I took a taxi out to the airport. There, I began Expedition '98, Part 2: the Colorado journey. The flight from Saskatoon to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was unexceptional. I've taken this flight so many times that I've finally learned my way all through MSP, which I suppose is one mark of the veteran traveller.
I didn't get much look out the window as we approached Denver International Airport, or DIA as it's known to the locals. Disembarking from the plane with my trusty backpack, I took an escalator down to... a train station.
No, I'm not kidding. One of the many engineering marvels of DIA is that there is a subway train that takes you from the concourses to the main terminal and vice versa, complete with electronic "Next Stop... Concourse B" signage inside the trains and a cheery and unique theme for each stop along the way. This is how everyone will travel in the Star Trek universe, until home transporters become affordable.
I can't make any comment about the infamous DIA luggage system, butt of so many cheap jokes. I had only the one backpack for Expedition '98. I recommend to *anyone* who travels to only take one backpack - http://welcome.to/travelite/ was my inspiration and it should be yours too!
The main level at DIA is all white and black marble and plastic and metal. It looks like you are stepping into one of those experimental science fiction films. If you looked only at the ceiling, you'd expect that the person who bumped into you was THX-1138, not a plastics salesman from Boca Raton. I found out where to catch the shuttle out to the city where I'd be staying, and got there with all of three minutes to spare. It cost only ten (American) dollars for the two-hour drive.
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN DENVER AND FORT COLLINS
Observation #1: Not all of Colorado is mountains. If the fields that we drove by on the way to Fort Collins grew nothing but canola, I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between here and Manitoba. In fact, here's a five-step guide to making central Colorado indistinguishable from Manitoba:
1. Turn all the signage metric.
2. Replace Interstate signs with Trans-Canada signs.
3. Replace the one American flag I saw with a Canadian one.
4. Reprice all gasoline in litres.
5. Make it about 40% more desolate.
Observation #2: Colorado is *packed*. Western Canada is a very widely dispersed region. You travel for hours to get between major population centres. Even small towns are pretty spread out. In Colorado, the longest bus ride I ever had to take was eight hours (to get from Fort Collins to Carbondale). Eight hours on a bus gets you *most* of the way from Saskatoon to Winnipeg or Calgary. This is one of the reasons I swear by WestJet.
DENVER, COLORADO: SWALLOW HILL
We (my friend Nancy and I) took a bus out to Denver the next day to get to the first of the three Fru-shows I'd get to see on this leg of Expedition '98. Arriving at the Denver bus terminal, we realized that we didn't know where the show was or how to get there. We walked down to the 16th Street Mall and got directions to Broadway at a nearby Starbucks. This involved hopping a free bus that took us about seven blocks down, and from there walking a good distance down. We walked a bit down Broadway before finding the public library, where I decided we would go to see if we were in the right direction. "Library. Maps. Information desks. Internet kiosks." (Swimming pools, movie stars....) We found out that we were indeed going the right way and just needed to hop the 0 bus to get to the corner of Broadway and Yale.
This we did.
(Now I see why travelogues are so generally boring. "I took a shuttle." "We took a bus." "I tied my shoelace." Maybe I should just make stuff up.)
That was when the terrorists attacked.
(No, that'd break the unwritten bond that I, as a journalist, have with my readers, wouldn't it?)
Okay, in hindsight there weren't any terrorists. But there was, right on the corner, a cool-looking building that was indeed Swallow Hill. Parked right next to it was a green van with a trailer that we would come to recognize as Nessie, the Nields' tour van, and unpacking something in front of it was someone I would come to recognise as Dave Chalfant. We decided against bothering the guy, and instead walked on in where I collected my tickets and handed one to Nancy. We had some neat Chinese food at a nearby restaurant called Twin Dragon and then waited. And waited. And called a friend in Denver to see if she wanted to come by. And waited. And then went to a coffee shop where we had pie and ice cream. And came back and waited some more, and saw that by now the Frubus had arrived.
A few people had collected outside by then, so while Nance read the Rocky Mountain News, I struck up a conversation or two. The first person I chatted with was tmbgirl, whom I'm sorry I didn't recognise from the newsgroup. (Now I know!) The second was Dave from Arizona, who had made the trip for the Nields.
The show that night was *very* nice. Others have reviewed it - I don't really want to go over their words again. Let me just say that it was the second time I heard GWS this tour. They don't just do it out in the middle of nowhere, Marie-Claude. ;-)
I wish I could say all sorts of good things about the Nields, but we had to run to get back to Fort Collins that night. Allan (whose reviews you've already read) gave us a drive back to the bus station and from there we went home, drained but pleased.... and ready for the trip out to Carbondale!
Coming in a bit, the part of Expedition '98 where I go all to pieces.
Some other tidbits from the performance include: