WOW! Sorry for shouting but I still don't think it quite conveys my feelings about seeing Moxy Fruvous for the first time. I was completely blown away and it wasn't even close to a full set since it was folk festival performance. In fact I had a really hard time deciding if I wanted to go since I knew it would be an abbreviated performance and I had to travel close to 3 hours to get there. I live in Delaware, right at the edge of WXPN's listening area, so the trip to Schwenksville was non trivial but it was definitely worth it. The guys even did a little homage to my home state! I'll leave the rest of the details of the set list and banter to the usual suspects. My purpose for posting here is to attempt to explain what it was like to finally see the guys live and to express my regret at having not taken advantage of any previous opportunities to see them even if a significant road trip was necessary. Believe me I won't make that mistake again.
A little background information. I discovered Moxy Fruvous through their relationship with WXPN. Last summer I picked up a copy of Live Noise even though I didn't really know anything on it except the few tracks that were in heavy rotation: KOS, Michigan Militia, My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors, and Jockey Full of Bourbon. I was in for quite a surprise. There were many more tracks that became instant favorites and the stage banter gave me a good indication as to what a live show was about, or at least that's what I thought at the time. Actually I don't think you could really do a live show justice unless the whole live album was the kind of funky impromptu jamming that truly characterizes a live show. At any rate the CD didn't leave my player for months. I just couldn't get enough of it particularly Horseshoes and The Drinking Song. I bought tickets for the show they did in February at the Trocedero in Philadelphia but was unable to attend as I was out of town on business. Actually I was out of the country so there really was no opportunity for a road trip. My wife went with a co-worker and was very impressed. I considered going to their last area folk festival performance at Spring Gulch but decided against it for the same reason that almost didn't go to this show: long road trip, short set, folkies. It is a decision I now regret especially since they were doing a workshop which unfortunately they were unable to do this weekend since there were no openings available. Now six months have passed since a Philly area performance and it looks like my only opportunity to see them any time soon is going to be at a folk festival. So I bucked up, bought the tickets and got a couple of friends together to drive up there.
It was an incredible experience! I don't even care that I didn't get home until 4 am. I wish I had had a chance to get autographs but they weren't going to do that until Sunday afternoon. I would have loved to get my shirt signed. My wife bought me a shirt at the February show as some small consolation for having missed it. Hopefully next time, and believe me there will be a next time. I won't think anything of a two hour drive in the future. Maybe this note will be the deciding factor for some other fans who just haven't made the commitment yet. Even if you have to travel to see this band, do it. It will be well worth your investment in money and time. I'm seriously considering the New Year's shows in New York. Maybe I'll see you there.
Well, Moxy has finally headlined the PFF! Spotted Jian twice on festival grounds during the day having a good time at the Cry Cry Cry set and during Loundon Wainwright. Sorry they didn't do any workshops - maybe next year. The night set was a great one that kept the crowds around till the bitter end - only other crowd I've seen do that was Koko Taylor's! Despite what seemed (from high on the hill) to be some technical problems and a very pressured for time band it was a lot of fun - Moxy opened with a Philadelphia song that made all of us feel warm and fuzzy and very proud of WXPN (the greatest radio station in the universe). We also got a great Minnie with lyrics "within 30 minutes of show time", The Lazy Boy, Johnny Saucep'n, Splatter, Splatter, How can I refuse (or whatever the real name is) which is a great song, My Poor Generation, Get in the Car plus the ultimate Moxy cover - Walk on the Wild Side/Dancing Queen. Anyone who can listen to that without dancing and smiling must be dead. Anyway - all songs not necessarily in that order - I have way to much of a good time to keep track while I am actually at the show - how do y'all do that? Encored with Drinking Song. Wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Let's see if I can do this without being incompetent this time...
Hehe, I guess that it would be best to start out with the drive... My father executed some of the most illegal driving moves I have ever seen! A U-turn before a toll was the best one... Um... well, I'll just say that through some amazing stroke of luck we made it to the festival in one piece (and only got lost twice).
The five-hour drive was also due to the fact that we took the White Horse Pike and made a stop in one of the best music stores I've ever been to. Stephanie (SaphiraCat), who was with me, sans plastic aliens, had to physically rip me away from this black electric-acoustic guitar. She is cruel. So very cruel.
But I digress. Digression is fun! Umm... anyway... After spending fifteen minutes parking, five minutes walking to the shuttle, and ten minutes in the shuttle, we finally DID make it to the festival! Hard to believe, huh? Now all we had to do was get tickets. We decided to do the slightly evil thing and buy them from this seemingly nice stranger who was leaving early. Morally, it's not that great, but financially, it was wonderful! $15 apiece for the tickets with four reserved seating tickets thrown in free! People are great...
When we last left our heroes, they had their tickets, had their gear, their car was parked, all that was left to do was to go in. That was easier said then done. The whole experience would have been a lot easier to handle if there wasn't this five-year-old kid behind us that kept trying to kill Not Dave, who is quickly becoming the Steph and Bender mascot... Not Dave eventually had to be deflated. After watiting around for what seemed to be an eternity, we handed in our evil, illegal tickets that we are sure to be damned to hell for, and went inside. Steph, who is writing this with me, just got into her "Leah, if you keep being this facetious, I'm gonna do somethng not-nice to you" mode, so I think I'm gonna try and hold back...
Okay. So there was food. And we had our reserved seats. And I didn't recognize Trace and felt like a moron. The Irish fiddle chick royally rocked. That vocal quartet was brutal. Loudon Wainright was awesome. That salsa band was loud. Ran into Lizzie by the port-o-potties. We talked. Talk is nice. So is Lizzie. Got a Tylenol. Okay, finally, the part you wanted to hear abour from the beginning....
The guy with the moustache who was trying to fill space until Früvous came on was so desperate for material that I felt sorry for the guy... But those chicken jokes were brutal. The whole time, Jian kept peeking out from backstage... that is, until one roadie apparently got fed up and closed the black curtain...
Finally, at about eleven-thirtyish, they guys came on and sang some song about Philadelphia... if anyone has any idea what that was, please, tell me or Steph!!! Then, they did Half as Much. I love that song... and it's been stuck in my head ever since. The next song was introduced as "a song about Canadian-American relations sung under the veneer of a superficial tune about an armchair". Yup! Lazy Boy!!!! I have to admit, sheepishly, that I squealed. If you make any "Bender and squeal" puns, I'm going to have to hurt you. But Lazy Boy was great! One of my favorite songs!
Then came Minnie the Moocher... one of the verses was about the physical effects of jumping into a cold river (hehe), another was about George W. Bush and a "bowl of nose candy". Jian, didn't stop drumming afterwards, and said, "Energizer!" and put on a very demented smile.
Jian: Grampa Früvous, written 30 minutes before the show Dave: Or your pizza is free Jian: Or we beat him up Mike: It's a good gig!
Then there was some banter about Murray being good at lacrosse and sideburns, then I Will Hold On. After that was My Poor Generation. Murray gave the intro to that, and at one point, Jian mimicked everything Murray said almost perfectly. It was, to quote Steph, "Disturbing but extremely cool". Three of my favorites already... wow.
Then Dave improvised some song about bison, then Mike did a little improvised song about Delaware, "You put fences around the alleged lowest highest point... In DELAWAAAAAAAARE!"
Then they moved on to Johnny Saucep'n... Which, as Steph and I have concluded, lists all the ingredients in a Big Mac. Then, there were some technical difficulties
Murray: It's the folk god saying that keyboards have no place at folk festivals
So, they did Splatter Splatter. "The Wonderful Hillary" was overjoyed. Then, they did Get in the Car instead of Michigan Militia. Apparently, Murray was informed of this at about the same time the audience was.
For the encore, they did Dancing Queen, then The Drinking Song... The guys looked pretty amused when people complied when Jian said "Let me see your lighters!". At some points of this song, and I know this was only my second concert but... Not one person in the audience made a sound during said parts of the song... I just found that completely amazing... and very moving.
I'll leave it up to Steph to summarize it... she's the one that's good with words:
"All right, I'll do it... I'm thinking, I'm thinking... Give me a second, I want to write this out... Ugh! Hold on! Hello? You still there? Okay, hold on again. Okay, this is what I have so far. After The Drinking Song, it was clear that the show was over. It had been a long night with many great acts, with Früvous being the grand finale. On the long car ride home, all agreed that, even though they had only been on an hour, it was definitely an hour worth remembering. End. That's all I have. Oh, yeah, did you mention the thing about Jian steaming? What do you mean? He STEAMED! Jian was hot, literally! There was steam wafting off of him! I know we made these puns last night... That was so great! NO! Don't put that! I wish I had gotten a picture, though... That would have been an awesome picture... Oh, crap! This is going in the review?!?!?!"
Finally. Your torture is over.
Some other tidbits from the performance include: