Well, Norg said he wanted to write a review, but I guess I'm gonna do one first. :-)
Glossing over the travel, I arrived in Vancouver with Jaime after 8 hours on a plane, and another 2 or 3 in cars between home, airport and Vancouver. After visiting the aquarium and surviving my first ever sushi experience *gulp*, we hit the venue. We were going to sneak in line with Doug or George, if we saw them, and we did see them . . . as they went into the venue. Oh well, end of the line for us. Poor Jamie was tired after all that driving so he and Doug grabbed a table near where George was setting up his recording equipment. I realized at that point I had forgotten my camera but wasn't willing to go back out into the drizzle to correct that. I was so hyper from the travel and excitement that I couldn't sit still. Other than Jamie, Doug, and George, I didn't know anyone there so I kept annoying poor Tobey. It seemed like forever until Tory meandered onto the stage and started checking equipment. There was a large dance floor in front of the stage which remained empty for his set. I was a little disappointed, I would have liked to see more enthusiasm for Tory, but I suppose he isn't as well known on the West Coast. He was plagued by feedback problems at the beginning which deadened "Leaning on the Stair" but he and Cal sorted that out and the second song was nearly unmarred. The audience kept a low murmur of conversation throughout his set which kinda bugged me as I was distracted by the undertone. His set was only politely appreciated, but a girl who I had been chatting with went up to the stage and threw him a white rose.
I will admit to taking a nap inbetween Tory and Moxy Fruvous. Hey! I was exhausted! I woke up as they took the stage, to the amusement of some new friends, and joined the 4 or 5 people slowly and hesitantly meandering towards the stage. The dance floor never really filled up, although we did get close to 30 people by the end of the show.
Set list: Down From Above, Horseshoes, BJ Don't Cry, Half As Much, Independence Day, Sad Girl, Pisco Bandito, Lazy Boy, Boo Time, Michigan Militia, Present Tense Tureen, Johnny Saucep'n, I Will Hold On, My Poor Generation, Splatter Splatter (Mike mentioned that they intended to play this on Conan on Tuesday), Kingreen (The combined King of Spain and Green Eggs & Ham. It made the audience happy. The girl who gave Tory the rose was wearing a white feather boa which made it up to Dave for a bit. Mike used two case lids and pretended he was a goalie for a bit before beating up n Dave rather agressively), Psycho Killer (Really cool, the venue turned on a fake snow machine halfway through this).
Encore 1: My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors, Get in The Car (Doug abbrevieated these two in his handheld computer as Bookmobile)
Encore 2: Disco Video Bargainville, Sunrise (This is a Tory Cassis song. He came back out on stage and they all played together. I loved it! They were having fun.) Drinking Song
Some Banter: They babbled at the people in the balcony next to them for a bit at the beginning, telling them to throw things at Murray if they didn't like the show, and if they did to throw things at Dave. Picked on people from Alberta for a while.
Again, the crowd kept up a low murmur of conversation while Fruvous was playing. I was VERY annoyed during "I Will Hold On" when the undertone almost challenged the music. There was very little audience participation and almost NO energy from the crowd. The Lads seemed to struggle with the lack of feedback although it was obvious they were striving to please the audience. The only yells I heard from the crowd were from a few drunken voices clamoring for KOS, GE&H and the Drinking Song. I think one person cried out for Gulf War. Noone knew the train whistle or pit bull bark during GE&H, although it seemed to be the general favorite judging by the yells. The show felt very low key to me, perhaps I am jaded by over-zealous fans in the Philly and Buffalo areas. Perhaps I AM one of those over-zealous fans. I've seen subdued shows before - the recent Ramshead show comes to mind. But even then, the energy was high and there was almost a current between performers and fans. It seemed as if the fans here were daring Fruvous to entertain them. Sitting back and waiting to see if they were as good as remembered without interacting. Disco Bargainville got the weakest "TWO!" I've ever heard! Ok, maybe they just didn't know to respond. All in all, this seemed to me a comparatively reserved audience. It took me several songs before I felt comfortable to dance, and even then I was entirely too aware of the people sitting down watching and never really relaxed.
I enjoyed "Drinking Song", since the local shows I have seen lately have been ending with other songs. A pleasant change, I like the different finales. But it was apparent that the fans here expected, were even demanding "Drinking Song".
We bolted after the show, since Jamie and I were falling asleep, and we dragged Doug away before the Lads came out. I hope people stayed to chat.
Onward to Victoria . . .
Sorry to those who have been hearing the silence from this part of the country, work and stuff kind of got in the way. I am threading this post off of Jen's (Ladywench) 'cause I will probably refer to it later on (not too much later, I will try to make this short)
So, it was a good thing Doug called me Sunday night. I somehow thought they were coming here after Conan (i.e. the 14th) and would have missed them completely. The long and the short of the call was that Frucasa West was back in business the next day. I had Tuesday and Wednesday off so Doug and I spent most of our time exploring downtown Vancouver (gad, I haven't spent so much time in the centre of the city in a really long time, I'm a suburbs dude and generally avoid downtown but actually it was kind of fun) I had to work Wed. night (Thurs.. morning really) oh, have I mentioned that my new job is pretty much night shift? Anyway, when I got home Doug had already left to make his own way downtown again to await the arrival of George who we weren't sure had seen the e-mail saying we had bought his ticket for him. I, on the other hand, crashed and tried to get as much sleep as I could so that I could survive going straight from the show to work. So I arrived at the venue well after all the line standing fun was over found, Doug and George in almost exactly the same seats as last year, said hi to the girls we met last year at the show (yes, the tiara and boa girl was with us, or us with her depending on how you look at it) and met Jaime and there was another person there and nobody introduced us. The cads! I finally asked George who she was and I was incredibly excited to learn that this was the famous (maybe infamous j/k) Ladywench! I introduced myself and was promptly plied with truffles which I was most happy to accept not having eaten much in the rush to get down there. Poor Wenchy was so tired she doesn't remember much about meeting me and in fact soon after was fast asleep. My biggest regret from that night is that we didn't have a chance to get to know each other.
So eventually Tory came on and after some banter he started his first song. Wow, what a voice. There was some technical problems during the first song but I hardly noticed. Tory has the kind of rich, sonorous, voice that makes you wonder why high pitched freaks like Michael Jackson and Michael Bolton are so popular. And he knows how to use it, varying the colour and sliding up into his falsetto with a great deal of finesse and ease. And he is quite the guitar player.
As a trumpet player myself I was hoping to hear that too but alas not on this night. Although there was some chatter through his set, mostly during his banter, I looked around while he was singing and most people seemed to be paying attention, much more than for Dana Manning last year. Many of you have seen him and read other raves so I don't need to go on about him.
So after a reasonably short wait (in Fruvous time anyway) the guys came out and launched into a fairly typical set judging from the set lists I've seen posted recently. Thankfully, Jen already has posted the set list (I just listen, I don't take notes)
I have to agree with Jen, the crowd was I thought smaller (not by much) than last year and less enthusiastic. The place shook but it didn't bounce, 'ya know? I wonder though, if Jen's impression of how weak the "Two" shout in Bargainville (and possibly the general sense of lack of audience feedback) had partly to do with how loud it was. I thought it was just me but Doug confirmed that for a Fruvous show this one was loud. Too loud for any whoops and yells to have much effect. Or maybe we're just laid back west-coasters.
All the same, people I saw seemed to be having a good time and were singing along to all the songs, old and new. So as they say, its all good. After the show, Doug, Jen and Jaime took off quickly back to my place to grab Doug's stuff and head off to where they were staying that night and after George and I talked to the guys and our new old friends, I showed George where I live (I'd moved since he was here last) and I took off to work. By the time I got back George had gone off to meet the others at the ferry to Victoria. (my second regret, George and I didn't much chance to catch-up, and I'm sure he's got lots of stories to tell of his adventures back east with you all. And this Enquiring mind wants *all* the details ;-))
That's all for now!
Some other tidbits from the performance include: