Okay, I'm a brand-new Moxy reviewer, but no one else has done this venue yet so I'll be brave. Here goes: This was a great night for an outdoor concert in a public park, and the turnout was phenomenal. The teenage ticket-takers and local constabulary seemed quite overwhelmed -- I guess they never suspected there were so many Fruheads around, many of them under the age of six. And what the heck, it only cost 6 bucks.
Local songstress Jackie Tice opened for about an hour, and lots of folks picnicked and tried their hand at amateur busking -- there were many jugglers, and a bearded man wrapped in a formless garment that covered him from the hips down, dancing with a walking stick on a wire.
Then Fruvous took the stage -- well, actually the gazebo, which they explained was the latest gazebo in their all-gazebo tour of the continent. They played an amazing set of over two hours, including (not a complete or chronological list, I was having too much fun to write 'em down)
BJ Jockey Video Bargainville Fly Greatest Man in America I Love my Boss Boo Time Johnny Saucep'n Sahara Spiderman Pisco Bandido King of Spain (with King of Prussia jokes) Mistra Know-it-all Green Eggs and Ham Get in the Car Present-tense Tureen Authors
and ended the main set with Love Potion # 9. Mike also sang a song about Philadelphia he had come up with during the 'XPN Singer-Songrwriter Weekend, and they introduced a couple of new songs whose names escaped me. Encore #1 was Michigan Militia -- and at this point they seemed pretty tired, having given a rousing show for 2 hours. The crowd wouldn't let them go that easily though, so the 2nd encore was the Drinking Song, which they explained was always an ending song. (In other words that's all folks, really we mean it, now go away please please, without saying so much.)
Improv bits: Jian intro'd Fly by saying it was a request "and we don't usually do requests -- we don't want to encourage that element -- the friendly element" from a guy who had e-mailed him, saying this concert would be his last date with his longtime lover. Mike sampled someone's blackberries in vodka, Dave was threatened with a beating from the Fruvous Goons in the truck, and they teased the guy with the stick, calling him the man from Scotland because of his indefinable but skirtlike garb. After a moth tried to fly up Murray's nose they decided this was an American plot which involves inviting Canadians to play at gazebos and so allowing the insects to pick them off, four a week, until there are none left and Canada's ours for the taking.
Citronella candles and Off Skintastic were then proffered from the audience and applied all around.
All in all it was an energetic and provocative set that had the audience laughing whenever it wasn't singing or dancing. I can't wait to catch these guys again in Ottawa at the end of the month.
Reviewed by Lori Martin
Before I start, I have to apologize if I forget anything (like people's names, for instance :-) - my mind really is a sieve, especially this late at night. So if anyone can fill in the holes, go right ahead, though it's ended up being longer than I intended already :-)
Sahara Jockey Full of Bourbon [gazebo improv] BJ Don't Cry Video Bargainville I Love My Boss Spiderman Fly Boo Time Mistra Know-it-all Pisco Bandito The Greatest Man in America I Will Hold On [dave will be beaten improv] Present Tense Tureen Johnny Saucep'n Philadelphia (?) (something like Let's Play to the Chief?) Missing Her King of Spain/GE&H [w/ lora's theme (?) improv] My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors Get in the Car Love Potion #9 Michigan Militia [something I couldn't identify] The Drinking Song
I'm still disappointed someone beat me to posting about the show, but at least this'll be the first review :-) My cousin (a Fruvirgin) and I left his place in Hatfield around 4:15pm, and thanks to Mary's excellent directions made it there and even knew where to park. We set up stage Murray near Mary and Misty, who I met for the first time (and Misty, if you're Maige, I feel like a real idiot because it didn't strike me until now, but then again I am really bad with names). The opener act was okay, though I'm not really that much into real folky music. I also met John (at least I hope that's your name) and his family from DC, and their Fruvirgin friend Pauline (who comes in again later).
When Fruvous came out, I glanced behind, and realized that this is absolutely the biggest crowd I have seen at a Fruvous show, which explains why the announcer made some comment about it being Fruvous Woodstock (along with the jugglers and the scary half-naked guy with a stick, but we'll get to that again). There must have been at least a couple thousand people, I think. Nothing really striking about their clothes, except Jian was wearing an "I dig your boyfriend" t-shirt, which I've never seen before (not that that means much). They started out with Sahara (extended), and then did Jockey Full of Bourbon. (Oh, heck, now I realize my notes don't say who said anything, so anyone who wants to fill in or correct me, go right ahead :-). Since they were playing in some sort of gazebo-like structure, they talked a while about gazebos, and how this is a gazebo-to-gazebo tour, and Murray said that they actually drive the gazebo around from concert to concert, and they launched into an improv that was something like "We're gonna sing in a gazebo". They then sang BJ Don't Cry, with "He'd rather rock in Pennsylvania" instead of "stuffs his letters full of moxy" (can't remember the previous line :-/ ), followed by Video Bargainville. After that, the scary half-naked guy wearing a skirt-like thing walked across, and Mike said, "Look, a Scotsman!". The guy then walked onto a path in the middle of the stage, and bowed down before Jian, and Murray said something about it being like Joseph the Impromptu Musical, and Jian said something like he was carrying the Moslem thing too far. Then he noticed the camera, and decided it was the Viking 7 lander. Then they talked about Philadelphia's thriving economy and launched into I Love My Boss. Then Mike went out into the audience and started webslinging, and explained that the reason they go out into the audience is to get (I don't remember the exact phrase, but it was something like illegal substances) from the audience, and proceeded to get "blackberries in vodka" from Pauline, and drink milk from the Viking lander, then they played Spiderman. Then Jian talked about a request for a song the band got from someone that was breaking up with his girlfriend, and that the KoP concert was the last thing they would do "together", and then they played Fly. The next song was Boo Time (all I have of the scat is Upper Marion/something clarion/something stogie/something hoagies/Valley Forgin'/something encouragin'/Monica Lewinsky/.../Had a little Rush with the King of Pruss). Then they did Mistra Know-it-all, with a really neat bass solo by Murray. Then they talked about Central Ontario and how Americans visit there for the introduction to Pisco Bandito, except they got distracted by the noise from the congas (I vaguely remember a comment about nuclear radiation) before they started the song. Then they talked about when they first came to America (with sound effects) and played The Greatest Man in America. By this time, the "bugs from the Greater Philadelphia area" converged on the gazebo, but they valiantly continued on with gazebo banter, since it is an underused word (gazebo as a spice in an Italian dish, the president gave an address from the Oval gazebo, and something about preferring to refer to rubbers as gazebos). Then they played I Will Hold On, after which Murray made a comment about how being in a band you get used to playing even when a bug descends straight at you, and you exhale through your nose to keep the moth from going to your brain, when Dave made a comment about how it wanted to join its family, which prompted the Dave Will Be Beaten improv. They continued about how the bugs are really an American plot to kill Canadians, known as Gorefest, and that we weren't there to listen to them but to see them eaten alive. Then they launched into Present Tense Tureen, during which "mean and evil" Mary lit her citronella candles and took them to Tobey to put on stage. After the song, Jian made a comment about it being like a Sarah McLachlan concert with all the candles, and then they launched into Johnny Saucep'n. After that, Mike talked about how he came up with a song about Philadelphia two weeks ago when he walked to the bus station at 7am to get a haircut, and proceeded to sing a "little ditty". After that, since the candles weren't working as well as could have been hoped, though they were warming Murray's shins, someone took them Skintastic. Then they played the song I couldn't identify, then Missing Her. Then they started monk-like chants about being eaten by bugs, then launched into the introduction to King of Spain, and someone made a King of Prussia joke, so they made fun of him, and Mike introduced Captain Viagra Falls, the King of Spain! Then they played King of Spain (gazebo overhead instead of roof overhead, Flyers call me up instead of Leafs), which led into GE&H. When they got to the part about the Beatles, Dave's kung-fu reaction to screams at him was confused with a bald eagle (Jian, I think?). This led to slow-motion fighting, which ended in dancing to Lora's theme (?), and when Jian tried to get back to GE&H he cracked up and had to start it again. The next song was My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors (my baby's hooked on my crucifixion, and an Elvis-like "turning pages" at the end), which led into Get in the Car. After that, Jian told everybody they were crazy for showing up and paying to see them (to which my response is "but it's a _good_ kind of crazy!") and launched into Love Potion #9. The first encore was Michigan Militia, followed by a cover that I couldn't identify (someone posted what it was, but I think the moths in my head ate it 'cause it's gone now). Then they went off, came back on and played The Drinking Song. They seemed pretty tired, which may or may not be a result of not being able to turn the vocals up any higher (as they found out at the beginning of the concert). On the whole, a good show, and an especially good crowd, and I even got to meet Fruheads that I didn't know.
Kumar, who's ending it here since he's may fall asleep at any second
This was only the second time I've seen Moxy Fruvous live, so excuse the naivete. Anyway, a few comments about their performance at King of Prussia, PA on Aug 2.
- They were definitely well worth the obscenely low price of $6 to get in. They're the best live band I've seen and I'm look forward to seeing some more of them, though they won't be back to the Philly area till next year. I haven't been to any "Concert under the Stars" events, but I thought it was packed.
- Given that this was quite a family crowd, the guys behaved themselves quite well except for two slipups that I noticed, once during green eggs and ham.
- The people running this event made sure to keep things nice and orderly (for the sake of the kids and families, of course). There would be no dancing in front of the stage, and the shirtless hippie dude was kindly asked to leave the front area of the stage (or should I say gazebo). Despite that I think everyone still had a good time.
- I didn't recogize about three or four of the songs they played although I don't have all the albums yet. I think they said a couple were new.
- They sang a "tribute" to Philadelphia and I don't think they mentioned Pittsburgh at all.
- I was personally quite pleased that the guys ended the first encore with "The Band" classic "I Shall Be Released" and would have been quite happy to end the night on that note (I couldn't gauge how many in the audience knew that song from my vantage point in the back). Of course they had to come out again and sing "and the Band played on..."
That's all for now. Gotta get ready for work tomorrow.
From Jeremy Pressman:
So after the release of Live Noise, I must admit that I was a bit afraid to see Moxy Fruvous in Upper Merion township outside Philadelphia. After all, this is the group - if Jian can be said to speak for the other members - which called for an intra-Pennsylvania rivalry. Jian went so far as to advocate an agrarian revolt. Would people come to the concert with pitchforks? Would Jian even remember that he was in Philadelphia, not Pittsburgh?
As it turned out, people did come to the concert but they left the pitchforks at home. And then more people came. And people just kept coming and coming until there were 3000 to 4000 people for an outdoor concert. According to inside sources, this was the largest crowd at a concert headlined by Moxy. (Hats off to the City of Brotherly Love). I can personally attest to the fact that it was more than in the Somerville theatre for this year's Somerville folk festival or in La Sala de Puerto Rico for the MIT concert (in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit to being both a resident of Somerville, MA, and a graduate student at MIT).
David Broida's summer Concert Under the Stars series brings many folk performers to Upper Merion but few of them have been as focused on Upper Merion's new gazebo as Moxy Fruvous. It was definitely one of tonight's three leitmotifs, the other two being the locale (Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Upper Merion) and allegations of an American plot to bring Canadians down to Philadelphia -- four at a time -- place them under lights, and watch them being eaten alive by moths and mosquitoes. According to Murray, this will result in the death of all Canadians by 2061, finally allowing for a U.S. takeover of the northernmost areas of North America.
Anyway, Moxy did suggest that 'gazebo' is an underutilized vocabulary word. It could replace the word condom. Or, it could be a new dish (Honey, is there butter in this gazebo? It's really good).
The music was hot - plenty from the new live album as well as one of my old favorites, Present Tense Tureen. The show lasted about 1:45 before three encores that included Michigan Militia and, thankfully, the Drinking Song. Okay, I can't remember the order or even all the songs, but we did hear Jockey Full of Bourbon, Fly, Boo Time (I get a rush down in King of Pruss'), BJ Don't Cry, Johnny Saucep'n (what is the word squirt doing in that song?), My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors, Video Bargainville (which they played despite my claim that I have a college pal who says we can pay one price for three), and the Rush Limbaugh song,
There was a special guest. No, not the King of Prussia as one hapless audience member shouted. Some fans forget what Jian noted: this is not an interactive show. Or, as Murray put it, it's like television. Yes, the King of Spain took time off from driving the Flyers' zamboni (he left the Leafs' zamboni job when he came south of the border) to come. Of course, it didn't end there?there were also green eggs and ham and, sadly, a painful insult of the Beatles.
Once again, Moxy's creativity was on display. In a brief solo, Mike played a song he wrote one morning after the WXPN festival two weeks ago. His little ditty about Philadelphia was excellent, including his claim that Philly and Canada are both overlooked; Philly is forgotten between Wall Street and the dome of the Capitol. References covered everything from Betsy Ross and Edgar Allan Poe to Ben Franklin and the Eagles halftime show.
My personal highlights? The picture with Moxy before the show? Seeing them do a sound check for a few minutes at 5:30? Nahhh - it was having Mike come out into the audience and stand next to us (even if he tried the drink of the people in front of us) just before he leaped into a kickass rendition of Spiderman, complete with ever-cool web-throwing sounds.
Some other tidbits from the performance include: