Archive for the 'Music' Category

02
May
09

Even With Too Many “Mutha’ uckas,” Conchords Soar in St. Louis

The funniest band/comedy duo in the room?  You betcha!

My girlfriend and I had the privilege of seeing funny folk group Flight of the Conchords in St. Louis this past week.  Performing to a sold out crowd at the Fox Theatre, the New Zealand pair definitely had the audience by the sugarlumps for the entire show, even when the crowd tried to take over.

The best photo I could get from our vantage point.  That's Jemaine on the right, Bret in the center, and Nigel (the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra) on the left.

The best photo I could get from our vantage point. That's Jemaine on the right, Bret in the center, and Nigel (the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra) on the left.

Those hoping to see the band blandly play through the Conchords catalogue, thus fanboy wishes fulfilled, were in for a disappointment.  Instead, Bret and Jemaine treated the crowd to what felt like an impromptu, stream of consciousness show.  Though they did perform such FOTC favorites as “Robots,” “Hurt Feelings,” and “Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor,” you could tell that the show you were watching was different from the one the night before.  

Interspersed throughout the Conchords set list were delightful comedic bantering (which they dubbed as professional talking) and audience interactions.  One such example that sent the crowd into an uproar was when Jemaine removed his blue dress shirt to reveal a St. Louis Cardinals T-shirt (which he wore for the entire concert).  Off the cuff changes to songs and topical humor (swine flu) drove me to gleeful squeals.  Bret and Jemaine mostly performed as the Conchords you know and love, but were accompanied at times by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (aka one frizzy haired guy who can and looks like he can play every instrument imaginable).

Bret & Jemaine's robot helper takes a picture of the crowd as I take a picture of them taking a picture.

Bret & Jemaine's robot helper takes a picture of the crowd as I take a picture of them taking a picture.

However, there were a number of aspects audience members couldn’t grasp on to.  For one, Bret and Jermaine as Conchords are fictional characters.  Shouts from our section called out “Where’s Murray?” (the band’s manager on the show).  Bret responded, “That’s like asking Harrison Ford what’s it like working with Darth Vader.”  Once one person yelled, it turned into monkey see monkey do, eventually becoming a free for all and disrupting the flow of the show.  I can see that because a FOTC performance is one part comedy show and one part concert, the lines of theatre etiquette are blurry.  However, being the professionals that they are, the two kiwis didn’t skip a beat, turning heckles into audience insult gold.

Sadly, the Conchords plan on making the second season of their HBO series the last.  One heckler shouted, “Season three,” in which Jermaine shouted back, “You make season three.”  Bret and Jemaine know that the joke can’t go on forever.  Hearing the crowd clamor for the played out, but still hilarious, song “Business Time” makes me draw the same conclusion.  The boys of Flight of Conchords are too talented to forever be destined as frat guy fodder.  Seeing the musical magic of Bret and Jermaine in person makes you realize that these Conchords are ready to spread their wings and soar to bigger and better things.