05/05/2010

Flight of the Conchords – Melkweg – 03.05.2010

Flight of the Conchords @ Gramercy Theatre - June 14, 2007I got the distinct impression that Bret and Jemaine decided to start this tour, their first in over a year according to themselves, with a couple of nights in Amsterdam so they’d have an opportunity to polish their act before hitting bigger venues in Ireland, the UK and the US. It was very entertaining with some very, very good bits, some very loose bits, and one or two bits that just didn’t work. Which is not to say that it wasn’t an enjoyable evening. Most of the songs were great, including a few I didn’t recall from the TV series. The only really weak moment for me was a new song about a coach tour guide in NZ who shares too much with his tour group about the local gal he never made it with. Maybe it’ll work better in a different context. Another new (to me at least) song was a really funny one about going to “woo a lady” in 1534.

The between song banter was very amusing at times, but they really did seem to run out of things to say. They hadn’t really worked out ahead of the gig which songs they were going to play and were a bit nervous about playing some that, perhaps, they hadn’t rehearsed. The result was a lot of drawn out bits between the songs where they tried to work out what to sing next, and then what key/rhythm/etc… to use.

Musically it was good, if far from tight. They were accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, a.k.a. Nigel the cellist for most of the songs. (Apparently the other member of the orchestra missed her flight from NZ, and would need to wait for next month’s flight.) The finale – once they got their beat boxes working – was great. Imaginative use of cardboard boxes and flashing lights for “Too many dicks on the dancefloor”.

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4 Responses

  1. margia says:

    I absolutely agree on the busdriver song, though it’s not exactly new; in my opinion it was just a bit too difficult to relate to. I think you’re right about the “polishing” bit and i must say I truly enjoyed the show, but well, i made the trip over from italy out of fanatical adoration and would have liked to see something a tiny bit less desperately random.

  2. eoghan says:

    I could understand you feeling a bit aggrieved at traveling all the way from Italy for the show. “Fanatical adoration” indeed! They probably owed it to fans such as yourself to put just a bit more preparation in *before* the start of the tour. I suspect they may have put in a few extra hours of rehearsal the day after that first show.

  3. Em says:

    Hi Eoghan

    We travelled from Brussels to London to watch their first of two shows in Wembley arena, so we are also a bit fanatical. Overall it was pretty good, but they could have done better, looks like they didn’t really polish their acts that well in Amsterdam because everything you say also happened in Wembley.
    Moreover, Wembley was too big for this kind of show, but that was to be expected.
    A lot of great songs, but also some unintelligible and chaotic songs. Woo the lady was definitely one of the best songs, and Gemaine seemed to be much more enthusiastic than Brett. They both looked like they could use a week’s sleep though 🙂

  4. eoghan says:

    Hi Em…thanks for dropping by!

    The review of their London shows in the Guardian made for interesting reading – and the comments thread is also quite revealing. I think most people seem to be willing to forgive a bit of looseness as it’s just such an enjoyable experience to see them in the flesh.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2010/may/11/flight-of-the-conchords-review

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