Friday, June 23, 2017

I Got Folked by Flight of the Conchords

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Posted by teibs On May - 6 - 2009

fotcGuest blog by Laura Sturm, @andlaurasays who bought Zack’s tickets for half of what he paid for them. He will never try to sell tickets on stubhub again.

New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo accapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo, also known as Flight of the Conchords, played an absolutely sold-out show at the colossal Arie Crown Theater in Chicago last Tuesday night.

Eugene Mirman, who also plays Bret and Jemaine’s steel drum-playing landlord on their hilarious and aptly titled HBO show “Flight of the Conchords,” opened for the two Kiwis. However, due to my friend’s incompetent directional skills (not my fault this time, Zack) and a quick sandwich, we ended up arriving twenty minutes late. This was just in time for us to catch the end of Mirman’s act and some guys singing a very unfunny song about Delta airlines.

Here’s a sample line: “Delta, Delta, Delta / Nothing rhymes with Delta / Except the Beatles’ song Helter Skelter / And that speaks for itself.”

I think that speaks for itself for how not funny this song was. Still feeling frazzled and frustrated, all I wanted was to get my folk on and luckily I didn’t have to wait long. After a few moments, I saw the silhouette of two figures with boxes on top of their heads come onto the stage and the beginning synthesizer line of “Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor.”

Immediately, my heart rose like a conchord in flight. Surely enough, as the lights came up, both Bret and Jemaine were sporting shiny silver shirts and robot heads. I prayed for them to play “The Humans Are Dead” but alas after the song finished, they took off their robot getups and sat down.

But even before a word was spoken, some motha’ucka in the audience shouted out something about bongs. “You have a camera and a bong?” said Jemaine in his adorable New Zealand accent. The guy ‘whooped’ back. “You need to chill. You have a bong. Smoke it.”

The shouting continued through out the night and the Conchords were not too pleased. However that did not stop them from playing a great set full of songs from both season one and two with highlights such as a new song entitled “Stana,” about a gun-totin’, sheep-rapin’, tax form-burnin’, physics-defyin’ lawbreaker of the west (see vid below.)

The incredibly awkward “Jenny,” “I’m Not Crying” for which they brought out the entire New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (a lone cellist named Nigel.) “The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room,” the hysterical faux-French “Foux du Fafa,” “Bowie,” and my favorite of the night, “Sugalumps.”

Half way through this particular song they went a cappella and strutted about the stage, giving one very lucky girl her own personal show of Jemaine’s family jewelry. (I felt a jolt of Mel-like jealousy at this.) Oh those dungarees sure made me hungry…

I couldn’t shirk a feeling of disappointment leaving the theater and after mulling it over the past few days, I think I’ve determined why. The Arie Crown Theater is probably the worst place to host a comedy show ever.

The place is HUGE, seating about 4,000 people, and for comedy to be truly successful, there must be a unanimous sense that everybody is in on the joke. Bret and Jemaine kind of came off like assholes at times when they were bantering between songs because there was so little interaction between them and the audience (other than the few people who screamed “FREEBIRD!” and other cliché dumbass things of that nature).

Some songs were obviously stronger than others (“Ex-Girlfriends ” and “Demon Woman” weren’t that memorable). Oh, and the couple sitting next to me were feeling each other up like the whole time. Other than these few annoyances, I had a most excellent time and I’d like to thank Zack for providing me with the last-minute tickets. 7.5/10

Chicago Set List 4/28/09 Arie Crown Theater
Opening Act: Eugene Mirman
1. Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor
2. Hurt Feelings
3. Ballad of Stana
4. Ex-Girlfriends
5. Jenny
6. I Told You I Was Freekie
7. I’m Not Crying
8. Hiphopopotamus v. Rhymenocerous
9. The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room
10. Bus Driver’s Song
11. Albi (The Racist Dragon)
12. Foux du fa fa
13. Song for Epileptic Dogs
14. Think About It/Sugalumps

Encore:

15. Same Girl
16. Mutha‘uckers
17. Bowie’s in Space
18. Demon Woman

Here’s the video for “Stana”:

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