Flight Of The Conchords Flies High
Flight of the Conchords at the Hollywood Bowl. (Roselle Chen)
Flight of the Conchords, a comedic New Zealand band duo who spent two seasons on HBO and will sadly not continue with a third, performed the last leg of their tour at the Hollywood Bowl Sunday.
Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie were amazing. Witty, charming and self-deprecating are adequate adjectives to describe their act, but words are simply not enough when you see them live and hear their banter together.
They played songs that most people familiar with the HBO show would recognize, like "Albi the Racist Dragon," and "Business Time," but it was the in-between stuff, the improvisation and chemistry between the two that made the concert hilarious and original.
The show opened with Kristen Schaal, otherwise known as Mel, the band's singular-fan-turned-stalker on the HBO series, dressed as a hot pink whoopee cushion with a moustache. She later ripped the costume off, smashed her face into some unappetizing looking chocolate cake and said that if she were a food critic, her first bad review would say, "I couldn't poop it out fast enough." Arj Barker and Eugene Mirman, also on the series, performed stand-up after Schaal.
The duo were joined by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, which, due to budget cuts as described by Jemaine and Bret, left the orchestra with one cello playing man, Nigel.
The band opened with "Robots" ("The humans are dead. We used poisonous gasses. And we poisoned their asses."), Bret sang Korean karaoke, before the encore they performed "Too Many Dicks (On the Dance Floor)" ("The only boobs I'll see tonight will be made of origami."), and Jemaine and Bret rapped "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros" ("Other rappers dis me. Say my rhymes are sissy. Why? Why? Why? What? Why exactly? What? Why? Be more constructive with your feedback, please."), to which Jemaine ended it by pointing to the audience and shouting, "I'm going to make this whole section pregnant! Congratulations bitches!"
They ended the show with a brilliant and softer version of "Sugar Lumps" ("Girls surround me when I'm standin' on the stoop. Givin' me gifts like free chicken soup."), and even incorporated the security guards following them into their act as they jumped into the crowd to meet people.
The concert had music played by two very talented musicians, lyrics written by adults who seemingly think like kids but no kid, or for that matter, anyone else, could write anything as wry, clever and random.
The only wistful thing about it all was that they would no longer be on a regular TV show. It was like watching two of your best friends at a send-off party and missing them while they were there because you knew you weren't going to see them for a while.
"We've got to write the series, but we've also got to write the songs, and just dividing your time into those two writing tasks is really tricky," Jemaine said in a November Reuters article.
Hopefully Jemaine and Bret will be back in another shape or form, and HBO spokeswoman Nancy Lesser said, "We would love to have more, and we left an open door at HBO."
Even after the lights came on, and 40-something thousand people filed out of the amphitheater, it was still worth sitting through the stacked, messy parking situation afterwards because the buzz and glow that only a great show could produce lasted through the night.