Fan reviews of Conchords gigs
Fans who have seen Flight of The Conchords perform live have kindly written up reviews and sent them in to What The Folk! Read them all below.
Want to write a review for What The Folk! ? Anyone wanting to submit a fan review of a Conchords gig (or anything from any project the guys are working on for that matter.... film, other music act...) please send it along. Email me (Please note - submissions may be edited in length before putting on the site)
FoTC - A Texan Odyssey review - October 2006 by Pineapple
My lil doco review
4pm, day of the documentary screening: I'm drinking Coke and scoffing Jaffas in anticipation of the doco. Giggling's easier on a sugar high! I walked round all day with FOTC written on the back of my fingers. Gangstaaaaaaa! It's the sugar. Sugar. Sugar.
8pm: I'm getting impatient now. Why does CSI have to be this long? It's dead people! DEAD PEOPLE! I don't want to watch dead people! I want to watch one of our country's top five folk parody duos rocking Texas! No wonder people read books.
8:10pm: Jumpy. Good thing I only had a litre of Coke and one box of Jaffas. Playing my ukulele to pass the time.
8:15pm: WHEN HAS TIME EVER PASSED THIS SLOWLY?!
Sometime later: Wow, the doco was GREAT!!!
It, as you probably know, followed the awesome FoTC to Austin, Texas for the 2005 SXSW festival. The overall feel of it is fun and funny! There's songs in there, of course, interviews with celebrities, interviews with people interviewing them, interviews with each other (highly amusing), interviews with their music manager, a discussion about Band vs Duo, all sprinkled liberally with... giggle-sprinkles?
The Conchords set out for Texas, Bret by plane and Jemaine by... kayak. The point is, they get there, and in between gigs involving some technical difficulties and a stagedive attempt, and a Time magazine shoot ('not the Australian verison either, the real, proper one'), they are serious documentarians, documenting all that is... documentable.
There are some really awesome moments, such as when Bret is relaxing in the hotel room, watching infomercials, doing yoga (Pilates maybe, same difference) and saying how sometimes you need time 'away from the band' when Jemaine comes in and loudly plays his guitar, much to Bret's annoyance. The riff he played, I think, was the one from the Phones4U ad. Funny.
Or the great moment when a female fan says something along the lines of 'Yes, we're here in Austin, Texas, although actually I think I'm in heaven because I'm standing next to you...' to which Bret replies 'I'm not quite sure what to say...'
And one cannot write about Flight Of The Conchords: A Texan Odyssey without mentioning the lip incident. This was one of the funniest moments, if my mum's laughter is anything to go by. I knew it was coming, but somehow nothing prepares you for the hilarity. Yes, the moment when our very own Deirdre shows the guys the pictures she keeps in her wallet... Her eldest daughter... Aww... Her second daughter... Aww... And a photo of... Jemaine's lips.
(NB - not actual photo of said lips, but Jemaine likeness ones all the same - Sherry)
Bret, and then Jemaine's, reactions were just hysterical.
There were dozens of priceless moments in this documentary. I'm sorry I can't outline every one of them for you. I shall treasure my copy forever and ever amen. Jump like a Jack Russell on speed at any chance you get to see it.
Largo, LA, USA, The World - July 2006 by Allan Choi
Thank god the Conchords added a second show at the Largo. I couldn't attend the one on the 21st, so I was excited and relieved when I found out about the second gig. As you have heard from others, the guys were really cool about taking time to chat with their fans and provide autographs after the show. They didn't hesitate when I asked them to sign all three CDs of my BBC set. The funniest thing was when I handed Jemaine my BBC set, he looked excited, telling me that he hadn't seen one before. He quickly turned to Bret, telling him to check out the CDs. He said that his friend designed the cover/CD design, so he had seen the artwork, but hadn't gotten copies of his own. I asked how the pilot is going, and he said they had just finished shooting it the day before. They did say if the show gets picked up, they will be in LA for a few months (which I hope means more LA gigs). But until that's decided, it seems the duo are returning to NZ, making it uncertain as to when their next LA performances will be But I digress. I'm sure you'd much rather read about the performance :)
As you might have guessed, it was awesome. Greg Proops who referred to them as Orlando Bloom and Benicio del Toro, gave the Conchords a great introduction as they walked onto the stage. They started off with Think About It (Think, Think About It), which of course got a great ovation. The highlight of this song for me is when they break it down and then bring it back up. Last night, Jemaine reached over to the piano next to them and began playing a few keys. Maintaining the high pitched voice, Jemaine turns to Bret to ask which one the D key is. Bret responds, "You can play the A," and then Jemaine presses a few more keys and says, "I think I found the A." After the song, Jemaine admitted that he doesn't know how to play the piano although he wanted to learn. Jemaine played off on that later in the evening by looking sad when Bret got on the piano for I'm Not Crying, accusing Bret of being able to play the piano only because Bret grew up in a rich family while he grew up poor.
Their second song was You're So Beautiful, which they performed expertly and is quickly becoming my favorite song. After that, they performed a very lounge-y version of Foux Du Fafa, putting additional emphasis into the baguette joke. They introduced the next song as being Hip-Hop influenced. The cheering crowd let out a disappointed groan when Bret said it's not the
song the audience is thinking of. I knew this had to be the Mother*uckers song. But they started to play the riffs to Hiphoppopatamus Vs. The Rhymenocerus, which puzzled me until they stopped playing. They realized they were both playing the wrong song, calling themselves idiots. Bret said it confused them because the only difference between the two songs was one chord, which prompted Jemaine to cover his mike and tell Bret maybe they shouldn't divulge such secrets. So they finally began singing the hilarious Mother*uckers song, made even funnier when Jemaine got stuck on words on some of the verses. When the song was over, Jemaine said that the performance was a disaster. Bret said it felt as if that rendition was predestined to fail, to which Jemaine added that it was strange since they rarely messed up.
The Conchords preceded their next song by saying they were Christians wanting to spead the good word to those they met. That led into Angels, which was a pleasant surprise. When they finished, Jemaine admitted the song was childish, and it was in fact written when they were children. The biggest surprise for me last night though was Business Time. I thought I read somewhere they didn't perform that song anymore. So I didn't even recognize it until Kim excitedly tapped me at the start of the song. They finished the evening with another classic, Jenny. Having listened to the HBO performance countless times, my favorite part of the song last night was when they changed Police Academy 4 to Weekend At Bernie's, going off on how that silly premise stretched over two movies. When they began Jenny, Bret calmed the excited crowd, telling us that we should keep our applause low-key for such a gentle song, which we abided only for a little while.
Again, I feel fortunate to have attended a second FOTheC show, given that their gigs are always announced last minute and sold out in a heartbeat. I hope their pilot gets picked up and finds success, so they can release more albums and book enough shows to accommodate all of us fans.
Mo Pitkins, July 17 2006 by Deirdre
I called Mo Pitkin's ahead of time to let the manager know that we, my cousins and I, would be eating at their restaurant, and wouldn't be able to stand in line to get seats for the show. He told me that he would reserve a table for eight in the theater for us. After a dinner filled with mishaps and lots of laughs, we headed to the waiting room upstairs.
When the guys had finished their sound check, the manager motioned for me to gather my crew and have a seat. We felt like VIPs getting seated before everyone else. That was very cool. At first I sat a few seats back from the stage. But, I changed my mind before the show started, and took a seat near the stage. A very funny comedian, Aziz something (sorry, I don't remember his name), entertained us for about 15-20 minutes. He was great, and I hope to see him again some time.
Then the guys came out. They told the crowd that they were a bit rusty because it had been a while since they had performed. Their joking about being rusty was great fun. Nobody does impromptu bantering like these guys. I'm quite sure there was no rust to be found there.
They started with the "Most Beautiful Girl in the Room." Nicely done. Next, Bret switched to his ukulele and told us he would be singing a song that he and Jemaine had written for a girlfriend of his. They sang the song from the BBC show they had written for Suzanne. No rust, again. In fact Jemaine's questioning Bret about how that relationship worked out was a nice addition.
I saw them perform the next song at SXSW. And I'd have to say that they did a much better job of leaving out the 'f's in "Mother*uckers" at this show than at that one. I liked it both ways. A few 'f's are kinda fun.
When the applause died down, Jemaine asked for the lights to be changed to a more depressing level. Management turned the lights down pretty low. The scene was set for them to start singing "I'm Not Crying." What a treat to see a favorite of mine from the BBC show being performed live. Jemaine's voice hit all the highs and lows. And Bret's pathetic sounding background music was brilliantly done with only his singing voice and trembling lips.
Then Bret started chatting about how he was feeling thin, being in New York with more muscular bands. That of course led to Jemaine singing his answer to Bret's body-consciousness. "Bret, You Got it Going On" was a clear favorite of the audience. And how could it not be? As Jemaine sang, Bret sat on his stool, making the appropriately confused and horrified faces. After it was over, Bret asked Jemaine about the strange things he said, and Jemaine denied singing those lyrics. There was a bit more to it, but, you get the idea.
Next, and last, was "Think, Think About It." They did a nice job, and the breaking it down part was especially long and really funny. Well done.
Then the guys thanked us and left the stage. The audience clapped for a very long time before the guys came out for an encore. I really didn't think they were coming back. It really was that long.
They asked for requests. I heard someone say Boom, and the guys said they needed the other guitar (DG20) for that and they didn't have it with them. So they decided to sing "Something Special for the Ladies." Again, another song I hadn't seen performed live. This one from the Folk the World CD. It was the first time I have heard the guys include "American Ladies." And I must say, if felt nice.
So, you ask me, "Was it worth the price of the airplane ticket to see this show?" And my answer is twofold. Yes, it was a great show, even if the guys thought they were rusty. I know as a fact that the seven people I brought with me loved every minute, and experienced absolutely no rust. In fact, the whole room was filled with happy people who had a wonderful evening with these guys, who sold out two shows in a matter of days.
For the second fold, I have to say that the price of that airplane ticket was nothing compared to all the laughs I shared with my cousins in New York. Lovely, lovely people. Sweet and kind, and pretty darn good looking. Just like our guys, Bret and Jemaine.
Flight of The Conchords, Largo, June 19 2006 by Allan Choi
I feel so lucky to have caught the Conchord's LA appearance at Largo. It was quite a blast. I've been a big Conchords fan since I first saw them on Conan O'Brien last year, and have been longing to see them live. This being my first Conchords show, I may be a little biased when I say this show was one of the most entertaining comedy shows I've seen. The only drawback was that the show wasn't as long as I'd hoped. They probably performed for about an hour, and they could have easily covered two hours with all the material they have.
Largo was a great venue to see the Conchords (or to catch any other acts). It is a small dinner theater that provides a really nice, relaxed, and intimate atmosphere.
Before I get into the Conchords' performance, let me share a quick story. There were three comedians who opened for the Conchords, and as the third one was nearing the end of his bit, I decided to take a quick restroom break (because surely, if I didn't go now, the Conchords were gonna make me piss my pants). So anyway, I rush to the restroom in hopes of taking care of business really fast and then quickly heading back to the table. I didn't wanna miss a single second of the Conchords' performance. So there I am, running up to the bathroom door, and what do I see? I see a guy waiting to use the restroom. Oh great! F O the C will be going on stage any minute, and there's a guy in line ahead of me! So I just stand next to the guy waiting, hoping whoever's in the restroom will hurry his ass up. I'm just standing there, looking around, and then what do I notice? The guy waiting to use the restroom is Bret! Upon realizing this, the first words out of my mouth are "You're Bret!" He acknowledges, we shake hands, and I eagerly thank him for putting on a show in LA. He just quietly says thank you, in a reserved way to indicate he was either really shy or his mind was focused on how badly he had to pee. I then ask him when he and Jemaine are going on stage. He says he's supposed to be on stage right then. That cracked me up, and at the same time I relieved I wasn't gonna miss any of the show.
So, the Conchords finally get on stage to roaring applause. They briefly talk about how they're from New Zealand, and start poking fun at all the silly things people have asked them (in a stoned American frat boy voice): "New Zealand. That's like in Australia, right?" or "Do they have cities in New Zealand?" After cracking us up with that bit, they start their first song, Jemaine on a guitar and Bret playing a ukelele. I don't know the name of the song, but I'm inclined to think it's called "Mutha *uckers, *ucking with Our Shiiiiiiiit." I had never heard it before, so I was thrilled to be hearing a brand new song. (Sherry let me know that that's actually one of their earlier songs which they'd played back in 2002. If anybody has that recorded, please post it online!)
Then, they went on to sing a shortened version of a song (supposedly four months in length when sung in its entirety) about a couple of mean cowboys who hook up at the end. The song was truly long, but hilarious all the way through (I wish I had a knack for reciting lyrics for your benefit). The song was so new, they both kept having to refer to their sheet to remember the lyrics. It was a bit disorganized, but that's part of their charm.
Then they started talking about Issues, to which the whole room erupted with applause. "I guess some of you have heard this one," says Jemaine, "but don't think about singing along, because you're not in the band. We're the band." That cracked me up especially, because that's definitely one of the songs my buddy Kevin and I sing along to all the time. Before they began their song, Bret started talking about his children, Brian and Mildren. Having seen their HBO One Night Stand appearance, I'm expecting them to reveal that his children are imaginary, but the don't retread that bit. Instead, Jemaine comments that he remembers Bret naming his daughter Mildren, because he was looking for a word that rhymed with "children."
Think about the children
Like Brian and Mildren
(or something like that)
So they go on to sing Think About It (Think Think About It). The highlight of that piece (and my favorite moment of the evening) was the finish of the song where they drop the beat, and where they bring it back uuuuuup. There was a viking helmet sitting on top of the piano next to them, and Jemaine put it on his head as the two of them just kept bringing the beat up higher and higher until their voices were barely audible, their faces scrunched and bodies writhing.
They also went on to sing What You're Into, except changing the part about being nude with two dudes (as opposed to two women in the BBC Radio 2 version). Jemaine then sang Bret, You've Got It Going On, in which he referred to Bret as looking like a hairy Winona Ryder. They also performed a song about a girl who is the hottest girl in the room, a song in which I didn't think I'd heard before, but Kevin tells me is in the BBC Radio 2 CD.
They closed the evening with Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros. Earlier in the evening, people shouted out requests for that song and Business Time, and Jemaine said they may close the evening with one of the two. They began playing the riffs, but kept stopping, because Bret said he couldn't remember how it began. Apparently, it'd been a long time since they last performed that song. They kept starting and stopping. I came close to just shouting out the first two lines, but I wasn't sure if they were just kidding around or not. So finally they get started, and it's funny because they're singing the verses out of sequence. When they finally get to the freestyling part, Bret is stuck unable to come up with anything, so he tries to pass the mike to the Hiphopopotamus, but Jemaine won't let him off the hook. Jemaine beatboxes and keeps pointing to Bret to freestyle. Bret finally concedes and starts rapping about the water bottle sitting before him, holding it up and asking if anybody wants it, and then tosses it to a group of people. A few minutes later, as they keep messing up (I mean, improvising) the song, the person in the audience throws the water bottle back at them. Bret throws it back at him, and I wasn't sure if the person in the audience was a friend of theirs or not. So with that, they went off stage. We applauded for a while, hoping for an encore, me personally hoping for Business Time, but that wasn't meant to be.
I had an amazing time, and my only regret is that I didn't try to catch their show on the 13th. It was already fully booked by the time I had found out about it, but I realized when I was there that I probably would have gotten into the bar. Oh well, I suppose one minute in heaven is better than no minutes in heaven.
Largo, June 12 and Upright Citizens Brigade, June 13 by Michele
I attend 2-3 shows at Largo every month and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen such a long line to get into the venue. They had to turn people away because the place was so packed. Word has spread about FoTC somehow—some people said they’d seen the guys on the HBO special and others heard about their opening for Jon Brion recently. The show began with a few great stand-up comics opening for them, then the guys took the stage.
They said that they hadn’t played for a while and they were going to perform some of their older stuff that we probably hadn’t heard. I recognized some of it from the BBC CDs I’d recently purchased from audible.com. Such as “Bret, You’ve Got It Going On,” “I’m Not Crying,” and a couple others.
My favorite moment of the night was when they played the “I’m the Pretty Prince…” song and Bret was doing some percussion on the top part of his guitar but noticed that his strings were giving off a sound whenever he hit the guitar. So to fix it, he swung his leg over the neck of the guitar in order to stop the strings from doing anything. Then he continued his percussion. Jemaine laughed and made a comment about how it would be much easier if he just turned his guitar over and did percussion that way. Bret said that he needed to be able to easily access the strings for the part he has to play during the song. After which Jemaine demonstrated how quick it would be for Bret to turn his guitar over rather than having to awkwardly swing his leg over the guitar. So Bret decided to go with the turned-over guitar and used the same technique the following night.
They did play the new “part-time model/most beautiful girl in the room” song which is already a classic. My favorite line is the one where they sing “It’s only me and you…and seven other dudes…on the dance floor…” (Yeah, I’m missing half the words, but if you’re familiar with it, you’ll know which part I’m talking about.)
At the end, they asked for requests and there were all sorts of them such as “Jenny,” “Albi,” “Frodo,” etc., and they went with “Jenny” and added some new talking bits going into greater detail on “Police Academy.” And made some very valid and hilarious points.
Upright Citizens Brigade
When we got to the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater, the line was already all the way down the street and the owners said they had never seen such a crowd. They actually delayed the start of the show by at least half an hour in order to accommodate the massive crowd. Most of the people waiting for the unreserved seats didn’t get in. We were at the end of the reserved seats line, so we thought we’d get really bad seats. But by the time we got in, they didn’t have any seats left so they put the two of us on the stage itself! We were so close to each of the seven or so performers that we could have reached out and touched them without much effort. But we didn’t because that would be rude.
The opening comedian accidentally spilled water on the guys’ seats and on their mic cords, so throughout the evening, he constantly tried to mop it all up sufficiently as not to “electrocute the headliners.”
There was hardly enough room for one performer on the stage, so with the two of them, it was really tight. They played four songs— essentially a condensed version of the previous night’s set, although they always somehow manage to make each show different. At one point, (it was hard to tell for sure because all I could see was Jemaine right in front of me…not that I’m complaining) it looked like Bret handed a girl in the audience his guitar because he had nowhere to put it when he didn’t need it during one of their songs.
After this past week, I’m sure the number of *Jemaniacs and *Bretalyzers
has increased! (*Editors note - Terms of endearment coined by members of the WTF! forums, you can work out which name goes with which band member I am sure)
back to top
back to Fantastic
back to News