LauraK wrote:The interviews of fans are great- thanks for the links Venus! Anyone we know in there? I didn't see you...
Ohhhhh, those pics! The 1st and 3rd of them..... Thankyouverymuch!
Flight Of The Conchords
by Kev Eddy 12:40 June 4th, 2010
Venue:Wembley Arena, London Â»
Artists:Flight Of The Conchords
Price: Â£27.50 - Â£35
Wembley Arena is an aircraft hangar of a venue - and one that's dedicated not to flight, but to commerce. Pretty much every aspect of the supra-gig experience is dedicated to parting each of the 12,000 punters from as much of their cash as possible - whether that's through one of the countless bars, the extortionately-priced food, or the enormous merchandise stalls. When you're in the auditorium itself, meanwhile, it resembles a battery farm with a sea of humanity cooped up inside, punctuated only by the occasional Mexican wave as someone exits for the loo or enters bearing lager.
It's a long way, then, from the tiny venues and miniscule audiences that most will be used to be seeing Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie play in - even if that impression does come largely from the Flight of the Conchords TV show. How will the pair's understated humour translate into a place this size? Will it still be funny?
Well, the immediate answer to the question of how the act will work in a place the size of Wembley is pretty obvious from the outset: big blooming screens, coupled with an awful lot of closeups. As you'd expect from a band that came from a tv show (from a radio show from a stage show) the emphasis is just as much on the staging and the visual aspects of the gig as the auditory: opener 'Two Many Dicks' nicely apes Daft Punk's act in FOTC's own lo-fi style, with cardboard boxes replacing helmets. Indeed, it's the interplay between the slickness of the actual show, the cod-incompetence familiar from the TV, and moments of honest-to-god actual cock-ups which provides much of the humour during the evening - whether it's anecdotes about the band's 'rock and roll' muffin eating or Jemaine forgetting the bridge to 'Prince of Parties' and having to play it at about half-speed.
In fact, there are points where it feels like that's about the extent of the comedy. The band's attempts at audience participation fall flat - partly due to the size of the venue, and partly due to the frankly bonkers decision to make the entire place seated like a comedy gig rather than standing like a music gig - and a slightly ugly mood emerges when Bret seemingly gets annoyed at an impromptu singalong to 'Albi the Racist Dragon'. It's a tribute to the goodwill for these guys that they rescue the gig with a storming version of 'Bowie'. It's a shame, too, as their musical performances are more than equal to their comedic performances: familiar songs like 'Robots' and 'Business Time' are rearranged and extended, new songs are aired, less familiar tracks like 'Jenny' get an outing: and it works.
However, the question over whether this is a comedy or a music gig goes pretty much to the heart of the issues with this gig. Like any musicians, these two feed off reactions from the crowd: by restricting the audience to their seats, there's no dancing, there's no immediate reaction other than laughter - and one part of the equation that makes this duo so special is somewhat nullified, and emphasises a lack of connection. In fact, it's not until the final song, where both Bret and Jemaine get offstage and into the audience for a storming version of 'Sugar Lumps' that the Conchords find the connection that's been eluding them all night long and the place really comes alive.
Wembley is without a doubt an intimidating place, and it takes a lot for a band to hold it in the palm of their hand. Bigger acts than Flight of the Conchords have come here and done worse - even so, the New Zealand twosome don't make this the triumph it should be, despite their best efforts.
Flight Of The Conchords 6/10
Live Review: Flight of the Conchords
Flight of the Conchords by Renee Barerra
I so should have expected a slightly odd crowd when I went to see Flight of the Conchords. The TV show that has sprung this New Zealand musical comedy duo to big time fame is/was a cult phenomena. So much so that 12,000 of us went to Wembley Arena to watch the lovable and weird Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement on May 25th. Men grew (or just stuck on) huge sideburns as a tribute to Jemaine and there was one couple who dressed up as New Zealand lambs (I get the feeling it was the girlfriendâ€™s idea, judging by how low the guy was hanging his red face behind the white hoodie with cotton balls stuck to it). But did we all have too high expectations? Itâ€™s their very lameness as a try-hard band on the TV show that makes them so heart warmingly hilarious. How could that translate when the arena is full of cheering and laughing fans?
After Arj Barker, the guy who plays Dave in the show, did his support slot and made us all flip the bird simultaneously and enter the Guinness World records, Bret and Jemaine walked on stage with skee-lo cardboard robot helmets and launched in to Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor. And amazingly, the sound comedy filled the arena no probs.
The nearly two-hour epic set included classics from the show like Iâ€™ve Got Hurt Feelings, The Humans Are Dead, Think About It and my favourites Itâ€™s Business Time and Albie The Racist Dragon.
Joined by â€˜The New Zealand symphony orchestraâ€™ (a guy they called Nigel who alternated between playing the cello, the keys and the drums) you could easily focus on the hurt-yourself funny lyrics. But if you took a mo to just listen, you realised how amazing these guys are. Aside from switching singing styles between David Bowie, robot, husky sexy singing and screaming, the guys played a huge range of instruments too from synths and samplers, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, recorder and mini toy piano in red. Although hilarious, their songs were not one bit a joke.
The comedy in between the songs was just as genius and what we all were expecting. They told us of their â€˜wild timesâ€™ as a band on tour. One story about their muffin malarkey (Jemaine had to resist eating the hotel complimentary muffin while Bret edged it nearer to his pillow through the night), the time they did drugs (Bret had half an antihistamine tablet which made him well drowsy) and one about getting stuck in a lift for ages. Needless to say, it was the sheer crapness of these stories and the boysâ€™ enthusiasm that held us a captive and laughing crowd. Iâ€™ll leave the one about a goldfish in case any of you are going to see the set. Donâ€™t want to be a spoiler. But to be honest, itâ€™s the way these guys tell their jokes in their awkward, talk-over-each-other geeky way that makes them so flippin hilarious and itâ€™s definitely the case that you had to be there to find it funny in its fullness.
New songs included the Tony the tour bus guide one and my absolute favourite, the Medieval Woo song. I tried to find a good quality YouTube vid of this but theyâ€™re all pretty shambolic so Iâ€™m not going to post anything so low-qual on here but have a YouTube search and youâ€™ll still get the gist of the song.
The boys tried to do a sing off in the audience in Epileptic Dogs, splitting us up into like seven groups. Needless to say, it was rubbish but thatâ€™s the magic with this band. In the show, they play the crappest band around and itâ€™s in the faux crapness that thereâ€™s the genius. If Iâ€™m honest, they are better on a small screen or probably a smaller venue where they can interact better with the crowd. There were too many dicks in the arena who were trying to heckle and distract which was out-of-place awkward it made your bum clench involuntarily.
To end the set, they did Sugalumps and went into the crowd to take pictures of their lumps using a punterâ€™s camera. If you really want to type â€˜Jemaineâ€™s balls sugarlumpsâ€™ into Flickr, be my guest. Or just watch this clip of their show with the aforementioned track.
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