Music Universe review:
LIVE REVIEW: Flight of The Conchords @ Rod Laver Arena (Melbourne, 15.07.12)
We find ourselves blending into the huge crowds en route to the Melbourne’s colossal entertainment complex, Rod Laver Area, for what’s set to be a night of hilarity. However, it’s hard not to marvel at the sheer volume of people all shuffling down to Melbourne’s premier arena to see two dudes from Wellington crack jokes, aka Flight of the Concords. The dorky duo has sold out the countries biggest venues, including the Sydney Opera House. In fact, tonight’s show sold so fast that my friends and I couldn’t even get seats together. After passing the biggest line for a merch booth I’ve EVER come across, we take our respective seats on the lower-level.
The comedian that’s no stranger to our shores, Arj Barker, opens the night with a round of stand-up comedy. The whole arena is in hysterics as he covers everything from kids designing Melbourne (“I wanna call that road Batman Avenue”), to our threatening drive-safe billboards, to scarily spot-on Breaking Bad impressions. Despite coming dangerously close to a succumbing to his tickling throat and having a coughing fit, he manages to pull through. He spruiks his 2013 Comedy Festival appearance and I, along with many, make a mental note to go and see him.
Thanks to Barker, the crowd is warm and beaming by the time Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie take the stage. They arrive in their makeshift robot outfits and launch straight into Too Many Dicks (On The Dancefloor), the first of many hits to have us in stitches (especially when the toy keyboard is introduced). Once the explosive dance/trance tune ends (complete with a epic strobe-light show), they immediately tick into character and spend the next ten minutes deciphering exactly what they meant by the lyrics Too Many Dicks (On the Dancefloor). Add their signature, monotone kiwi accents and we’re already losing breath. Their ‘wild’ tour antics are exposed early on in the piece, with Bret revealing how he once pranked a hotel attendant on the topic of their ‘complimentary muffin’. More sheepish tour stories are told throughout the set, revealing the time they got stuck in a lift for fifteen hours only to be told by the emergency operator to press ‘G’.
Hurt Feelings, f*** On The Ceiling and Think About It are all played before they make their grand announcement and proudly declare that, joining them tonight will be The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, to which a lone multi-instrumentalist Nigel Collins nonchalantly walks on stage. By default, ‘Nigel’ becomes tonight’s mascot, with punters from all corners of the arena yelling out his name at any given break.
The Summer Of 1353 is definitely my favourite, a tale about a young man who tries to ‘woo a lady’ only to be knocked back by said-woman for having a hair cut “that’s so 1351”. Anyone would think that a two hour comedic set would be almost impossible to sustain, yet it’s safe to say that there’s never a lull in laughs. The gags are back to back, rolling into each other with ease even when the stars are responding impromptu to the crowd. Song for Epileptic Dogs is ridiculously glorious, especially when McKenzie attempts to coordinate a crowd sing-along, (which, surprisingly after a few practice runs, we fair quite well). The awesome Inner City Pressure soon follows along with Carol Brown, Business Time and Bowie (with in-between commentary, of course).
They return for the inevitable encore and play Back On The Road and Sugalumps, with the latter seeing both guys teasing the crowd with some pretty horrendous ‘sexy’ dance moves, before bouncing off-stage to a huge applause. It’s definitely not often that you can come across two characters so aloof, yet with such a huge presence. It also goes without saying that despite their wise-crackin humour, they’re bloody talented musicians in their own right. This may be obvious, but it’s easy to forgot their artistic production and arrangements of each number when you’ve got lyrics that are so damn pant-wetting, which is why I can say with confidence that tonight was, hands down, the best night out this year.
--- Contributed by Madeleine 'Madz' O'Gorman
Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor (with Arj Barker)
The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room)
f*** on the Ceiling
Think About It
Bus Driver's Song
The Summer of 1353
Inner City Pressure
Song for Epileptic Dogs
I'm Not Crying
Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros
Back On The Road
We're Both in Love With a Sexy Lady
Sugalumps (with Arj Barker)
Credit to cristalmarkham on Instagram: