April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

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4everconchordsfan
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Re: Calling all Chicagoans

Postby 4everconchordsfan » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:57 pm

Hey Val,

Yeah, I had a great time. It was amazing, im still swooning over sixy Jemaine. Bret too. Jemaine, omg! omg.

We had 7th row center. I still cant believe it. Still stunned. I did a happy dance right there in front of my seat, I was shocked to be sitting there, you see the tickets were a gift, they were will call, I had no idea where we were seated until we got to the theatre will call.

Its funny how people have totally different accounts of the experience. I thought the audience was pretty well behaved, someone else posted & thought that the hecklers were bad, I didnt exactly see it that way. There were at least 3 times I'd say where the guys, or rather Jemaine looked at the set list, and they talked about what to play & in my opinion it did kind of egg the audience on to shout requests. There was only the one time that Bret told a guy to shut up & that someone was just being downright rude. Jemaine said something to the effect of, just because you shout doesnt mean you make sense, it was during a more quiet time when he was looking at a setlist. I guess my point is that it was not during a song, or interupting the show. In other shows the audience actually interrupted the show with nasty heckling. Heckling is UGLY. It so rude. I just thought the times when people shouted out, it was in sync with with was going on in the show. Again im not condoning it. Also, it was mentioned in another post that Bret made a comment about a guy who was recording the show. I have to say that it was meant to bring it to our attention, there was an announcement prohibiting recording. However, ive watched every youtube video out there since the guys started the tour. Bret said this guy here in front isnt even covering the red light on his video camera.....Bret or Jemaine has said that in just about every show. You just know that every show there are going to be people recording. Arie Crown holds about 4500 people, how do you control that many hyped up, excited, crazy die hard Conchords fans. The guys have commented to the audience on that topic at just about every show.

Anywho, im off work today. Im debating whether to head downtown. Im hoping for a Conchords run in somewhere but its like a needle in a haystack. Where oh where could our Jemaine & Bret be?

Will be back later today.

Thanks for putting up with my ramblings.
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Re: Calling all Chicagoans

Postby SheWolf » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:06 pm

4everconchordsfan wrote: In other shows the audience actually interrupted the show with nasty heckling. Heckling is UGLY. It so rude. I just thought the times when people shouted out, it was in sync with with was going on in the show.
I hear you on this. I've said before that I don't think heckling is really the right word for what goes on at these shows coz to me heckling is someone shouting out rude things (like "you suck" etc) in an attempt to derail the show. These are shout outs more than heckles and you're right, they are normally not mean spirited and are in keeping with the flow of the show. Which isn't to say it isn't annoying to hear "MERMAIDS!!" being screeched repeatedly inches from your ear at high pitch (no Philly lady I'm not talking to you - or am I? ) :twisted:
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Re: Calling all Chicagoans

Postby Val2150 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:51 pm

Haha, if I had the day off I'd wander about hoping to run into them too. I don't know, I'd guess Michigan Ave. and the other "touristy" areas are where I'd most expect to see them..... then again, I'm sure people have probably pointed out the neat little hidden away places too so if they like to avoid crowds I'd assume they'd be there....who knows, really? :hrm:
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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby tvldiva » Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:00 pm

Whambi wrote:Eugene Mirman was great, he did the Delta Airlines rant again, but with a twist, he had a powerpoint presentation with John Wesley Harding and some other guys from the Mekons and I think Nigel too, I could be wrong
it even had a refrain of something like Delta, Delta, Delta, nothing rhymes with Delta like the Beatles Helter Skelter and the Rolling Stones Give Me Shelter and he had hilarious pics to go along with the song. I hope someone has video of that

God, I hope someone does come up with a video of that. How freakin' cool that would be. Jon Langford is amazing, so is John Wesley Harding.
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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby Sherry » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:16 pm

Ooooooooooo

Flight of the Conchords hit crowd turbulence at live show

What was true of the "Flight of the Conchords'" second season on HBO was true of their Tuesday concert at Chicago's Arie Crown Theatre as well. Though both had their high points, I was ready for them to be over when they were over.

Actually, I was ready for the concert by the New Zealand comedy-music duo to be over before it was over.

It's easy to list the best parts: the guys doing their unsexy dance moves after they left their chairs and sang "Sugalumps" at the edge of the stage ("Stop objectifying me!" Jemaine Clement shouted as he gyrated); the strangely compelling, even elegiac rendition of "Bowie"; and the jaunty version of the gleefully silly "Foux de Fafa," which is never not funny. Don't ask me why a series of French phrases ("Jacques Cousteau!" "Soup de jour!" "Menage a trois!") punctuated by Charles Aznavour-style growls is hilarious, but it always is.

(Another high point: The opening set by Eugene Mirman, who has a small recurring role on "Flight of the Conchords." At the end of his set, musicians Jon Langford and John Wesley Harding came out to sing a folk-song version of Mirman's hilarious rant against his least favorite airline.)

During the Conchords' set, Jemaine's gravelly baritone gave the "Space Oddity"-era tribute that is "Bowie" sonorous yet humorous intensity, and he brought down the house when he announced that his rapping on "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros" had made the ladies in the first three rows pregnant ("Congratulations, [expletives]!").

Bret McKenzie, who is normally even more laconic than the very laconic Jemaine on the HBO show, is a sight to see when he becomes animated, as he did during "Foux de Fafa," the Conchords' classic "The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room)" and "I'm Not Crying," which is about those times when you're not upset, but for some reason, your "eyes are just a little sweaty."

But the real tension of the night came not from the songs, a good number of which were either unmemorable new songs or mediocre Season 2 numbers, but from the way Jemaine and Bret alternately riffed off the crowd and showed their disdain for its tendency to shout at them. You never knew whether they were truly annoyed or amused -- much of their show, after all, revolves around misunderstandings and minor annoyances. But I'd venture to guess there was some real irritation underneath the deadpan Kiwi cool they're known for.

The concert took on the air of one of the show's famous "band meetings," which are usually high points of their HBO program, a comedy about a fictional version of the Conchords trying to make it in New York. On the show, Rhys Darby plays Murray, the duo's comically clueless manager, who hates chaos so much that he takes meticulous attendance at every band meeting. I didn't quite expect Bret or Jemaine to whip out Murray's ever-present clipboard at the concert, but I bet they wanted to from time to time, in an effort to keep a firmer grip on the agenda.

It was certainly a change from their mellower 2008 concert in Chicago, which was at the much more intimate Chicago Theatre. The Arie Crown is a punishing barn of a space (and when the band got loud, the acoustics were tinny and very unpleasant). And this time, there were more than 4,000 spectators in the crowd, a fair number of whom wanted to personally communicate with the guys.

To write that Bret said, "That's a terrible heckle" after someone brought up swine flu as the duo introduced "Think About It," their "issues" song, doesn't convey the fact that it was said jokingly (I think). Earlier on, Jemaine said to another would-be conversationalist, "Just because you're loud doesn't mean you make any sense."

A deadpan look and the Kiwi accent defused whatever might have been confrontational in that sentence. But despite their adept handling of the crowd (and their excitement at receiving a fan-made Conchords portrait on banner made of silver cloth), you had to wonder if the audience interactions interrupted the flow of between-song banter, which can be the best thing about the Conchords' live show.

This tour, the Conchords shared the stage with the "New Zealand Symphony Orchestra." That's actually a guy named Nigel who played cello and some other instruments, and he was a wise addition: The songs sounded fuller and richer and Nigel's accompaniment allowed Bret and Jemaine to focus more on the comedy of the show.

But the most perplexing decision of the night was to play "Demon Woman," an unexceptional Season 2 song, as an encore. Where was "Business Time"? "Robots"? "If You're Into It"? (I can just hear Jemaine saying, as he did on Tuesday, "We're not a jukebox.")

I found myself wanting to hear those songs, and wishing that the Conchords' fame, and the venue, were both smaller. Intimacy suits this band, which isn't about the big rock gestures -- they're about self-deprecation, clever wordplay and goofing on the idea of big rock gestures.

"They were better before they got big" is the most cliched thing you can say about a band. The weird thing is, I wonder if the Conchords themselves agree.



Comments

FYI, the "issues" song is "Think About It", not "Inner City Pressure".
Posted by: fotc fan | Apr 29, 2009 12:29:14 PM

***

I looked for you at the concert but didn't find you! Did you go with Jeffster or Crucifictorious? Overall, I enjoyed the concert more than you. The new songs were definitely not memorable, but Foux da Fa Fa and Bowie more than made up for them for me. Granted, I couldn't get tickets to the Chicago Theatre show so I don't have a comparison.

Slight correction -- their "issues" song is "Think About It" and not "Inner City Pressure," which happens to be one of my favorites (Hey man, I just want some muesli). I was disppointed it didn't make the cut last night.
Posted by: Madge | Apr 29, 2009 12:50:44 PM

***

I'm glad I saw them last year instead. Would love to see that piece of fan-art, though!
Posted by: Diane | Apr 29, 2009 1:15:43 PM

***

In many cases, you're right, "they were better before they got big" is an annoying, trite thing to say about a band that in reality says more about person saying it, and the misguided way he/she derives enjoyment from liking a band before they got big.

Screw that, in ALL cases you're right. But there's the thing -- the Flight of the Conchods are not a band.

The FOTC are a a comedy act, and yes, it makes a difference. You go to see comedy to be made to laugh. Laughter more often than not comes from surprise -- the more the act surprises you, the more entertained you are. At a rock concert, if the band surprises you once or twice with a rare cut or an interesting cover choice, that's great -- but what brought you there was your expectation to hear the familiar. When you sing along with your favorite band, it's an homage. When you sing along w/ Bret and Jemaine, you're stepping on their gags. You don't go to a comedy show thinking "I hope he tells this joke or that joke" -- why would you go to a show where you figure you'll know the punchline to every joke?

See, the big "joke" of Bret and Jemaine's act no longer makes sense when they're playing to a packed house of FOTC fans. Their act is predicated on the fact that they were an odd little out-of-place curiosity -- but at least in a comedy club, the understanding is that we're supposed to laugh at these people when their sultry slow jam is about brushing their teeth as foreplay, and their "issues" song displays an obvious lack of understanding about the issues. They're setting themselves up as objects of mockery -- and that just doesn't make sense when you've got thousands of screaming fans in front of you.

Also, in comedy, you shout at the stage when the act is lousy, and your intent is to heckle. The comedian's appropriate response is to heckle back, in an amusing way. Now, personally, I don't understand why people feel the need to shout things out to the bands they like at concerts, but they do, and for some reason the convention is for the band to act amused and a little embarrassed by it.

So the problem isn't so much that the FOTC got big, it's that they got decontextualized, and now they're not allowed to act like comedians and their audiences are full of people who don't understand how to go along with the joke. I imagine it's immensely frustrating to them when people shout out songs for them to play, when they should be listening for new jokes in the banter. I imagine they want to shout at the audience "you're doing it wrong!" I know I would. I mean, imagine how, say, the Kings of Leon would feel if they showed up for a concert, and everybody just sat in their seats, listening intently to the lyrics, hoping to be made laugh?
Posted by: Knid | Apr 29, 2009 1:37:08 PM

***

From what I've seen of other concert writeups, the guys tend to mix up the setlist each night. Here in Atlanta, they didn't play "Hiphopopotamus" or "Foux", but we got "Business Time" and "If You're Into It". The list was too heavily reliant upon songs from S2, though I suppose bands do typically play stuff from the new album. We also got Kristen Schaal as the opener, and she was just delightful. Otherwise, your show sounds quite a lot like ours, down to the obnoxious (and embarrassing to the rest of us) hecklers shouting out requests for every possible song.
Posted by: Alanna | Apr 29, 2009 1:54:06 PM

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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby LauraK » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:39 pm

Each to their own. I disagree about the writer's desire for less of the new and newer songs though.
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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby mockingbird » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:11 am

I think Knid nailed it.

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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby SheWolf » Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:04 pm

I'm inclined to agree mock.

This is sacrilege:

Sherry wrote:the most perplexing decision of the night was to play "Demon Woman," an unexceptional Season 2 song, as an encore. Where was "Business Time"? "Robots"? "If You're Into It"? (I can just hear Jemaine saying, as he did on Tuesday, "We're not a jukebox.")

ISource


I hadn't been the most vocal cheerleader for the S2 songs, often saying that they were the weaker part of S2 but good lord I LOVED Demon Woman live, as well as Stana, Prostitute, Sexy Lady/Sugarlumps - all new songs. I actually was a tad bored by hearing Albi, Jenny and their ilk again. I'll never tire of Muthauckas though and Ladies of the World & Boom would have been nice but in general I would never complain about what songs they choose. I'm happy just to be there and listen.
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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby Sherry » Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:22 pm

mockingbird wrote:I think Knid nailed it.


That's what I said as soon as I read it. And what I've been saying for a long time now. Just s/he worded it far more eloquently than I ever could :lol:

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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby kellysouthpaw » Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:59 pm

Knid did nail it - and I was just happy to be in their presence, and even though I knew all of the songs and jokes in the songs, I still laughed at them all. Something about hearing it live is almost like hearing it for the first time - at least for me it was. Plus the banter was hilarious - obviously just as big part of the show as the songs are.

HOWEVER - some unplanned banter type things were just hilarious and it wasn't even heckling - having the ladies in the audience practice for the choir part of Carol Brown, the guys heard a man singing it from somewhere around where I was sitting, and they just ragged on him. The guy wasn't singing loud or obnoxiously either, I couldn't really even hear him from where I was in the 4th row, but the guys could and they nailed him on it. I laughed til I cried at that one.

Seriously - sit back, and ENJOY THE SHOW - let the guys entertain you. Stop thinking so hard about what songs you want, wish they'd play, or what songs you're not a fan of - and just. ENJOY. it.

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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby Bad Atom » Fri May 01, 2009 10:29 am

kellysouthpaw wrote:Seriously - sit back, and ENJOY THE SHOW - let the guys entertain you. Stop thinking so hard about what songs you want, wish they'd play, or what songs you're not a fan of - and just. ENJOY. it.


Yes, or you'll end up old and bitter like me. :) I've seen them four times now and still no "Ladies of the World"? :cross:
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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby jillbean » Mon May 04, 2009 4:59 pm

I know why they were talking about bongs!

Gosh, I'd like that my first post ever here did not start with that line...ah, well.

I can totally see why it would make no sense to the majority of the crowd since the Aerie Crown Theater is cavernous and any non-amplified sounds get lost pretty easily so here's the deal: I was lucky enough to have drawn tickets for the main floor, right side of the center section about 12 rows back. About 3 rows in front of us across the aisle to the right were two no-neck guys I dubbed Porterhouse and Ribeye (one in a sky blue Lionel Richie t-shirt; odd but memorable). They had imbibed enough pre-show to feel quite comfortable standing up and dancing during the opening of "Too Many Dicks" with beers in hand...and then high-fiving with their free hands. As soon as Bret and Jemaine sat down Porterhouse stood up and shouted something along the lines of "weneeda geft uh bong and cameras!" to which Jemaine replied "whut?" Porterhouse responded by slouting [slurring/shouting] that they should all go get a bong and truth be told, I have no idea what he meant with the cameras comment.

From there both Bret and Jemaine went with the commentary about the mention of bongs being a bad first impression to get from Chicago.

The end.

Well, kind of. I do need to share that the meathead twins were escorted out by Security by the end of the third song for continuing to be obnoxious (one of the two was the "Freebird!" crier). This was to the delight of those sitting around them; most of whom were applauding as the pair left. Kudos to the Security detail for saving us all from any more of that stupidity and making it so we could enjoy seeing the guys!

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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby Whambi » Mon May 04, 2009 6:49 pm

jillbean wrote:I know why they were talking about bongs!

Gosh, I'd like that my first post ever here did not start with that line...ah, well.

I can totally see why it would make no sense to the majority of the crowd since the Aerie Crown Theater is cavernous and any non-amplified sounds get lost pretty easily so here's the deal: I was lucky enough to have drawn tickets for the main floor, right side of the center section about 12 rows back. About 3 rows in front of us across the aisle to the right were two no-neck guys I dubbed Porterhouse and Ribeye (one in a sky blue Lionel Richie t-shirt; odd but memorable). They had imbibed enough pre-show to feel quite comfortable standing up and dancing during the opening of "Too Many Dicks" with beers in hand...and then high-fiving with their free hands. As soon as Bret and Jemaine sat down Porterhouse stood up and shouted something along the lines of "weneeda geft uh bong and cameras!" to which Jemaine replied "whut?" Porterhouse responded by slouting [slurring/shouting] that they should all go get a bong and truth be told, I have no idea what he meant with the cameras comment.

From there both Bret and Jemaine went with the commentary about the mention of bongs being a bad first impression to get from Chicago.

The end.

Well, kind of. I do need to share that the meathead twins were escorted out by Security by the end of the third song for continuing to be obnoxious (one of the two was the "Freebird!" crier). This was to the delight of those sitting around them; most of whom were applauding as the pair left. Kudos to the Security detail for saving us all from any more of that stupidity and making it so we could enjoy seeing the guys!


Hi Jillbean. Welcome to the board and thanks for the bong explanation. Jemaine did have a really perplexed look on his face trying to decifer that shout out. Love your monikers for them - Porterhouse and Ribeye!
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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby jillbean » Wed May 06, 2009 2:00 am

So here is something from the concert that I need to share with folks that will appreciate it!

Keep this in mind: when the tickets originally went on sale the show time was listed as 7:30 PM. At some point it got changed to 8:00 PM but notices were not sent by Ticketmaster; it would have been by chance or the ticket holder re-checking prior to the show that a person that purchased tickets early on would have known.

At 7:40 PM the girlfriend of the guy next to me asks why the show hasn't started, it's past 7:30. His response?

"Well, they may not be on for a few more minutes. These shows always start late, I mean the guys probably aren't even here. You know how rock and roll is."

Yep, our favorite NZ duo is the epitome of "rock and roll"...love it!

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Re: April 28 - Chicago (first of two shows)

Postby acire28 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:38 pm

I wish I could go back in time and sit thru this show again! My sis and I went, I was lucky enough to get 3rd row center....wish I could've been in the orchestra pit, that would've been AMAZING!! I hadn't been this excited about a show since I saw the NY Dolls in Feb of 08, I was seriously counting down the days. They put on such a good show, they are really funny guys and play off the crowd well. I wish I could've gone the next nite but I had class :( Did they do a meet and greet that nite? We creeped out front of the theatre til we got kicked out, the McCormick isn't really a good place to try to find them afterwards haha.


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