Hi there, here's a slightly more detailed breakdown of the night. I've tried not to watch many video clips of previous shows, just so I could be "unspoilered" for the concert, and I'm not sure what was unique to this show or not, so I'll just jot down some stuff.
Iron & Wine- I had only listened to a few songs online, but the songs were beautiful and he did a great job. (My friend got very excited when she realized he sings one of the songs on the Twilight soundtrack.) I didn't see any merchandise at the main booth. I was sort of hoping he might come out and play a song with the Conchords, but no such luck. I'll probably download a few songs, so Subpop, your promotional plan worked!
Arj - Hilarious. His act was actually a little more clean than I'd anticipated - I'm not sure why I thought that. Loved the bits about fonts (Sarcastica, Gotohelvetica, and Good Times Roman) and "snakes are just as afraid of you as you are of them." He seemed pretty psyched to be playing to a large crowd, and made a comment at the beginning about how "They made a mistake d*&king around with 2000 and 3000 seat venues, and now they realized they should only play 9000 seat places." He did an amazing job of filling the space, and there were lots of people in the crowd dressed as "Dave." Hee - possibly the easiest Conchord costume, just tie a bandana around your head.
Conchords - A few funny things:
-someone in the front had a sign that said "South African + Kiwi = Beautiful Babies." When they put the lights up on the crowd, Bret read it out loud and they joked that yeah, it might be interesting to give it a try, that it would be a good enough reason to have a child, just to see if her hypothesis would prove to be correct.
-there's a railing between the stage and the first rows, and during Sugalumps they had to climb up on the railing to dance, which made it awkward and hilarious. At one point Bret had to put his hand on the head of the security guard to balance on the rail.
-the fog machine was going full force, not sure if that showed up in the webcam.
-the crowd was very fun, lots of singing along. The sound system/acoustics are good, and you're outside, so it's not annoying, just sort of like being at camp.
-The crowd was standing up for the first 4-5 songs, and then after they put the lights up and commented about how they were "terrified" of the crowd, they told us it was ok to sit down.
-Bret's awesome Western Shirt- Bret was wearing a jacket most of the show, but during the encore, he had just that shirt on, and I immediately thought "I bet that's a Rockmount shirt!" Rockmount Ranchwear is a company in Denver that makes these amazing and expensive Western shirts (Someday, when I need to dress up for something, I'm going to drop some change and buy one.) Anyway, I checked out the website for Rockmount http://www.rockmount.com/shirts/vintage.asp
, and if you scroll/search on the page for "Paniolo" that looks like the shirt Bret was wearing. ("Paniolo" is the Hawaiian slang term for cowboy, and that patterns sort of inspired by Hawaiian quilts, so there's a fun little Polynesian connection, there.) Although it's good to know that Bret could also sit in with "Lobo IV" if needed!
Overall impression- since we were in the back, we couldn't really pick up on facial expressions, gestures, etc, which are part of the charm of Conchords low-key comedy. But, IMO, what really registered in the large venue was just how good Conchords are musically. The songs sounded amazing, and it occurred to me that the arrangements for most of the songs that were featured on the show had been significantly altered for the live show. The tv show obviously has some pretty complex mixes of the songs, and even last year on the tour it seemed like they relied a bit more on some fun bells and whistles, like the little instruments, and turn tables. This go round, it seems like they are relying a lot more on vocal arrangements and the basics instrumentation of the guitars, cello, and drums. (I know it's been said many times, but Nigel was freaking awesome!) They did an amazing job of filling a really large space with music. When I've watched/listened to them before, usually my reaction to the songs are "this is hysterical, oh and the music is pretty good, too." At the end of this concert, my overall impression was "wow, the music and playing was really great, and it was funny." (E.g. when they played "Stana" and the acoustic "Sugalumps" there were several points when I was definitely focusing more on the melodies and playing/singing than on the lyrics or the dancing.)
Favorite moment of the night for me: If you watched it on the webcam, you can see that the seats at Red Rocks look out over the city of Denver. They sang "Jenny", and I love, love, love the section of "We just looked out' across the city from our little spot on the hilltop. Oh, It is so pretty from way up there. We talked about how the lights from the buildings and cars seemed like reflections of the stars that shined out so pretty and bright, that night." (Beyond the comedic context, I just think it's a truly pretty piece of songwriting.) So listening to that line, while looking out at the lights of the buildings and cars, and looking up to see the stars... way cool!
Songs that I remember, but in no particular order:
Too Many Dicks
Business Time (Matt played drums)
Most Beautiful Girl (this was one of the moments that the music sounded amazing)
Bus Drivers Song (hoooray!-- my favorite Conchords song, and I loved Jemaine and Nigel harmonizing on some of the parts)
Think About It
In Love With the Same Lady (can't remember the exact title) into Sugalumps
H & R (again, another one where I was totally blown away by how strong it came across with just the vocals and guitars.)
*utha*uckas (I'm told, this is when I had to make a mad dash to the bathroom.)
I'm Not Crying
the other new one
If I think of anything else, I'll post it.