Posted in comedy | music on June 18, 2007

Flight of the Conchords @ Gramercy Theatre, NYC - June 13, 2007 (CRED)
Flight of the Conchords @ Gramercy Theatre

by Klaus Kinski

It has been a very very very long time since I last saw Flight of the Conchords perform live. I actually even sort of forgot about them for a while. But all of a sudden they've exploded back onto the scene with a vengeance and now seem to be everywhere. Of their two "sold out" * shows at Blender Theater at Gramercy I was able to catch second show on 6/14. I had high hopes because my pal Matt went the first night (6/13), and told me this:

The show was great. Really hilarious. Eugene Mirman came out around 8:40 and did a solid 45 minutes (or so), then instead of an intermission, he brought the Conchords right out and they performed till around 10:45. They did all the big songs (Business Time, Think about It, Jenny), and encored with ‘Bowie’s in Space’, which is probably the most brilliant Bowie homage ever.
The opener was their HBO series co-star Rhys Darby whose forté, really, is making funny sound effects a la Michael Winslow. I saw him a while back at the final Hot Tub Variety Show at Comix and found him a bit corny. However, this time around he was extremely funny and balanced his sound effects with actual stand up much better than before. He was phenominal and I got the sense the crowd was digging his schtick.

Then came the Conchords. First, I have to give props to the crowd. It seemed to me that each and every person in the room was a devoted Conchords fan. I never once got the impression that some of the people who were there were there because it was a 'hot show' or a 'scene'; an impression I get at a lot of shows in NYC, comedy or otherwise. It was one of those things where once the Conchords would strike the very first note of a song, 85% of the people there knew exactly what song it was and would go bonkers. It was fantastic.

The Conchords themselves were spectacular. Their songs are musically well constructed and are extremely funny without resorting to the use of any vulgarity or excessive lewdness. All the songs they played were so good, but the highlight for me was the song Bowie's in Space (if you want go here and scroll down to read the lyrics). Bret and Jemaine sing the tune using every vocal style David Bowie ever used. It is the perfect imitation, the perfect homage.

Because the Conchords are a comedic duo who play acoustic guitars and have their own show on HBO, some people are quick to refer to them as 'New Zealand's Tenacious D'. On paper they might appear similar, but last night's show proved that the Conchords are much gentler, sweeter, funnier, less anthemic, and way more sincere than the D.

Look for a Flight of the Conchords EP on Sub Pop Records in August 2007.

* "sold out" in quotes because, from where I was standing, I counted around 10 empty seats

Previously
* more Flight of the Conchords

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Comments (19)

i don't know...i checked out their show on HBO the other night, and it wasn't really all that funny. it's a very specific market they seem to be targeting..pretentious music snobs. the godley and creme thing was worth a chuckle...but again, how many people are going to appreciate that?

Posted by jason331/3 | June 18, 2007 5:40 PM

Never caught them live, but they had/have a live performance on HBO On Demand which is *hilarious*

Posted by Mike L | June 18, 2007 5:41 PM

MEH

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2007 5:46 PM

I watched the first episode on HBO on Demand and I wasn't impressed. The first song was about a guy and a girl meeting in the park. Halfway through the song I fastforwded until the end. Stop the show after that. Decent, but nothing that would make me watch again.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2007 6:13 PM

I saw them about 3 years ago in a small theater about 70 people just above Houston St. and it was a good show. They are definetly funny, but I fear that the HBO show will not make it.

Posted by danfun | June 18, 2007 6:27 PM

The HBO show is funny, but not nearly as brilliant, audacious or comical as The Whitest Kids U'Know. I mean, who wants to watch a bunch of geeky Australians strum out some jokes when they can watch true comedians like TWKUK. Plus HBO is expensive!

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2007 6:37 PM

i don't know what you 3 or 4 people are talking about. i for one, went into the hbo show thinking i was going to hate it. musical comedy gives me the creeps, but this show was top notch. the songs had their campy moments, but there were enough comedic gold nuggets that i consider myself a fan of the show.

Posted by brian | June 18, 2007 6:40 PM

TWKUKTPATOBC

The Whitest Kids U Know That Post About Themselves On Blog Comments.

Posted by jonathan | June 18, 2007 6:42 PM

the HBO show was some of the worst television i have ever seen in my life i tapped out at 10:38

pretty disappointing because they are pretty funny

Posted by mike | June 18, 2007 7:19 PM

i've seen them three times over the past 4+ years and they are always great. i wasn't crazy about the blender crowd OR the fact that no one went on stage for two fucking hours. but the two of them were so on, even if they seemed a little worn out. kristin schaal was bobbing away in front of me and i wanted to punch her in the back of her fucking head. the show is not FOR YOU! it's for everyone.

the one thing i'm nervous about is it seems like they haven't written new songs for the show. will it only be one season? they're totally going to run through their whole catalogue in like 4 episodes...

Posted by i want to have bret's babies | June 18, 2007 7:34 PM

I saw F of the C on Comedy Central a bunch of years ago and forgot they existed until their promo popped up recently. It's only been one episode, but I've seen enough to stick around until at least next week.

If they are the New Zealand D, then maybe the D are the Los Angeles Smothers Brothers. Clearly, this line of thinking will not have a satisfactory outcome. I think the only way to settle this is a folk/rock off between the three comedic duos.

Winner can guest judge on American Idol.

Posted by The Codge | June 18, 2007 10:17 PM

Yeah i agree with the above poster. These guys are mining territory already well visited and done much better

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2007 11:12 PM

saw them last year at sxsw and they were hysterical. the first episode of the show was rather clever too. you people sit on thrones of lies.

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2007 9:00 AM

"TWKUKTPATOBC"

Well said...

The Whitest Kids are nice guys, but I was far more impressed with the FOTC premier on Sunday. This and Human Giant are my two new favorites...

Posted by Beeeeeve | June 19, 2007 9:34 AM

Debating the merits of comedy acts is soooooo unfunny.

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2007 9:56 AM

i thought the first episode was solid, and im thinking its only going to get funnier

Posted by marcus_garvey | June 19, 2007 11:57 AM

I saw them the first night with Mirman, and I have to say, my face was sore from laughing for so long. They were great!

Posted by anon | June 19, 2007 3:58 PM

affirmative. the only thing cooler than FOC is FOC in robot suits. Check out our Daft Punk/FOC super robot function button mashup at www.butterteam.com

Posted by butter team | June 20, 2007 9:24 AM

they're from new zealand not australia, its like calling an american canadian.

Posted by simon | June 20, 2007 7:51 PM

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