(Image above: taken from FlightoftheConchords.com)
If you were one of the lucky ones who got tickets this spring to see Bret and Jemaine of Flight of the Conchords live, rocking out in their particularly adorable fashion, I can bet you’re still chuckling to yourself about it. I caught a glimpse of our favorite “guitar-based digi-bongo a capella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo from New Zealand” at Kent State University’s MAC Center, just a short road trip from Pittsburgh.
Keep reading for a tale of dancing robots, talking mattresses and more…! We arrived right on time, and the gymnasium was packed with thousands. I was totally jazzed that the ‘special guest’ opening act was Kristen Schaal (a.k.a. Mel), but shocked to find she had started early! I guess the promptness was kind of funny in an ironic, a-real-rock-concert-would-never-start-on-time kind of way, but it made me a bit flustered. We were in bleacher-style seating, and our assigned seats were totally full. It was dark, hot, and I’m not going to lie – smelly. Luckily, we spotted a bleacher with a little room and squeezed ourselves into it. Once we finally got settled and I stopped fussing, we focused on the comedic genius that is Schaal. Her stand-up set was fresh, adorable, creative, and bizarre. She performed a one-act play starring a pot and wooden spoon, dressed up as a used mattress, and showed off her “Law and Order: SVU” audition piece wherein she shoved an entire chocolate cake into her mouth. I love her even more now, if that is possible.
As soon as she left the stage, the lights went down. Seconds later, Bret and Jemaine, dressed in fashionable, futuristic white suits entered the stage to lasers, smoke, and a throbbing synth-techno beat. They gyrated, grinded, and basically got down. It was a riot. The rest of the show was much more low key, as the duo took an ‘acoustic’ approach to their catalogue of songs. Sitting on bar stools for the duration of their 90-minute set, Bret and Jemaine established a very conversational, informal atmosphere. Their banter was amazing, highlighted by Bret’s request for a particular girl in the audience to join him on stage. He begged and pleaded, extended his hand to pull her up on stage, and when she grabbed it, he called Security on her. Priceless.
My favorite musical moment of the show had to be the rap throw-down between the Hiphopopotaums (Jemaine) vs. the Rhymenoceros, but I also loved “Mutha Uckas.” How could I not? Those silver-tongued devils love to turn a phrase, and I’m a girl who loves words. I was impressed to see fully-clad robots in the audience who sprung to life, robot-ing around during the extra-long version of “The Humans Are Dead.” It just goes to show how devoted FOTC fans really are. That’s why it’s so sad to consider a life without more Bret and Jemaine. I know they’ve said that the series is over, but after seeing their truly entertaining live performance and their throngs of dedicated fans, I don’t really believe it.
Did you get to see FOTC on this tour? Leave a comment, and let us know what you thought…