Flight of the Conchords w/ Arj Barker & Eugene Mirman, Greek Theater, May 24, 2009
Review follows below.
Careerwise, the Flight of The Conchords are heading in opposite direction to their fictional HBO series counterparts. Only a year ago the New Zealand duo played back to back shows at downtown’s Orpheum, and now they return to a sold out Greek Theatre. Last time I was a bit disappointed by the lack of costumes or props. This time, however, to the delight of myself and many other fans, Brett McKenzie and Jemaine Clement walked out on stage wearing sci-fi theme costumes – a combo outfit made of the boxheads from the “Robots” video, silvery space jackets, and sporran-mimicking disco balls. With that, the boys delved straight into material from the second season performing the high energy number “Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor.” As with the video for the song, Arj Barker came on stage to lend vocal support.
Barker (Brett and Jemaine’s hipster friend on the show) and fellow FOTC cast member Eugene Mirman (their apartment manager) each opened the night with hilarious stand-up performances. I wondered during the set if Mirman, who was a late add to the bill, was paid in American dollars by the boys. Unfortunately, comedy superstar Aziz Ansari did not perform this time around. He’s currently on the music festival circuit and at this moment somewhere between Sasquatch and Bonnaroo. But like Ansari, Barker told a couple jokes regarding the problems with his cell phone’s predictive text function. Which again raises this century’s most critical moral dilemma, “Are today’s comedians too reliant on technology?”
One of the most hilarious moments of the night had to be when Brett and Jemaine were reunited on stage with Patricio Castillo and Waldo Valenzuela who do the voice dubbing for the Spanish version of the series. The four traded back and forth verses to the FOTC song “Think Think About It” and as you can probably imagine the lyrics are just as hysterical en Español. The two played up the fact that their Spanish counterparts were better musicians as well as attracting more crowd response.
As usual Brett and Jemaine amused the audience with their banter during breaks between songs. At one point the two sarcastically remarked about the venue’s striking similarities to actual ancient Greece (minus the all encompassing aroma of garlic fries, of course) when someone in the crowd yelled out “Caesar!” The two wasted no time in pointing out that Caesar was Roman and that a response like that was expected since there are probably only three Americans that know that fact. Then the duo remarked, “We just put down your entire country.” Ironically, though, it was Jemaine who just moments before had listed the Pantheon as one of the landmarks of Greece. But as any American knows it’s actually the Parthenon that’s located in Greece not the Pantheon. So there, right back at ya, kiwis!
I would have corrected them out loud too, if I was not sitting so close to Brett’s father, who by the way, happened to be friendly and, as one would expect, very proud of the duo’s success. And for the record, his favorite episode is season two episode five, the one where Brett discovers he had sex with an Australian. That was the only interesting question I could come up with to ask him. I should have asked if there was any chance of a third season for the series.