Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Flight Time

I never watched the HBO series Flight of the Conchords during its original run, but man, did I love it when I finally did find it. When I heard that the duo, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, were back on tour this summer in the U.S., I was eager to go. I was a little surprised that Red Rocks was the venue for their Denver stop -- were they really big enough for Red Rocks? -- but that was just icing on the cake.

Yes, Flight of the Conchords was big enough for Red Rocks. Big enough to sell out Red Rocks. And they gave a fantastic show. Perfectly, it was probably the least visually dynamic concert I've ever been to: they both sat for virtually the entire show (and asked the audience to do so too), moving only occasionally to swap out instruments. They had just a pretty basic lighting set-up, and a screen hanging at each corner of the stage. They started the night just the two of them, until being joined early on by the "New Zealand Symphony Orchestra" (a cello player) to play the rest of the show as a trio.

They didn't really need anything flashier than that to hold the crowd for the entire performance. Undoubtedly, part of what made the show so fresh for the audience was that a lot of it seemed fresh to them. There were definitely specific,planned joke premises in their banter between songs, but from the way they were cracking each other up throughout the night, they riff within them from show to show.

Even when performing the songs the audience knew best (because they were featured in their series at some point), they mixed things up with a different arrangement, different lyrics (mostly intentionally, but not always), and a willingness to chase whatever digression got a laugh. But they also played a lot of new material too, and it was every bit as fun.

If you've never watched the series Flight of the Conchords, you need to get on that. And if the second half of the tour they've now entered is bringing them to your city, you should definitely look into getting tickets.

No comments: