Oh yeah. It was business time last night at Davies Symphony Hall. And Flight of the Conchords were leading bringing it all. I had the beauty of sitting very near the front, dead center, and it was great. A wonderful view of the entire wonderful show.
You know a band has the audience eating out their palm when one of the members of the band laughs a little too loudly and this sends the audience on a two minute laughing spree. They didn't even have to speak. At some points, their deafening silences were enough for the audience to laugh and laugh. And that was the beauty of it.
Ranging from playing songs to merely talking onstage, the Flight of the Conchords two and only members, Bret and Jemaine, put on a wonderful show. The hilarious jokes they entwine so carefully and wonderfully into their songs fully encompasses the feeling of joy they bring to anyone fortunate enough to bear witness. Ranging from lyrics like "You're so beautiful...you could be a part time model!" to "There are angels in the clouds...DOING IT", the night barely missed a musical genre (except maybe metal). Conchords were hitting all the different kinds, from folksy to bedtime story to hip hop to plain rocking out.
The moment of punch lines and jokes came wonderfully too. In their comedic timing, Conchords are perfect. Their ability to improv and make things up as they go along onstage was also quite impressive. Some of these improv moments were almost even more wonderful than the songs themselves, since the improv was completely unseen before. One particular moment of a good laugh: Bret and Jemaine attempting to show us how a whale would have problems dialing 911.
This being a particularly rowdy (and lets say horny) audience was really the whipped cream on the milkshake. At moments it was dead quiet, and Jemaine and Bret would look around quite confused as to what to do and merely say "Maybe if we turned out the lights we could all have a good sleep."
Then there were moments when the cheering was overwhelming, especially in a 1700 seat concert hall. And of course, the inevitable "take off your shirt!" and "I love you!" resounded all around the walls and ceilings, although Bret and Jemaine seemed surprise at the excess of it this particularly evening, like they had never gotten quite as much heckling before. One girl even yelled "I want to touch you!" then preceded to go onstage and...touch them. Rub them actually. Fantastic evening.
The guys kept making jokes about how "intimate" the setting was. I am not sure if they realized it, but the way they behaved and spoke rendered the room actually more intimate than you might expect with two guys onstage and 1700 people watching. The little conversations between themselves and casual manner of handling the audience made it feel not so formal as it might have seemed. At one point, Jemaine turned to us and said "Talk amongst yourselves for a bit...I feel like you guys are just...looking at us."
The Conchords played favorites like "Jenny", "Business Time" (for the ladies), "If You're Into It" (you can imagine the yelling during this one with our special audience), "Albi the Racist Dragon" and "Mutha-Uckers". They also played some new ones, including one about all of Jemaines past loves, in which a new instrument posed quite some problems. They needed to fix it, and stopped twice during the song itself. "I'm sorry," Bret said. "Jemaines exhausted. We've been on the road for four days. It's intense."
After leaving the stage on a standing ovation (which my two friends and I started) they came back on for two encores and thanked the audience profusively, saying they "thought San Francisco was...pretty cool." "I like that you have stairs in your sidewalks," said Bret.
A night of jokes, improptus monologues, crazy panty-throwing (yes, seriously) audience members, music, and two guys with New Zealand accents singing onstage. Seriously? You want more?
PS A nod must be made the Conchord's warm up comic, Aziz Ansari. You may know him as the racist fruit vendor in the "Mutha Uckers" video, or Clell Tickle on YouTube. He is now holding a part on "Human Giant" on MTV. He was hilarious and had me in stitches. Upon stating that Cold Stone Creamery "molests" their ice cream, I was gone. Thank you Aziz.
Sidenote: I went backstage after the show and poked my head in the dressing room. There they were. Bret on a couch, Jemaine reading some papers and pacing. And then this huge security guard, just chilling. "Great show!" I said brightly. They turned, smiled cheerfully, and thanked me. And that was all I needed.