I had been dying to see the Conchords - Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie - in concert ever since seeing their hilarious HBO show for the first time last summer. And as disappointed as I am that the TV show won't be back until January (blame the WGA strike), I suppose it did leave the boys some time to set up a little tour, and I can't complain about the awesomeness of that.
The show was a blast, better, even, than I was hoping. Very loose and fun, and the guys never took themselves too seriously. The setlist was a wrinkled piece of paper that the guys passed back and forth between themselves and they also shared a guitar pick. "We only have one," explained Jemaine, as he passed it to Bret, who then dropped it. Although the audience made many requests (more on that later), they only took one, which was Sellotape. They claimed to not have played it in over a year, but it sounded pretty good. And you've gotta love any song with a drum solo that is sung.
Other standouts were the two new tunes - one, a song with a chorus of Jemaine's ex-girlfriends (of course, sung by Bret), the other about "gettin' freaky," which Bret apparently was still learning and relied on a chord sheet perched precariously on his lap (unintentionally funny) - "Albi the Racist Dragon" (which was setlisted and when someone in the audience started calling out for it, Jemaine pointed to the setlist and said "Maybe later if you're good," or something along those lines), and "Bowie," which is probably my favorite Conchords song, due to my love of DB and desire to say "Wear the funky funky eyepatch, Bret," to people on a daily basis.
Although they ostensibly play themselves on the HBO show, the real Bret and Jemaine are much less awkward than their TV counterparts, and their good looks just don't seem to come through as well on TV as they do in person. Also different from the TV show: Murray does not exist, much to the disappointment of the many audience members who shouted such witty things as "Where's Murray?" to the boys on stage.
In addition to their attempts to summon Murray, the crowd clearly did not believe that this show would be a passive event. They shouted out requests constantly, especially when the guys were doing a bit of between-song banter, which was mildly irritating but not unexpected, especially with alcohol being served at the venue. Someone in the front row brought props to toss onstage for a good two-thirds of the songs, which was a bit overkill, in my opinion. Then there was the girl, sitting towards the back of the orchestra section, who decided to tell Bret that she would have his children during the intro to "Issues." All in all, it was a bit frustrating because the guys kept trying to shush the rowdy crowd and they weren't into shutting up at all. But the guys took it in stride and really put on a great show.
Apparently Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon were at the show (pictures @ brooklynvegan). I'm a bit sad I didn't see either of them - Bull Durham is way up on my all-time favorites list. I mean, I want to be Annie Savoy and screw Nuke LaLoosh! Doesn't every baseball-loving girl who's seen the movie?