Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Flight Of The Conchords live!

| May 8, 2009

Arie Crown, Chicago
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flight of the Conchords 
Reality and television converged at the first of a two-night, sold-out stand that brought HBO darlings Flight Of The Conchords to the Arie Crown Theater. Flanked by two screens better suited for the lawn at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement deadpanned their way through a two-hour set that alternated between stand-up routine, folk concert, and an audience-participation free-for-all. 

The New Zealand comedy duo left some of the whimsy from their self-titled cable series at home, but managed to engage both rabid fans and those too cheap to pay premium channel prices to catch up on the show’s dual seasons. Not that it mattered anyhow; the night focused on the songs independent of any back story or preface. Devoid of props, the boys (with their asses glued to a set of stools) conveyed their requisite outrageousness with just acoustic guitars and a one-man orchestra, which heavily favored the cello. 

“The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)” allowed Clement to fully exercise his sexified falsetto, while “Bowie” showcased his uncanny vocal resemblance to the Thin White Duke. The less subdued of the group, McKenzie projected uncharacteristic expression during that loving ode to the French language, “Foux De Fafa” and the Kiwi version of “There’s A Tear In My Beer,” “I’m Not Crying.”

Coming out of the gate like Kraftwerk bathed in silver tinfoil, Flight Of The Conchords blinded the crowd with the filthy, yet grounded-in-reality “Too Many Dicks On The Dance Floor” and closed with the attention-getting “Sugalumps.”  McKenzie begged the audience to cease “objectifying” him while simultaneously jutting his pelvis into the faces seated in the front row (not that they seemed to mind).

Often veering off-script when catcalls emerged from the cavernous theater, McKenzie and Clement either feigned annoyance at the interruptions or were truly flummoxed by the running stream of consciousness emitting from the peanut gallery (it was hard to tell).  While these riotous bursts of misguided fandom forced the fellas to exercise their improvisation chops, one wishes muzzles would have come with the seats.

Janine Schaults

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Category: Live Reviews, Weekly

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