Last time we saw them, Evonne reminded me that our first sighting of the Conchords at Largo was not onstage. It's odd to think that we've become such fans in the last few months, but then again, Largo has a way of taking you by surprise.
Flight of the Conchords, Largo, July 21, 2006: Clearly, I'm a creature of habit, but this usually applies only to music. Although I can listen to certain songs and albums for hours, days, months at a time, I can't maintain my enthusiasm for repeated viewings of most movies or TV shows. Fortunately, Flight of the Conchords isn't just a comedy duo. Rather, Bret and Jemaine come armed with catchy songs and incredibly charming demeanors, which is why I've made it a point to catch their rare U.S. shows when I can.
You know you really dig a band when the main complaint about their gig is that they didn't have time for all the songs you love. Oh, what I would've given to hear "Bret, You Got It Going On" or the song for Suzanne, but on the bright side, they opened with my absolute favorite from their catalog, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room." They didn't forget their more familiar crowd pleasers, such as "The Humans Are Dead," "Issues," and "It's Business Time," and the dashes of improv within the songs made us laugh even harder. Far be it from me to desecrate their punchlines, but in that last tune, Jemaine's throwaway ad-lib about a korma stain hasn't left my brain all day.
In a sure sign of the Conchords' growing notoriety, the audience yelled out song titles all through the show. Bret and Jemaine granted one request, but it was probably the only tune that didn't work. However, they handled the hecklers beautifully; Jemaine's responses seemed especially sharp. To his credit, Bret was lovely, but more than once, he (good-naturedly) dropped hints of his jetlag and exhaustion.
According to reports, we're poised to see more Conchords action in the states this year; in addition to the Sub Pop signing, the band has shot a pilot for HBO. On a much less official note, however, some of us at Largo may have noted a few comedy names, such as Mitchell Hurwitz (creator of the brilliant Arrested Development) and Mary Lynn Raskjub (24) in the audience. Maybe it's the start of something, or maybe it's another LA moment--it's worth waiting to see.
As usual, I've already said too much--just go to YouTube and check 'em out yourself. I'm already sad I'll have to miss their next Largo gig.
The night's MC was a comic whose name I didn't catch. He used a persona for his entire act, and he was OK in parts. The other performer on the bill was Colin Hay; I suspect Flanagan is the brilliant party who thought to pair the young Kiwis and the veteran musician associated with a famous Australian band (though, as it turned out, originally hails from Scotland). He's been on the Largo roster for years, but this is the first time I've seen him. For his 15-minute set, Colin talked quite a bit, in true storyteller fashion. He also did two songs: the Men at Work hit "Overkill" and a newer tune for which he requested his wife's and the audience's participation. Evonne and I heartily agreed that his wife seemed like a true Lady of the Canyon, but I'm always a sucker for a good Largo singalong.
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