Not So Into It

18 Apr

Flight of the Conchords played the Agganis Arena at B.U. Friday night.

The concert featured the guys — Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement — performing largely acoustic versions of songs from both seasons of the show, and they even brought fellow cast members Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal along for the ride as their opening acts.

For those who still have not discovered the Conchords TV show, McKenzie and Clement are New Zealand’s fourth most popular folk-digi-pop-parody duo.

The show can be really hysterical (it’s one of my favorites), and a good part of that is due to the music itself, which is always performed in such an earnest, deadpan style that it sometimes takes a second listen to realize just what it is the guys are singing.

Taken out of the context of the show, though, the songs lose a little je ne sais quoi. Yes, when the guys just sit there on stools singing, you can hear the lyrics better (and btw, the acoustics and sound quality at the concert were great), but you miss out on the facial expressions and dance moves.

And that visual element is a big part of why these songs are so funny.

Bret and Jemaine made it pretty clear early on that their concert would be a simple one: there’d be songs, then some talking (actually, some “professional talking,” they called it, as opposed to the crowd heckling), then some more songs, and then more talking.

Sure enough, that’s what we got.

The songs they played were mostly good, including the classics “The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)” and “Business Time.”

The guys also played great stuff like “If You’re Into It,” “Carol Brown,” and “Think About It.”

In between the tunes, the guys tried to figure out if 1,000 people could make a pyramid, and they made a plea to save the whales because they’re helpless and can’t dial 911 on their own due to their extra-large flippers.

I laughed, but I wouldn’t say it was uproarious comedy.

It didn’t help that the concert took place at the Agganis, a venue too big for such an intimate-type show.

Much of the charm of the Conchords is that they’re such clueless, out of it performers, so there was a bit of a disconnect seeing them in such a large venue where they came off as more confident and in control.

Worse, because we were sitting the entire time and I just couldn’t see the guys well enough on my own, I spent much of the concert watching on the big TV screens, and that was a real bummer.

And I was surprised Bret and Jemaine didn’t play “Rhymenoceros vs Hiphopopotamus,” “A Kiss Is Not a Contract,” or “Robots.” I sorta knew they wouldn’t be able to do “Foux da Fafa,” so it’s probably good they didn’t try.

All this is not to say this was a bad concert. I laughed and had a good time, and some of the songs are really good.

But I think I definitely prefer seeing the songs to only hearing them, and that left me feeling disappointed in the end.

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