Who are Flight of the Conchords? Who the hell are you if you are not acquainted with this fictional-but-they-do-exist in real life musical duo, who have a wildly successful show on HBO and now are somehow touring for fake songs about doing foreplay with toothpaste and fake peg leg cannibalism, complete with making lasagna for one and time-traveling to meet David Bowie to tell him how to make iconic music?
It's okay - it's a hard idea to grasp. A fantastic sense of humor and some sheer underwear to throw on stage was all that was needed at Thursday's San Francisco Davies Symphony Hall. It was kind of like watching a hybrid of the class clown and the heartthrob of your high school morph into one person and then split in two to perform at the best rager of the year, and completely winning. And while, yes, the cable show is scripted and character'ed, the songs ultimately are the bread and butter of the success, penned with a heart of sass and seriousness. Parody comparisons aside, it's important to note that the two can actually sing and write satire put to music, and that's what makes them so special.
The sold-out crowd was treated to gems from the television show as well as ironic puns and punchy commentary from Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie as they sat, stripped, and heckled the audience right back during their near two-hours on set. But really, rather than try and explain the sheer magnitude of this genius duo, aka "formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo," we think the Jemaine quotes and overall show imagery from the sex-fueled gig will be a better descriptor:
- "Well, thank you, San Francisco" - as a pair of sheer red undies flies on stage not even two songs in.
- "See, if we do this now, we'll start a relationship where you tell us what to do" - to hecklers wanting song "Business Time" earlier than later.
- "Er, do you think you could give us lighting as if we were on a boat?" - to lighting dudes.
- Jemaine having a sweet red key-tar to accompany the set.
- "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" proclaiming that you are so hot you could "even be a part-time model."
- Girls every other song asking one of them (but mostly Jemaine) to "take it off," "show us your nipple!" or catcalling loudly - we have never seen such a blatant display of aggressive behavior.
- "You think you love me, but you don't love me. The truth it, I'm too dangerous for you" -midway through adoration.
- "Really, you guys are filthy!" / girl in balcony: "Nice chest hair!" / "Oh, well, thank you, it only goes to here" (points to the bottom of his V-neck shirt).
- "Okay, shut up - now you're just embarrassing yourselves" - in response to the 14,000 girls yelling at him for his sexiness.
- "We are about the issues: war, famine, poverty, saving the whales," and Bret jumping in to help describe how whales call 911, how flippers get in the way, and Jemaine demonstrating how it ends up the whales have to text message.
- "Imagine children being spliced by a unicorn rogue."
- "Thank About It," monkey diseases, knives and forks, acapella jams like Boyz II Men, imaginary conversations with Beyonce and Mary J. Blige.
- The beginning of "Careless Whisper" by George Michael on the sax.
- "It's like we're inside a lady bug" - Bret on the venue.
- "It's like we're trapped in Swiss cheese" - Jemaine on the venue.
- "It's just been raining/on my face/I'm making lasagna for one."
- "Hip-Hopopotamus vs. The Rhymenoceros" and having "lyrics that are bottomless."
- "I know I shouldn't have worn this low-cut shirt" - Jemaine at the end of the show, after girls threw various items on stage, harassed him from the balconies, and bum-rushed the stage to take pictures of him and ask to touch Bret.
I don't care how fictionalized everything is. Gimme more. I promise I won't ask you guys to strip.
Photos by Jenz