The fans were out in full force for what was the first of three shows at Auckland’s Vector Arena for Flight Of The Conchords. Even Kim Dotcom, fresh from his court room victory, dragged himself away from his swimming pool in order to catch the show.
With the stage littered with a variety of musical instruments…everything from a drum kit and bass guitar to a toy piano and a recorder…Bret and Jemaine took the stage at approximately 9pm and remained there for a solid two hours.
Initially, the duo appeared wearing matching headgear…what seemed to be cardboard boxes covered in tin foil with holes cut out for their faces. It was very low-tech and utterly ridiculous. Sitting on stools, strumming acoustic guitars they opened with the lovely Too Many Dicks.
They eventually abandoned the silver robot outfits in favour of something more conventional and got down to the business of playing their “hits”, tracks from their album such as Inner City Pressure, Think About It, The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room), Bowie and, of course, Business Time.
While the tunes are funny in themselves, it was the between song banter that was the highlight of the evening. The duo riffed on a running gag about the crazy antics they’ve gotten up to while on the road. We’re talking serious outrageous stuff like eating a complimentary muffin, getting stuck in an elevator and having a pair of boxer shorts thrown on stage.
Jemaine’s Arnold Schwartzenegger impersonation during Robots Boom got plenty of laughs and, since it happened to be Bret’s birthday, the crowd sang Happy Birthday to him.
The two were accompanied on stage by “Nigel” a cello player, who also proved capable on recorder and drums. Apparently the duo wanted the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra to appear on the show but had to settle for the New Zealand Sympathy Orchestra instead.
Bret and Jemaine seemed genuinely impressed with the size of the crowd and there was plenty of interaction with the fans. It was those spontaneous moments and unscripted quips that showed off their talent the best. If there happened to be a slight glitch in their musicianship, they turned it in to comic gold.
If there is to be any criticism, it would be that they played it fairly safe, sticking to mostly familiar material and giving the crowd exactly what they came to see and hear. But it’s hard to fault an act for that. And it’s especially difficult to keep the laughs coming for two hours. For that, they are to be commended.
Click here to view Michael Flynn’s photos from the show: