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Brilliant and effortless comedy

Flight of the Conchords
Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, TN
April 10, 2009
Flight of the Conchords Flight of the Conchords Flight of the Conchords

Story and photos by Kate Seesholtz

On their hit HBO show they are known as "formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo accapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo," but in real life The Flight of the Conchords sell out shows across the nation. Friday night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville was no different as the group, composed of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, played to a full capacity crowd.

Comedian Kristen Shaal (who plays the band's only fan on the show) opened the evening. She covered all the bases, from politics to babies to life on tour. She said she wasn't sure what to expect about living on a tour bus, so she watched Bret Michael's Rock of Love Bus. She commented that she fearful of how many times they would have to pull over and mud wrestle (the answer was twice, by the way). Shaal was the perfect warm up for the evening, telling hilarious stories of her love life through the use of pots and pans (use your imagination) and the negative side effects of marijuana (in the form of a high school play).

The Flight of the Conchords took to the stage dressed as robots (a reoccurring theme in their show), which garnered huge applause from the crowd. They opened with "Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor" and their wildly popular "Most Beautiful Girl in the Room" ("You're so beautiful. You could be a part time model, but you'd probably still have to keep your normal job.")

Their between song bantering was just as entertaining as their music. Joking about everything from 'band practice' to the stagehands, it was difficult to tell where their characters ended and they began. They continually spoke of their lack of preparedness, saying that they were "a bad covers band of themselves." The truth is that they were hilarious, their songs ranged from the (almost) romantic ("If You're Into It") to the completely outlandish ("I Told You I was Freekie"). With lyrics like "too many mutha uckas, uckin' with my shi," it was hard to not laugh when Bret took to the drums to perform "Mutha'uckers" (on the show the guys don't ever actually swear).

The Flight of the Conchords offered connected with everyone in the crowd. The ladies went wild for the song "Sugarlumps." With lyrics that include "I see you girls checkin' out my junk, then checkin' out my rump, then back to my sugarlumps," Bret and Jemaine quickly gained a small circle of fans anxious to touch them and a standing ovation. For the audience members concerned with the issues of the world, Bret and Jemaine offered up "Think About It," singing: "Why are we still paying so much for sneakers when you got little kid slaves making them? What are your overheads?" They told the audience, "Basically anything that Bono's into, we are."

After the end of their set, and their second standing ovation, Bret and Jemaine returned to close out the evening with "Angels." At this they received their third and final standing ovation, a much-deserved response to their brilliant and effortless comedy.
Flight of the Conchords Flight of the Conchords Kristen Shaal
Kristen Shaal
Flight of the Conchords Flight of the Conchords
Flight of the Conchords
Flight of the Conchords

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