Thursday, April 23, 2009

Toronto was checking out their Sugalumps

The Flight of the Conchords played two shows at Massey Hall during their stay in Toronto. I was lucky enough to see them play on the second night. My memory is not the best, and I may not always be word for word in my quotes, but this is my recollection of the night.

The first thing the audience heard was a deep booming voice that penetrated the very soul itself. Nearly three thousand pairs of eyes scanned the still dark stage for a glimpse of the man that spoke to them. No sign. We would just have to trust the speaker system.

"PREPARE YOURSELF," came the voice, silencing the anticipating crowd. "PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A MAN..."
Recognition dawned on our faces. It was Jemaine. Jemaine was speaking to us.
"Well, not just a man... More than a man... Technically just a man... But... Just... J-just PREPARE YOURSELF!"

And thus, Eugene Mirman was introduced to the stage. The voice tells us that we may remember him from his role in the television series "Flight of the Con-ch-ords", as the band's landlord. Ah, yes Jemaine, I do remember Eugene.

Eugene greets us in his familiar monotone way. But he is a lot more pleasant and smiley than his TV counterpart. He says its a shame that rain took over the city during their stay here. It took away from his experience walking through Chinatown. This received him one "woo!" from the audience. My woo. Asian and proud! Eugene went on to tell us about how religion makes sense if you think about God as a nine year old boy with Asperger's Syndrome and how Delta Airlines is so offensive, it's like a guy going to a costume party dressed as Hitler, and not knowing why it's offensive. He really dislikes Delta. He proceeded to hand out prewritten postcards to the audience addressed to Delta that further explained his respectable qualms with them. He asked us to send these on his behalf before introducing the duo we had all been waiting for.

Credit to Gaby G. for the photo, 'cause my camera's zoom range is crap!

Bret and Jemaine took to the stage, decked out in silver futuristic robot costumes - disco ball jock straps included. Intense strobe lights blinded Balcony Right for the duration of Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor but they didn't need their eyes to cheer wholeheartedly.

They were their charming selves, no less, making sure that the audience was well informed of what the next hour and a half or so would entail. There would be some songs, and there would be some talking. How considerate of the boys to prepare us so thoroughly. It was like they were holding our hands, every step of the way.

The set list was comprised of a good balance between season one, season two and some very unexpected but welcomed tunes. They gave a shout out to Toronto's Queen St. during the first verse of Most Beautiful Girl in the Room. I saw a lighter swaying in the audience in the middle of Sello Tape, and being Canadian, the audience had no problems translating the lyrics to Foux du Fafa. All the ladies in the audience went "aww" sympathetically throughout Carol Brown (Stick Around) and Hurt Feelings. But seriously, who would've thought they would ACTUALLY play a mocking cover of Free Bird when someone shouted the request? It wasn't a fourteen minute cover, but hey, that in itself was epic. Also played after a request was the impromptu Song for Epileptic Dogs and its subsequent remix.
"See? There! Just like in the show!" quipped Jemaine proudly.
Renditions of Jenny and the Bus Driver Song were also pleasant surprises for the fans familiar with their material outside of the HBO series.

In terms of the banter and audience interaction, the Conchords seemed to have a good time teasing the audience. Massey Hall was pretty strict on their no-recording policy, and the boys were happy to help enforce it.
"You know, you guys really should do a better job hiding the red light from your cameras when you're recording," was Bret's suggestion. "That guy's been recording the whole thing! Oh, here come the ushers... No, too far! Back two rows! Get him!"
They made sure to give the guy who left his seat in the middle of the set to take a leak a hard time. The entire audience shouted at him when he returned while the band gave him a stern talking to. Tsk tsk tsk.
Bret coaxingly invited a girl from the front row toward the stage during the final song, a slowed down and sensual version of Sugalumps. It took her a moment to gain the confidence to approach, but when she did, boy did she approach! Bret jumped back in protest, protecting his sweet sugalumps.

The boys showed their love to Canada by wearing the iconic maple leaf and country's name on their trucker hats for the encore. Bret even went so far as to have a bath in maple syrup. Mmm. And regretably, the concert was done. Massey Hall played That's Not My Name by the Ting Tings as the get-the-audience-out music and the near three thousand people shuffled out, blocking traffic on the street outside.

There was a large crowd of fans waiting by the stage door after the show with their cameras and various things they wanted signed. Mostly though, I think we were all just excited to be in the general presence of the two men that we've come to love so much from watching them on TV...

*sniff sniff* And Toronto will probably never ever see them again.

Flight of the Conchords - Foux Du Fafa (mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)

Flight of the Conchords - Song for Epileptic Dogs (mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)

Flight of the Conchords - Sugalumps (mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)

Flight of the Conchords - Bus Driver Song (mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)

Also, fellow blogger at the Burgeoning Metropolis are nice enough to offer a couple of live snippets from this very show! Click here to read their recount of the show!

1 comment:

The R.O.B. said...

It was a great show, but I did not check out their Sugalups... no matter how much they attempted to thrust them in my face...