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Monday, May 4, 2009

"Flight of the Conchords" concert review

Recession? Check. Crazy, possibly fake epidemic that might kill us all? Check. A few hours of laughter and merriment courtesy of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement? Check.

Channel Surfing bloggers Sara Boyd and Malavika Jagannathan -- who you may remember brought you this memorable review of "Flight of the Conchords" last visit to our fine state about a year ago -- had the excellent fortune to once again watch our favorite New Zealanders perform live at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee this weekend. (Blogger Adam Reinhard was also present, but is currently tending sheep on his "vacation").

If you read last year's review, you probably recall our verbal flogging of a certain drunk girl in Row U of the second balcony who pretty much spent the entire time screaming nonsensical things at Bret and Jemaine. Apparently, in the year that has passed, she cloned herself and snagged better tickets (first floor to the right -- you know who you are) for the 10 p.m. show. Clearly, the boys are used to the heckling -- suggesting openly that everyone "shouting" should instead just write them notes -- but it's no less annoying to those of us in the audience who paid $35 during in a recession to listen to the performers. Mollie Boutell-Butler of The Decider Milwaukee wrote in her review of the 7 p.m. show that "shouts of 'I love you Jemaine!' and 'I love you Bret!' were as annoying as it got," so we're assuming that the fools at the 10 p.m. show were suffering from too-much-beer syndrome or swine flu (is a symptom of swine flu stupidity?).

In the end, though, nothing could stop Bret and Jemaine from rocking the party. With another season's worth of hilarious songs to add to their already well-honed repertoire, the rock-rap-folk-funk-reggae-pop-comedy duo could hardly fail us. Between the opening number -- the aptly named "Too Many D***s on the Dancefloor" -- that they performed wearing homemade cardboard robot costumes to Bret's hilarious flub of "I Love Dogs With Epilepsy," the show was a great mix of new songs and old favorites.

Still, on behalf of Channel Surfing and the good people of Wisconsin, we'd like to write Bret and Jemaine an apology.

Dear Bret and Jemaine (can we call you that? "Mr. McKenzie and Mr. Clement" just sounds weird),

First of all, we love you. Not in a scary Mel stalking way, but we do. We may or may not have your faces as our desktop backgrounds. Ahem, but this is not why we're writing you in New Zealand.

Instead, our purpose here is two-fold: 1. We'd like to officially apologize to you on behalf of the Riverside-Theater-Milwaukee-Wisconsin-10 p.m. show and 2. we'd like to make it astoundingly clear that your true fans have more respect for you than to interrupt your set with "DAVID BOWIE!!!" screams or nonsensical things like "EMAIL" during your performance of "Carol Brown."

So officially, and on behalf of us not fitting the constraints of "those people" at the 10 p.m. concert -- we apologize. We are truly sorry that after several attempts to tell drunken morons you're actually NOT amused by their not-so-clever remarks, they continued to scream song requests or marriage proposals. We also sincerely apologize for the women in the front row who may or may not have grabbed one or both of, ahem, your man bits. (Admittedly, had we been given the same opportunity, who's to say we wouldn't have done the same).

Some of the greatest qualities of your band, Flight of the Conchords, is that it's so down-to-earth and laid back. Still, that does not mean that your concerts should be treated like a rude, interrupting conversation ... one where you're trying to tell us an interesting tidbit about New Zealand and someone shouts -- out of nowhere -- "WHERE'S MURRAY!?!" Would Sting approve of such treatment at one of his concerts? I think not.

OK, yes, Sting may have a different audience and slightly different music but we think you get our point. That being, fans are fans and if you want to be a respectful fan, you pay to watch a show, you sit in your seat (and stay in the "bubble" of your seat, ahem, Miss Exaggerating Clapper -- you know who you are) and you listen to the music and the banter. Oh, the lovely banter, definitely one of the best things about your shows. We love the friendly back-and-forth between you crazy cats and yet, can't help but feel that we didn't give our full amount of banter because a few of us did you wrong. Emphasis on a few.

Please don't think badly of us, Bret and Jemaine. The non-vocal majority respects you and respects your beautifully crafted songs about epileptic dogs and sugary trouser treats. We want you to return to Milwaukee -- perhaps with an entourage of security folks who throw out the hecklers -- and please bring more members of your "Flight of the Conchords" clan along. We enjoyed hearing Arj Barker (aka: Dave) warm up for you guys last year and Eugene Mirman (the landlord) was an excellent addition to this year's show with his Delta Airlines rant.

In conclusion, all of Wisconsin is not populated with drunken idiots -- just avoid Stangelville. Please forgive us and come back soon!

Affectionately (Too creepy? How about Cordially?),

--Sara Boyd, and Malavika Jagannathan,

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