It’s wednesday, and wednesday night is usually the night that we make love

14 May


(Oh Jemaine is so sexy.)

I didn’t want to let this high go away until I found the camera cord, so I felt like I would write about this this morning before I went to school.

HOLY CRAP THE SHOW WAS AWESOME! And Lindsay’s game got cancelled, so we made it there PERFECTLY ON TIME. How I’m enamored with Jemaine’s sideburns. They are the most marvelous sideburns. I’m really mad that I didn’t stay in the lobby to meet Arj after the show, but we stood outside for awhile to wait, but Lindsay and I had to get home, so that made me sad. When we got to the Paramount, there was a sign on the door saying “strictly not photography or recording allowed.”

Fuck that! I took pictures. Tragically, I didn’t during Arj’s set because there was this huge bouncer guy next to the door, which was right next to us, so I held off with the photos until FoTC came on, and then I tried to be conspicuous with it. But no one stopped me, so then I felt really bad that I didn’t take any pictures of Arj. But it was awesome, and I have a tee shirt now, and I’ll stop blabbering and get on with the actual coherent review.

Oh, and by the way, I know I mentioned this above, but Jemaine is SO DAMN SEXY!

Okay, continue.

—————————————————

“It’s wednesday!” Some dude in the crowd shouted from the first mezzanine of the Paramount Theater wednesday night.

Awww, yeah. It’s business time.

I’ve been a Flight of the Conchords fan ever since I heard a short bit of them on the radio 7 years ago. Then came their HBO special, then their cult favorite HBO TV show about two down-on-their-luck New Zealand immigrants trying to make it as a rock band in New York.

So when I found out they were coming to Seattle – for three different dates, I was damn excited.

But that excitement soon turned into overwhelming disappointment. The tickets sold out in one day, and I missed out on seeing them. For months I accepted the fact that I wouldn’t get to see Flight of the Conchords. I told myself I would be willing to sit outside the venue for two of the three days maybe to get a sympathy ticket. Maybe Jemaine or Bret, or even Arj Barker, the opening comedian, would see how dedicated I was and get me in.

But two weeks ago, just 4 days before the first show on May 11, the stars had all aligned for some reason, and The Paramount had a second batch of late release tickets available on their website. So I jumped on the opportunity to see my favorite two hilarious Kiwis- Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement.

The show was scheduled to start at 7:30, but because of ridiculous Puget Sound weather, my friend Lindsay and I arrived just about ten minutes late. However, Arj didn’t come on stage until I 3 minutes after we sat down in section 1, row J seats 5 and 6. It was honestly that close. We couldn’t have been more on time.

If anyone has seen FoTC’s HBO show, Arj plays Dave, their pawn shop owner pal. I’ve heard his comedy before, and his energy was a good way to warm up the audience, as he never really stopped shouting. But not in an annoying way. People obviously weren’t there to see Arj, but he still made people – namely me – excited.

His act was only about 15 minutes long – giving FoTC four hours to finish the show. Why did we have until midnight? Well, we parked at the Convention Center around the corner, and it closed at midnight, and Lindsay and I didn’t want to get stuck in Seattle on a school night.

Then Bret and Jemaine came on stage in their robot costumes – consisting of basically a cardboard headpiece spray painted silver with some shiny knobs and such, and a huge glittering silver codpiece which they wore on the outside of their jeans. “Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor,” was the first song, one of the new ditties from the last season of their show. One can infer what the song in about just with the title, which repeats itself many, many times throughout the song. At one point, Arj jumped out and did some rapping like he does as Dave in the show. What made the show so enjoyable was the fact that they were all so dang close – as in great pals. During the witty banter, it would seem almost as if Bret and Jemaine could finish each other’s sentences, which made the audience more connected, even with the large and someone impersonal venue.

Nothing against the Paramount – it’s a beautiful theater with really comfortable chairs, but I like to be up close and personal with the musicians during a show, most of the time not even sitting down. But I guess they couldn’t very well have played at Neumos or Chop Suey because of their huge following and comedy aspect of the show. As Bret explained it: “we talk then play a song, then talk some more. That’s pretty much how the show is gonna go. We’re professional talkers.”

The witty banter intermingled with classic crowd pleaser songs, as well as a couple completely new ones, made for a diverse and entertaining show. They even took requests.

“FREEBIRD!” Another seemingly drunk man shouted from the floor seats.

“Freebird, that’s not us,” Jemaine responded to the inebriated man. But then…

“If I leave here tomorrow…” and Bret and Jemaine proceeded to play a good two minutes of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird.” Seriously. Jemaine even started improv-ing and flapping his wings at the end.

What added to both the musicianship and wittiness of the act was the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra – or Nigel. Yes, as Jemaine explained it, the other two people in the orchestra were dropped from the tour because they lost their costumes and they were performing naked, which made for an awkward experience for concertgoers. But Nigel didn’t come out to play with the duo until about 5 songs in because, and I quote “Nigel was getting more [BJs, that is].” This was after Bret and Jemaine told us their pre-show ritual, which included about 47 BJs. Jemaine alluded to the BJ jokes many times later in the show after Nigel went for a quite break.

“Did you have a small order of B, with a side of J? And I’m not talking about us,” he said.

I’ll admit that I’m easy to please when it comes to concerts. One would have to completely fuck up to disappoint me, but FoTC surely did not. Because even though they have self-proclaimed themselves as “New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo,” Bret and Jemaine are quite talented. Bret switched from acoustic guitar to keyboard to some drums, while Jemaine was juggling his acoustic guitar and an omnicord, as I’ve come to find it to be called, like this one.

When they sing, they are trying to mock the absurd melodrama of certain genres with overpowering falsettos, but to tell you the truth – they can hit those notes.

My favorite part of the night was “Jenny,” a hilarious song about an awkward encounter of mistaken identity. “Jenny” wasn’t on the show, or on any of their albums but the HBO One Night Stand Special, but it still got as many laughs as did “Business Time” and their first, last song “Sugarlumps,” where the boys got up close and personal with the audience, thrusting and gyrating while riffing like a cracked up Boyz II Men.

Once that song was over, my cohort wasn’t aware of the encore as much as I was, so I told her to stand up and start cheering, because the lights hadn’t gone up yet. A few minutes later, Bret and Jemaine came out on stage one last time, clad in zebra print spandex and fantastically tacky pimp jackets – Bret played a tiny axe and Jemaine rocking the drums for “Demon Woman.”

This was at 10 o’clock. It was over that quickly, but it was the only disappointing part of the show. I would have liked it to go longer and closer to midnight, but Lindsay and I did get tee shirts on the way out, and stood by the tour bus for half an hour to see if the boys were coming out anytime soon. Sadly, the roadies came over to the 30 of us waiting behind the barrier.

“I got some good news and some bad news. What do you want first?”

“The bad news!”

“You’ll be here for awhile.”

We would have had to wait for close to an hour and a half to see them, but by then our car would be locked inside the Convention Center parking garage, and Lindsay has an early baseball game thursday, so we decided to pass up the chance at seeing and taking some pictures with the objects of our excitement.

That’s the only regret I have – not waiting until midnight in the rain on a school night. But that’s all my fault. Bret and Jemaine did absolutely nothing wrong – in fact, they did everything right but playing longer. But that’s what live albums and video is for. I can watch Bret and Jemaine over and over again.

❤ Abby

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One Response to “It’s wednesday, and wednesday night is usually the night that we make love”

  1. Laura 05/15/2009 at 3:52 pm #

    Hey! Would love to see your pics from FOTC show!

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