Flight of the Conchords uses comedy to captivate crowd


Flight of the Conchords performs Saturday evening at the IU Auditorium. The show was sponsored by Union Board as part of the schedule for Little 500 weekend. Buy Photos

The weekend’s celebrations weren’t lost on the New Zealand comedy musicians.
“I made an observation walking around the campus today,” singer Jemaine Clement said. “Everyone was drunk.”

To which one male concert-goer replied, “I’m fucking hammered!”

The band, consisting of Clement and Bret McKenzie, performed a sold-out show for IU students and dedicated fans of HBO’s hit show “Flight of the Conchords.”

The night was met with high expectations from many IU students and avid “Flight” fans.

“People wonder what art is,” freshman Jasper Smith said. “When I look into the eyes of those two men on the stage, my night will be complete.”

Though the group does perform music, primarily with guitar and vocals, Flight also captures an audience with witty banter and interplay with each other and the crowd.
“In this song, Bret sings the part of the woman, but it’s quite a large role to play,” Clement said.

Clement then asked the women in the audience to help sing, which was met by a meager response.

“I guess you’re just not a music school,” Clement said, poking fun at IU’s Jacobs School of Music.

Flight’s music cannot easily be described in a few words. McKenzie and Clement described themselves as “New Zealand’s fourth-most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo.”

“Their comedic timing is excellent,” Noblesville, Ind., resident Courtney Gray said. “They’re pretty tongue-in-cheek.”

Saturday’s show started with McKenzie and Clement decked out in space gear, including aluminum-covered boxes on top of their heads. The show featured hits like “Mutha Uckers,” “I Told You I Was Freekie” and “Epileptic Dogs.”

The duo proved they did their homework on Indiana when they impersonated singer John Mellencamp.

Flight’s comedic performance provided an alternative to the usual race-day festivities. McKenzie and Clement dabbled with keyboards, drums, human-produced echoes and dance moves that nodded to the 1970s disco era.

While Clement was busy pelvic-thrusting during one of their last songs, McKenzie dove into the crowd, hopping from the tops of the seats. “I’d like to apologize for whatever I did to any of you during the show,” McKenzie joked at the end.

The performance concluded with the duo singing an encore of two songs, the last of which McKenzie prefaced with the statement, “Love is the very strongest adhesive thing.” McKenzie then invited his friend to come onstage to talk about love. His friend ended up asking his girlfriend to marry him.

The concert ended with roaring applause from the audience, but a few students were disappointed with the content of the show.

“They spent half of the time talking,” IU student Stephanie Hines said. “I really wanted to hear a lot more of their songs.”

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