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From David Bowie’s nipples to “sugar lumps,” it’s all material for Flight of the Conchords

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New Zealand comedy folk duo Flight of the Conchords played at the Joint on May 23, 2009.
Photo: Sarah Feldberg

So, there I was on the verge of wetting myself. Halfway up the final stretch of mountain road on the way to Brian Head Ski Resort in Utah, my legs were locked in a chokehold that would have ended an NFL linebacker, and I was concentrating on controlling my bladder as waves of laughter wracked my body. The cause of my distress/delight came chuckling out of the car stereo:

Bret: Jenny

Jemaine: Pardon?

Bret: Jenny

Jemaine: No, I am sorry. I think you've mistaken me for somebody else.

Bret: No it's me, I'm Jenny, my name is Jenny.

Jemaine: Oh. You're, oh, ha ha ha ha … I thought, ‘oh’ what a hilarious misunderstanding. Nice to meet you Jenny

Bret: We've met before - quite a few times actually.

Jemaine: Yes, of course we have. I meant it was nice to meet you that time that I met you. Where was it that we met that time that I met you when I met you?

Flight of the Conchords @ the Joint

With the car inching through the snow, I was fairly sure that the Flight of the Conchords were going to be responsible for my first “accident” since entering elementary school. So, this past Saturday night I made sure to use the restroom before entering the Joint for the New Zealand comic folk duo’s Las Vegas tour stop.

Grammy-winners Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie have seen their star swell in the last two years since their fictional HBO series premiered in 2007. In it, the Conchords play a struggling Kiwi band trying to find success in New York City and establish themselves in the U.S. music scene. In reality, the Conchords, who were roommates while attending college in New Zealand, have already found ample success, their witty tunes quoted endlessly by college coeds and comedy fans a la The Big Lebowski.

But more than actors, they are musicians. When the lights came up following opener Arj Barker’s stand up set, there were Jermaine and Bret, dressed as robots wearing silver cardboard boxes on their heads for “Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor.” Over the next hour plus Bret would bounce from guitar to keyboard to drums, the duo would musically inquire about David Bowie’s nipples after accusing him of plagiarism, thank a male fan for throwing his tighty whiteys on stage, use an audience member’s camera to take a picture of Bret’s crotch, parody Fergie and discuss time travel with Tina Turner.

Straight faced, they strummed through my own bladder busting favorite, “Jenny,” as well as “Mutha’uckas,” “A Kiss is Not a Contract” and perhaps their best known hit, “Business Time.”

Using only lights to flavor their set, Jermaine and Bret relied on lyrical pyrotechnics to wow the crowd. Judging by the applause, the wide smiles and the roars of side-splitting, pants-wetting laughter, it was more than enough.

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Sarah Feldberg is the editor of Las Vegas Weekly magazine. A veteran journalist, Feldberg previously worked as the Weekly's web ...

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