It's been seven years since Flight of the Conchords' HBO series ended, and almost as many since the musically-inclined comedians last played a show in LA proper. Since then, New Zealand's fourth most popular folk duo has mostly stuck to their own endeavors, with Jemaine Clement making films like What We Do in the Shadows and Bret McKenzie penning Muppets songs. But Tuesday night's show at the Greek Theatre was back to business, and much like falling back into an episode of the musical comedy duo's HBO show.
There was Jemaine—present—and Bret—present—but also a surprise band meeting prompted by their fictional manager Murray (Rhys Darby... also present). For FOTC fans, the impromptu meeting was like a moment out of a third season that'll likely never come (though the duo are apparently working on a movie). Murray returned during the encore and brought Mel (Kristen Schaal) along with him so the overly attached superfan could beg for autographs and a lock of hair before joining the entire crew for a finale of "Leggy Blonde." Plus, Arj Barker, who played Dave on the series, opened the show and joined the duo for "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros."
The rest of the show served as a reminder of just how cleverly written and effortlessly delivered the duo's material can be, with a balance between old songs, a couple of new ones and unequaled easygoing deadpan banter. The self-described two-man supergroup have never shied away from leaning into the bands and genres that they parody, so a set-closing "Bowie" paid tribute to the pretty far out starman while a mid-song verse from "Purple Rain" offered a sincere nod to Prince.
Rearranged versions of classic tracks like "Foux du Fafa," "Business Time," and "The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room)" came across with just the right mix of familiarity and freshness—"You're so beautiful, like the beautiful Los Angeles River." New material presented FOTC's distinctive storytelling twists and mundane-made-funky flair for songs about seagulls, father-son relationships and mild partying. And a bit of in-the-know hometown banter referenced everything from Frogtown to the venue's resident mountain lion, P22.
We'll angrily wag our finger at this audience member for breaking the duo's no recording request—"We say the same thing to you as we do to our sexual partners. Please stop filming."—but at the same time, this clip from Flight of the Conchord's reunion with Mel and Murray is filled with too much mid-aughts nostalgia to pass up.
Flight of the Conchords close out their tour with a second sold-out show at the Greek Theatre tonight.