The signature moment of the show came after Bret and Jemaine had finished their first song ("Inner-City Pressure") and were trying to figure out what to play next, as we were all witness to the following exchange:
Screaming audience member: "WHERE'S MURRAY?"With that one-two punch, the following ground-rules were established:
Bret (not missing a beat): "He's not here."
(Huge laughter from the audience, and, as it died down...)
Jemaine: "He's not real."
- These were not the TV versions of Bret and Jemaine, though they looked the same and sang many of the same songs. These were two sharp, wickedly funny guys who were quick on their feet.
- The audience decided that they were now officially a part of the show, and would spend much of the evening -- usually, but not always, confined to those breaks between songs -- shouting out song requests (including, inevitably, the tool who called for "Freebird"), throwing the guys presents or trying to sexually proposition Jemaine.
The downside of the "Rocky Horror"-ization was typified by the woman with the booming voice who decided the evening's sole purpose was for her to have a running conversation (from wherever her seat was, either in the back rows or the balcony) with Jemaine. When he sang a new song about all his ex-girlfriends, she called out that she would never hurt him like that, and she kept injecting herself into the show without somehow being removed by security. Though Bret and Jemaine seemed amused by all the audience call-outs at first, there came a point where they got tired of it, and Jemaine had to start flirtatiously shushing the crowd whenever it got too rowdy.
(One blog account of the show says he even held up the setlist at one point and said that it didn't include "Audience talks with FOTC" on it, but if he did, I didn't catch it; either my hearing's going, or they weren't mic'ed properly, because there were several points in the show, usually on the songs that I didn't know, where I had a hard time understanding the words coming out of their Kiwi mouths.)
But even with the audience getting over-involved, the guys put on a terrific show. Todd Barry, who played third Conchord/Crazy Dogggz frontman Todd in the first season finale, was the opening act and was dryly funny. (His best moment also came from a loud audience member, who warned him not to mock his home state when Barry began a joke about Alabama -- a joke that turned out to be entirely about how northeast liberals automatically assume the worst about places like Alabama. Barry let the guy have it for undercutting the whole point of the gag.) He also came out to play bongos on a performance of "Business Time," sitting in Jemaine's chair while Jemaine perched himself on the edge of the stage.
They performed most of my favorite songs from the show ("Bret, You've Got It Going On" was missing, though I hear they did it the night before), including "Hiphopopotamus" (done back-to-back with "Mother 'Uckers," even though Bret admitted they're basically the same song, musically), and "If You're Into It," in addition to the ones mentioned above. They also did "Jenny" (which I'm guessing they still haven't figured out how to work into the show), plus several new songs, the highlight of which was "I Told You I Was Freaky," which is either going to be the funniest or most disturbing video they ever do on the show. Perhaps inspired by fellow Crazy Dogggz member Demetri, they've worked a keytar into the act, and Bret at one point leapt into the audience for an extended keytar solo.
Though there was a lot of noodling around between songs (which no doubt encouraged people to yell out suggestions), and the banter was a mixture of them being in character (Bret discussing his desire for children) and responding to things happening around them (Bret's chair was dangerously wobbly, and after joking about suing Town Hall, he played one of the final songs while tipping back on only two chair legs while he balanced himself with a foot on the sound board).
Lots and lots of fun, and if tickets are still available at a theater near you, I highly recommend it. You can see photos of the show at brooklynvegan