The thing about musical comedians is that if the humor is there but the tuneage is not, you can pretty much cash your chips in and give up and steal some of Louis CK's jokes and start selling out basketball arenas. New Zealand's Flight of the Conchords almost has too much musical talent to waste it on songs about racist dragons and gay cowboys. But luckily the duo keeps plugging away, leaving the audience wondering why we didn't wear adult diapers to the show because we are pissing ourselves with laughter. Wednesday night at Jones Hall, to a clean-scrubbed and (relatively) sober crowd, the Kiwis came forth with their best material from two seasons of their self-titled HBO series and Sub Pop debut, plus a few new songs that seem to still be in their infancy. Jemaine and Bret opened the show in their signature makeshift robot gear, bathed in delicate light, to perform "Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor."
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The duo is well-schooled in almost nearly every major musical movement over the past forty years, being able to cop Peter, Paul & Mary, Pet Shop Boys, Serge Gainsbourg, and nearly every Bowie era through "Let's Dance" at an amazing clip. Jones Hall's acoustics were pitch-perfect for the duo, augmented at times by a cellist. As guitarists, the two are incredibly tight live, making "comedy act" something of a misnomer. Newer material from this summer's forthcoming sophomore LP, I Told You I Was Freaky, fit somewhere between Daft Punk and Belle & Sebastian, with a hint of erstwhile British heartthrob Cliff Richard's later work. The Biz Markie-inflected "Hurt Feelings" will be on everyone's mobile music device of choice by July, mark our words. It was good to leave a show laughing, as most other recent shows have been, to one degree or another, confounding. Thursday was a most welcome change before the summer and fall bring even ghastlier things.