Okee dokee folks…Last night, May 30, the majestic Boch/Wang Center welcomed the Finn fellas from New Zealand, Crowded House, for the final night of their US tour. Anticipation filled the room as folks waited for the first notes of this rescheduled show. About this, Neil Finn commented later in the evening, “Thanks for waiting for us!”
The night began with Liam Finn, son of Neil and current Crowded House member, taking the stage for a rambunctious solo set. Liam, decked out in bright red pants and jacket, wandered about the edge of the stage singing and engaging the audience. His stage gear included a set of drums and looping gear in addition to his guitars. The set was loose, wild and interesting and at one point Liam pulled out a mini theremin to add sounds to his loops. He introduced a song, “Want You to be Happy” and added the sentiment that that is what he wanted for the audience. He announced his “honesty box” of albums and jumped down into the crowd and offered for them to pay what they wanted for his records. His last song of the short set was about love where he sang “love is just a trick to procreate.” Liam has a very Jack Black sort of persona and look to him. His performance was frenzied, passionate and comical, but enjoyable.
Crowded House’s newest line-up, a six piece band that includes two of Neil Finn’s sons, Liam (guitar/vocals) and Elroy (drums/vocals), and original bassist, the kilt clad, Nick Seymour, launched into what would be a two hour show with the song, “When You Come.” The band was rounded out with Mitchell Froom (keys) and Paul Taylor (percussion). Right from the start one could tell that this version of the band works. The musicianship and harmonies were spot on. This, the last show of their tour, had a bit of informality to it. The lads were loose, funny, and goofed around quite a bit on stage. The audience was loving every bit of it and spontaneous standing “O”s erupted frequently throughout the night. A couple close to the stage was prepped and ready when “Pineapple Head” was played. They had a pineapple doll raised about their own heads as well as the number “65” which was in reference to Neil’s recent 65th birthday (5/27) and Finn referred to it as his “birthday season.” After “To The Island,” Liam exclaimed, “who knew dad had become such a shredder!” Neil Finn remarked that Boston had been one of the first places to embrace the band and mentioned the Paradise and Providence shows that they played. This escalated into calling it the “P tour” and lots of “p” jokes.
The 24 song set contained many crowd pleasing numbers like, “It’s Only Natural,” “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” “The World Where You Live,” “Fall At Your Feet,” “Something So Strong” as well as songs from their newest recording, Dreamers Are Waiting such as, “Playing With Fire,” Love Isn’t Hard at All,” and “Whatever You Want.” Crowded House fans had to surely be satisfied with the song selections. The first song of the encore was “I Got You,” one of the songs by the Crowded House precursor band, Split Enz. The night came to a close with Finn thanking each crew member by name and then “sing-songy” saying they are all headed back to different places, most to New Zealand, and then played the apropos, “Better Be Home Soon.”
It was good to see that some Rhode Islanders had made the journey to Beantown for Crowded House as this was their only area appearance. The Boch/Wang Center does host many shows that don’t make it to Little Rhody. If you don’t want to be kicking yourself when you find out too late about a show then read this column, listen to the podcasts, and definitely sign up for the Boch’s e-mail notices. For more, everybody Wang (Chung?) over to: bochcenter.org
That’s it for now. Don’t forget you can listen to my podcasts at: MotifRI.com/RootsReportPodcast. You can also find my concert photographs (Crowded House included) at MotifRI.com/FuzeksFotos. That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and listening. JohnFuzek.com