9/2/07: Crowded House @ Schnitzer Concert Hall

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4 Sep 2007, 23:38

If I didn't completely love Crowded House before, I do now. But first, the supporting acts:

A scruffy, bearded Liam Finn, son of Neil, opened the show solo with guitars, drums, loops, and a theramin. While the boomy great hall did him no justice, his humor, his frenetic energy (oh, was this a vision of Neil in days gone by!), and gorgeous Finn (tm) voice carried through. If his uncle and father weren't hitting things out of the ballpark lately, I bet we'd be hearing more about Liam. But as we know, the world is big enough for two Finns, why not three?

Pete Yorn was definitely hampered by the hall. Most of his songs had the same-sounding instrumentation (Minibar on three guitars, bass, drums) and the drummer was slamming on his set for no conceivably good reason. I liked a few songs but it was excruciating to listen because of the excess noise. They also did a cover of the ubiquitous whistling Peter Bjorn and John song, which was much more listenable than the original.

The band came on to an uproar and went into There Goes God from Woodface, of all songs. Hilarious and awesome choice; however, it really separated the audience into fans (me and the man) and radio listeners from the 80s (half the folks in the cheap seats including the people on both sides of us). I don't usually try to remember set lists but I actually tried this time:

- There Goes God
- When You Come
- Say That Again
- Age of Aquarius changed to Capricorn as sung to a front row lady Nick was "courting" from the stage.
- Nobody Wants To, which was a bit on the slow side but still lovely.
- Don't Stop Now
- Distant Sun
- Hole In The River
- Silent House
- Whispers And Moans
- You Are The One To Make Me Cry
- Throw Your Arms Around Me
- Don't Dream It's Over/Dream (All I Have To Do) medley with disco ball!
- Pineapple Head
- Locked Out
- Something So Strong

Encore 1:
- Mean To Me
- Sister Madly
- Weather With You

Encore 2:
- Steppenwolf's On The Road Again/A song I didn't know!
- You Sexy Thing/Transit Lounge
- Better Be Home Soon

Almost every song was flawless with a few tempo issues on Nobody Wants To. Neil was in fine voice and hit every high note confidently. Liam and the other band members joined in often on backing vocals and they were right in tune and time with each other.

I know some Crowdies have expressed disappointment that the new band isn't as energetic/funny/quirky as before. I have to say that they're wrong. Yes, the new album is a bit low mood-wise but it's to be expected, given the events that inspired their reunion. During the show, they were very much alive and very much hilarious and quick witted. And it was great to see Nick Seymour out and about, bantering with Neil and ruling the low end. I look forward to hearing the much-rumored album in the works with everyone contributing.

Also, Nick designed the set using much of his artwork from the album. Many of the touches were subtle but very effective and worked well with the setlist. To begin with, the set only had the three-limbed tree from the cover but there were many hidden delights. Other set pieces included two little skyscrapers that rose and fell, and his only slightly garish but fun touch: a disco ball that sent single letters of the new Crowded House font all over the walls during Don't Dream It's Over.

Go see their show if you get a chance. It's a must see.

Comentarios

  • rtreynor

    What a clever idea with the disco ball. When I had seen them, in 1994, the head of the Cleveland chapter of the Crowded House fan club was invited to sing Don't Dream It's Over - which was kinda cool, in a karaoke with the stars kind of way, but I would have liked to hear Neil sing it. Impressed that they did Sister Madly. That's one of my all-time favorites. When I saw them do it- half-way through the song, the song stopped and Paul Hester asked Neil, Hey, what was the name of that city we were in last night? Neil answered, back in the song, replacing the words Sister Madly with Cincinnati I'd have been slightly bummed that they didn't do Pour Le Monde or Even A Child--but otherwise that set looks pretty darned fine.

    8 Sep 2007, 3:14
  • rtreynor

    Oh! And Mean To Me - I'm jealous that you got to see them perform that.

    8 Sep 2007, 3:15
  • aikakone

    Great post on the show. I was tehre and I'm still thinking about it. I'll probably be putting up my own post, too. Glad you got the theramin in LIam's bit. And I did like Pete's performance. The rhythm section impressed me, and he sounds better live than on someo f his CDs. And CH was... CH. A truly awesome band. I have no regrets for goign at all. My only regret is that all my pictures that I took, and I was close, didn't turn out as I would have expected. I had my camera in the wrong mode. Bummer.

    8 Sep 2007, 23:59
  • soundtrekkie

    Rob: yes, the disco ball was awesome! Sister Madly is one of my favorites as well and I'd like to hear them do it more as it was intended. It was a little more stripped down and too big of a step back after the half-crazed Mean to Me encore. That song was probably one of the best moments of the show! aikakone: You obviously had wayyyy better seats than us. Up top, most of Pete's set lacked any definition. Except loud. Like, 11 loud. I can't wait to see them again!

    10 Sep 2007, 18:59
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