Neil Finn made it a family affair at Town Hall show with Midlake (pics, setlist)
photos by P Squared Photography
Neil Finn / with Liam Finn @ Town Hall, 4/8/2014
When he sat down at the grand piano, Mr. Finn realized that part of the audience couldn't see him. When he moved to guitar, his elaborate pedal board failed and had to be carried backstage for repairs. For a while, Mr. Finn couldn't use his detailed guitar effects, playing directly through his amplifier; he joked about how much he missed his pedals until he got them back mid-set. To stay visible, Mr. Finn played his biggest hit, "Don't Dream It's Over" from Crowded House, on guitar rather than piano. When he did return to the piano, band members helped rotate it to a better angle. "It's one of those nights, ladies and gentlemen, when we have to abandon the script," Mr. Finn announced.
In a way, the dishevelment tied into the songs. Mr. Finn's narrators are often buffeted by their circumstances: insecure about life, entangled in iffy romances, longing for love but braced for disappointment. Yet his music tells different, more confident stories. Mr. Finn writes pop songs that expertly stretch the possibilities of verse-chorus-bridge; they use convoluted chord progressions, toy with meter and are full of twists and turns, even as the choruses stay catchy. - [New York Times]
Neil Finn just released a new album, Dizzy Heights, and was in NYC on Tuesday (4/8) at Town Hall, as part of his current tour. Despite some technical glitches early on (as detailed in the quoted Times review above), Neil carried on like the class act he is, playing for around two-and-half hours, including two encores. His set included plenty of Dizzy Heights, plus songs from throughout his nearly 40-year career, including Spit Enz and Crowded House classics. Setlist and pictures are in this post.
Neil's band includes his wife, Sharon, on bass and during the encore it became a real family affair, bringing out sons Liam and Elroy (on drums), and they hooked up a computer with Skype so that their grandmother could watch the Finn's play. They did Liam's song "Fire in Your Belly" (not from his new album) and covered Bowie's "Moonage Daydream." Liam pulled a Hendrix and played guitar with his teeth and cut his face in the process. Careful, Liam! You can catch Liam (with Elroy on drums) in NYC at Union Pool next week.
Opening the show were Midlake who are in acoustic mode on this tour. Pictures of their opening set and more from Neil Finn, below...
Neil Finn @ Town Hall 4/8/2014
Flying in the Face of Love
Distant Sun (Crowded House )
One Step Ahead (Split Enz )
Turn and Run
Better Than TV
In My Blood
Only Talking Sense (The Finn Brothers )
Golden Child (Pajama Club )
Wherever You Are
White Lies and Alibis
Message to My Girl(Split Enz )
Don't Dream It's Over (Crowded House)
Locked Out (Crowded House)
History Never Repeats(Split Enz )
She Will Have Her Way
I Got You(Split Enz )
Fall at Your Feet (Crowded House)
Four Seasons in One Day (Crowded House)
Fire in Your Belly (w/ Liam Finn)
Moonage Daydream (David Bowie)
Weather With You (Crowded House)
Love This Life (Crowded House)
Better Be Home Soon (Crowded House)