13 September 2007

Hey Now, Hey Now

The first of this week’s aural hat trick — Crowded House, with opener Pete Yorn — was pretty darn good last night.

We caught the last couple of numbers by the first act — Liam Finn, son of Neil. Very entertaining on stage. I wish we’d caught more of his show.

I hate to say it, but Pete Yorn’s opening set was just okay — and I was with Pete’s biggest Atlanta fan, who agreed. We got the impression he was tired. (He’s still damn cute, though.) His cover of Peter Bjorn & John’s “Young Folks” was good, and he had the whistling down.

I’m a casual, not fanatical, fan of Crowded House. Love their hits, love their brilliant pop sensibilities, but I’m not well versed in their entire oeuvre. There were, however, a lot of the ubers in the house — for the most part, fortysomething guys — and they loved every minute of the show. Lots of fist-pumping and high-fiving and singalongs. I love watching guys get into a performance.

Crowded House kicked off with “There Goes God” (from 1991’s Woodface), and they did a good job hitting highlights from all their albums — “In My Command,” “Hole in the River” (probably my fave of the main set), “Better Be Home” (with Pete Yorn and his mates joining the band), “Fall at Your Feet” (I quit setlisting an hour into the show). I think the band performed about half of the new album (which is quite good).

This was my third time seeing Mr. Finn. Split Enz came to our college radio station studio in 1980, in support of the brilliant True Colors; I was thrilled to meet those young, cute boys. I then saw Crowded House in 1994, at one of their last concerts. I guess I’m on a thirteen-year rotation with them; wonder what they’ll be doing in 2020?

Neil was quite charming throughout the show. You could tell he was having a great time. His voice is still remarkable. I'm going for it, BeckEye: I decided last night that Neil Finn is the Glenn Tilbrook of Down Under, with that sweet voice and knack for perfect pop lyrics.

Neil Finn sang a damn good cover of Cat Stevens’ “Wild World.” He remarked that, as a teen, he used to drag his guitar to parties and sing that tune, in the hopes of snagging a cute girl … but instead supplied the soundtrack for someone else’s snag.

The big hits were hit during the two encores: “Locked Out” (which was the song I most wanted to hear), “Something So Strong,” and “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get some Split Enz tunes, but it didn’t ruin the show for me.

Tonight’s show: Andrew Bird, at Variety Playhouse. Looks like it’s going to be a blogger’s delight tonight, with Scrivener, Baby Got Books‘s Tim, and That Truncheon Thing’s Frank also clutching tickets.

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At 9/13/2007 03:08:00 PM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

I can't imagine that there are huge Crowded House fans in the world, but now I've been proven wrong. Who knows - maybe someone out there lists Hairclub 100 as their favorite band ever.


At 9/13/2007 04:44:00 PM, Blogger BeckEye said...

Oh, that Pistols. Always being a shit-head.

I count myself as a huge Crowded House fan...although I draw the line at fist-pumping.

Yes, I know that sounded kind of dirty.

So, did they do Pineapple Head? Distant Sun? It's Only Natural? Those are some of my faves.

I compared Neil to Glenn recently too. They are a bit similar, which explains why a lot of Squeeze fans are Crowded House fans also.

Lucky duck. I've never seen CH live. :(

Now, get to my damn interview.

At 9/13/2007 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

I often confuse Pete Yorn with Ryan Adams.

At 9/13/2007 06:09:00 PM, Blogger Doc said...

Here are your questions, but do Beckeye's first. I don't want to see her get riled up.
1. You are walking home on Oct. 31 after a wonderful Halloween party thrown by some dear friends. You stumble and fall on the uneven sidewalk and tumble through some bushes and come to rest in a clearing. You are surrounded by a coven of witches. One steps forward to explain that tonight they are going to raise from the dead one artist, and one musician to perform, but they can’t decide who to pick and leave the choice up to you. What artist (actor/painter/sculptor/writer/etc.), and what musician do you choose and why? What would they play or do?
2. Your love of the band R.E.M. is obvious. As a long time fan, could you explain and deconstruct the song “Radio Free Europe” in a few lines for someone who is new to their music?
3. A close friend sets you up on a blind date. You are to meet him at 3 p.m. in some public place of your choice. From there the date continues until you are ready to go home. You meet this guy and he is everything you ever wanted, and everything that could go right about the evening does. It is magical. Whom do you meet and where? How do you spend your date? What did you have to eat and where do you go?
4. You love to read. Name three authors and a short description of a book you wish they would write.
5. You live in Atlanta. Describe all of the great and wondrous things about this city and what it means to you. Tell it like you are trying to convince a friend to move there.

Thanks for the interview, an d feel free to shoot me some questions too. Just leave them in the comments section of whatever is on top at my blog.

Thanks again,

At 9/13/2007 07:27:00 PM, Blogger Mountjoy said...

Did you get Weather With You, Beth?

That will always be my fave CH song - it has strong connections to me leaving people and places behind, and the way my work effectively made me a gypsy for all of my 20's.

At 9/13/2007 09:11:00 PM, Blogger lee said...

I'm with beckeye with distant sun -beautiful in every way.In my command is a favorite as well.The new stuff is brilliant.Beth, did you notice a different vibe about crowded house without paul hester? I saw them once and he contributed so much to the mood of the show with his lively personality.

PS -Love Plus One by Haircut 100 is one of my favourite songs ever -haha :).

At 9/13/2007 09:55:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

I like the CH hits (chits?) but would have enjoyed if they'd broken out a few Split Enz tunes too. Hey Neil - what's the matter with you?

At 9/13/2007 09:59:00 PM, Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Sounds like a great opportunity for people watching, even if the opening set was a bit weak.

Andrew Bird? Can't wait to read the recap.

At 9/14/2007 11:25:00 AM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm not really well versed on Crowded House, but I certainly applaud you for starting off the concert season in style. And anybody who covers Peter Bjorn and John is okay in my books.

At 9/14/2007 12:25:00 PM, Blogger Malcolm: said...

Crowded House' self-titled debut album was one of my favorites circa 1986. Did they happen to do "Now We're Getting Somewhere"? That was probably my favorite track on that album.

Too bad they didn't do any tunes by Split Enz. That would have been a nice bonus.

At 9/14/2007 03:26:00 PM, Blogger Frank Sirmarco said...

Woodface is a bad-ass record. Particularly love Chocolate Cake:

"The excess of fat on your American bones will cushion the impact as you sink like a stone"


At 9/14/2007 03:47:00 PM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

Shit-head is hyphenated? Who knew?

At 9/15/2007 01:54:00 AM, Blogger Tumuli said...

Wish I were there -- especially for the "Young Folks" cover.

Did he also play "For Nancy ('Cos It Already Is)"?

At 9/15/2007 02:30:00 PM, Blogger Michael K said...

You get to see all the good shows. I am going to see Emmylou Harris (my old lady crush)tonight at Ravinia. I have an extra ticket but nobody wants to go cuz it's supposed to be freezing cold tonight.

At 9/16/2007 10:53:00 AM, Blogger Jacy said...

I love Locked Out.

Also loved Woodface -- Fall at Your Feet is on that album, no? Great song.

There are many fantastic Crowded House songs. I loved one called Together Alone that is a bit obscure, but was the soundtrack for a forbidden romance once in my life.

Agree with the Tillbrook analogy too -- I have always seen a lot of similarities between Squeeze and Crowded House, and I think even Neil Finn has said that he considered them an influence on his songwriting.

At 9/17/2007 08:48:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

PISTOLS AT DAWN: Coming from someone who still squeals over Journey, that’s pretty funny, doll. And it’s Haircut 100 … and I love ‘em more than Journey.

BECKEYE: Tilbrook and Finn are quite similar, aren’t they? Love ‘em both. And the interview is coming this week, missy.

GRANT MILLER: It’s the hair.

DOC: Excellent questions! Can’t wait to get to these answers.

MOUNTJOY: There’s something about the songs of our twenties that have those connections, isn’t there? Maybe even more than the songs of our teens.

At 9/17/2007 08:52:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

LEE: It’s been so long since I saw Crowded House, I didn’t notice a different vibe. I can tell you they were having a helluva lot of fun on stage, and you can tell Neil is quite proud of Liam.

DALE: You are always so clever with your song lyrics!

THIRD WORST POET: The Andrew Bird recap is coming tonight or tomorrow morning. A totally different kind of show — and just as brilliant.

BARBARA: Peter Bjorn and John were playing nearby while Pete Yorn covered them; I heard the show was good.

MALCOLM: I was soooooooooooo disappointed not to hear any Split Enz tunes! But the show still ranked in the great category.

At 9/17/2007 09:04:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

FRANK SIMARCO: I think you just sang to my a**.

PISTOLS AT DAWN: Dictionary.com actually lists is as one word, unhyphenated: shithead.

TUMULI: Pete did play “For Nancy.”

MICHAEL K: How was your beloved Emmylou? And did you find your plus-one?

JACY: You can definitely hear the Glenn/Neil similarities, can’t you?

At 9/19/2007 06:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you get to hear "Weather with you"?

I know mountjoy asked but I didn't catch your answer. I woulda cried hearing that song I tell ya!!

Fave CH tune evah


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