New Wave Music Is Still Relevant

Believe it or not, between 1981 and 2005, I did not go to many concerts so I never saw Neil Finn perform. Not with Split Enz in the 1980s. Not with Crowded House in the 1980s or 1990s. Not with his brother Tim in the 2000s.

Neil Finn and Band

Neil Finn and Band

Neil is currently touring in support of his recent release, ‘Dizzy Heights’; he appeared Monday night at the Shubert Theatre, a venue that hosts a variety of theatrical and musical productions. 

The band took the stage with Neil at the grand piano and immediately launched into a song from the new album. I have not listened to the album yet but the songs are easily identifiable as Neil Finn’s writing.

Neil

Neil

From there, the two-hour set covered songs from Neil’s entire catalog, from Split Enz to Crowded House to Finn Brothers to his solo material.  His catalog is quite extensive; even though I wanted to hear songs such as ‘Weather With You’ and ‘Something So Strong’, the set list was so good that I did not miss them.

Neil

Neil

Neil switched from piano to guitars throughout the show, showing how much at ease he is with both instruments. I felt that I heard his voice better when he was at the microphone where he played guitar.

Neil

Neil

Neil

Neil

Neil is traveling with a band that includes his wife, Sharon, on bass. The other members of the band are Jesse Sheehan on guitar, Jimmy Manderel on guitar, Alastair Deverick on drums, Andrew Everding on keyboards and guitar, and Lisa Tomlins on vocals and percussion.

IMG_6580

Jesse and Jimmy

During the show, musicians would leave the stage for a song or two, leaving a trio or quartet to perform. At one point, the members of Midlake, the backup band, took the stage with Neil and their harmonies were gorgeous.

Overall, I loved the way all the vocalists harmonized, and was thankful that those harmonies didn’t mask Neil’s voice because it is still fantastic. In fact, a couple of times I closed my eyes and thought he sounds as good as he did thirty years ago. Not many artists can say that.

Neil

Neil

The second encore was Neil solo, and that was arguably the best part of the show to me. He performed three Crowded House songs to great applause. He asked the audience to sing along which we did gladly.

Neil during his solo encore

Neil during his solo encore

Half of the band Midlake performed the opening set. I enjoyed them quite a bit and thought they were a good choice to tour with Neil. Their sound meshes with Neil’s sound and they have excellent harmonies (something I enjoy about all of Neil’s projects).

Midlake

Midlake

Midlake

Midlake

I thought the flute, both in their set and in Neil’s, was a beautiful addition.

Neil and the entire band had a great time performing for us; he lamented the 10:30 curfew at the Shubert, commenting that if Bruce Springsteen can perform three and a half hour sets, so could he!  I doubt that anyone in the audience would have complained had the show lasted until midnight. I know I wouldn’t have!

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on April 10, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Thanks for posting – I have a few UK shows lined up in the next few weeks and can not wait! I also just did something on his new CD and also has a review of his London showcase from last year – hope you enjoy! Cheers J http://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/neil-finn-dizzy-heights-a-distorted-review/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: