Review: Crowded House in Dunedin reminder of how lucky we are

The last time Dunedin fans saw Neil Finn, it was 2019 and he was on stage at Forsyth Barr Stadium, rocking out with Stevie Nicks et al as part of Fleetwood Mac.

He was no less impressive on the more intimate Dunedin Town Hall stage last night as Australasian favourites Crowded House belted out hit after hit on the second night of their New Zealand tour.

While the set list was chocka with fan favourites and familiar tunes, this was no simple nostalgia trip.

The band was on sparkling form, full of energy and, crucially, seeming like they were genuinely having a great time on stage.

The sold-out crowd was putty in their hands as soon as they cracked into opener Weather With You.

Rockier songs like Mean To Me and Something So Strong crackled with life, while slower tunes like Fall At Your Feet were sing-a-long gold.

Crowded House frontman Neil Finn performs at a sold-out concert at the Dunedin Town Hall last...
Crowded House frontman Neil Finn performs at a sold-out concert at the Dunedin Town Hall last night. Photo: Linda Robertson
This tour is a family affair for the Finns, with Neil’s sons Liam and Elroy joining the line-up.

Liam was more than a match for his stage-commanding dad, sharing banter with the crowd and, at one point, throwing his guitar high into the air before flinging himself to the ground.

The line-up was completed by Mitchell Froom and co-founder Nick Seymour, who travelled all the way from Ireland to take part.

In between songs the band chatted away to the crowd, with tales about the view of a massage parlour from their hotel, and police raiding Split Enz’s Dunedin dressing room for drugs back in the day, going down well.

They also said good evening to everyone except Darryl, who apparently ripped them off at a local cafe.

If you’re out there Darryl, you know what you did.

PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Crowded House frontman Neil Finn performs with sons Liam (guitar) and Elroy (drums).PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
The rollicking two hour set included some stand out moments, from getting opener Reb Fountain back on stage for a pair of songs to a strong cover of David Bowie’s Heroes.

But the highlight had to be the classic hit Don’t Dream It’s Over. Hearing the lyrics while at one of the few concerts to be taking place in the middle of a global pandemic, you could be forgiven for getting a tad misty-eyed.

Before launching into the night’s finale, Neil said he was relaying anecdotes to delay the inevitable.

As the final notes of hit Better Be Home Soon rang out and the crowd gave a standing ovation, there may have been more than a few people wishing he had delayed it even more. 

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