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  • Crowded House - Gig Review: Crowded House & Reb Fountain @ Dunedin Town Hall, Dunedin - 11/03/2021

Crowded House - Gig Review: Crowded House & Reb Fountain @ Dunedin Town Hall, Dunedin - 11/03/2021

12 Mar 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
The exquisite Reb Fountain opens up with Hawks and Doves, and it's game on right from the get go. Sliding into the second tune, Fountain's dramatic songwriting style really suits opening this sell-out show at Dunedin's Town Hall.

Hey Mom, is her fourth song in, which Reb dedicates to "all of you out there". She could be making peace after saying "you're a great fuckin' audience," then apologising for swearing. Samson follows, with its strings then Piano melody driving this stunning song along. This has got to be one of the most perfect love songs ever written.

Before her last song Don't You Know Who I Am, she thanks the road crew, lighting and sound, who flew in to Dunedin in the early morning, but were turned around because of fog at Momona, then got in late and "worked there arses off" to get everything ready for tonight's show.

You are a true professional Reb Fountain, and your music is simply stunning.

Crowded House come on behind blinder lights and entrance music, there's a black-out then the stage lights up and the band, fully assembled, launches into the classic Weather With You.

And from the get go, there is call and response happening with Neil Finn calling and the crowd eagerly responding.

Song two is one for the OG fans, Mean To Me, which leaves some of the newer fans scratching their heads. It's followed by World Where You Live. For me, this song is walking around Weymouth in Dorset, England, listening to a compilation of NZ music a dear friend made for me before I left for Gisborne.

Neil Finn tells the crowd, "it's a great privilege for me to be here, all the way from Auckland, Mitchell Froom on keys has come all the way from America, Nick Seymour in bass has come from Ireland for the tour, and while Elroy, Liam and Neil Finn have come from Auckland." This line-up of Crowded House is road hardened, but not complacent.

Fall At Your Feet, sees more singing along and a sea of cell phones either going live to social media, or recording for personal posterity. This is another one of the top love songs ever written.

Whispers and Moans is "about being in hotel rooms and hearing noises from adjacent rooms. Daddy and sons Finn sharing slightly inappropriate stories.

Neil welcomes Reb Fountain and band on for a new song Playing With Fire, which he describes as "being a bit of a singalong". He says, "I ripped the lyrics off Liam when he delirious at age six".

We segway into Liam Finn's Lazy Sunday Afternoon, and out again. Liam makes the Burns 12 string guitar sing beautifully.

The extended big rock finish in Private Universe was very cool, especially Elroy's drumming. This is followed by an instrumental piece leading us into Four Seasons In One DayThey sing Four Seasons as if painting by numbers, until Neil asks the crowd to sing along, and it's just him, a guitar and a few thousand Dunedin people.

Silent House begins with just Neil playing the guitar and singing, and it's really beautiful when sung that way. It makes for a nice change of pace.

Reb and band then come back for another round and the coolest backing singers one could ask for. Neil Finn really is a big fan of the Beatles' How To Write A Middle 8 songbook.

Been Locked Out brings the tempo back up from sleepy, and it's obvious the band is enjoying themselves on-stage. Neil Finn then dedicates Don't Dream It's Over to "all the frontline workers across New Zealand keeping us safe". It's a solid rendition of a crowd favourite. It's followed by Something So Strong, another crowd favourite, which had some dancing up in the circle and in the stalls, while the Gods may have been rattling their pearls.

Seven Worlds Collide pleases the crowd that is keen to hear the familiar tunes, and with the end of song the band departs after saying their thanks, but the crowd beckons them to return in the traditional Dunedin Town Hall way, with enough stomping to test the building's earthquake strengthening.

When the Piano is rolled out in near darkness it became obvious we were in for more, first encore song is Chocolate Cake, which the band seemed to enjoy as much as the crowd. The second encore is the David Bowie classic Heroes. It's an interesting choice, possibly playing obviously to the target demographic.

Neil Finn thanks the crowd once more, and the band gradually launches into Better Be Home Soon. It's the perfect way to close out a lengthy set.

Photo Credit: Andrew Mackay / KEAPHOTOS.COM


About Crowded House

After Split Enz broke up in 1984, Neil Finn, Paul Hester (Split Enz's last drummer), Melbourne bassist/artist Nick Seymour, and Craig Hooper (guitar) created a band originally called The Mullanes.

They moved to Los Angeles in 1985 in search of a record label. Whilst in LA they stayed in a cramped North Hollywood home which inspired a name change to Crowded House. They soon scored a recording deal with Capitol Records, and with the help of producer Mitchell Froom the band (by this time a trio with the departure of Hooper) wrote and recorded what was to be their biggest commercial success.

Crowded House's debut album was released to little excitement early on, however in 1987 two singles lifted from the album became enormously successful. The first single from the album Don't Dream It's Over eventually reached the #2 position on the Billboard Charts (and stands as the bands most successful single), and Something So Strong reached #7 on the Billboards. The album had one of the longest ascents up the charts ever noted, eventually peaking at #12.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Crowded House


The Very Very Best of Crowded House
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Time On Earth
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Farewell To The World
Year: 2006
Type: DVD
Year: 2000
Type: Album
Together Alone
Year: 1993
Type: Album
Year: 1991
Type: Album
Temple Of Low Men
Year: 1988
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Crowded House
Year: 1986
Type: Album

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