Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Crowded House at the Greek Theatre

It was a storybook night for a show at the Greek Theatre. I haven't seen Crowded House since the Womad Festival back in 1993 in San Francisco and forgot how good Crowded House was as a live act.

It is safe to say that music talent lies in the genes as witnessed by Liam Finn's mesmerizing opening act. Clocking in at barely twenty minutes, the crowd let out a measurable sigh when Liam Finn announced it was his last song. Liam was a one man army with his assault on the drums and masterful use of his Line 6 DL4 modeler's sampling function. As if I wasn't sold enough after his barrage on the drum kit while playing over a sampled octave shifted guitar riff, Liam busted out the theremin. When is Liam playing again?

Pete Yorn threw me for a loop when he opened with his Warren Zevon cover "Splendid Isolation". Pete Yorn has been on tour for awhile and the tightness of his band showed. Pete made the remark that he always wanted to play the Greek Theatre and was excited to be there. The setlist was heavy on the first album which was fine by me. Pete mentioned he wrote "Life On A Chain" here in Los Angeles before performing a rollicking version of the song. When I heard the shuffling drum beat intro to "Young Folks", I found myself smiling. Apparently Pete was approached at Bonnaroo by fan requesting that he play the Pete Yorn song "Young Folks". The question is will how will Peter, Bjorn & John react?

Pete Yorn setlist for the Greek Theatre (8/28/07)
"Splendid Isolation" (Warren Zevon)
"Crystal Village"
"The Man"
"For Us"
"Strange Condition"
"Life on a Chain"
"Young Folks" (Peter Bjorn and John)

My second loop (not counting all of Liam's loops) was when Crowded House opened with "Something So Strong" that elicited a large cheer from the audience. Neil Finn (Guitars/Vocals) was smiling and singing with his sparkling Gibson Les Paul Gold top. Liam Finn (Guitars) was on the back of the stage on a riser adding acoustic guitars and background vocals. The band played very loosely and seemed to have permanent smiles on their faces as they played all night. "Say That Again" was next and is a new track off their excellent new album "Time On Earth". It sounded as timeless as all their other tracks and made for a smooth transition to "Don't Stop Now"

Nick Seymour was looking dapper in his white suit coat and plucking away at his Fender Jazz Bass. Matt Sherrod (Drums) was hidden in back providing a solid beat all night. Mark Hart (Guitars,Keyboards) was either handling the keyboards or strumming away on his Gibson guitar. Mark did have his moment in the sun with an impromptu version of "To Paris" that added to the loose feel of the night. Crowded House played the Greek Theatre like it was a small intimate club and had a strong connection with the audience. "Don't Dream It's Over" was worth price of admission alone but the evening was perfectly capped with "Better Be Home Soon". As the festivities closed,I wondered why I didn't hit the San Diego and Santa Barbara shows.

Crowded House setlist for the Greek Theatre (8/28/07)
"Something So Strong"
"Say That Again"
"Don’t Stop Now"
"Fall at You Feet"
"English Trees"
"Message Boy"
"Walked Her Way Down"
"Whispers and Moans"
"Silent House"
"Private Universe"
"To Paris"
"Don’t Dream It’s Over"
"Happy Together"
"Pineapple Head"
"Pour Le Monde"
"Locked Out"
"Distant Sun"
"Weather With You"
"World Where You Live"
"Mean to Me"
"Better Be Home Soon"


Anonymous said...

Really nice review. Felt like I was there. Wish I was there.

Anonymous said...

don't forget Holy Smoke from Spilt Enz's FRENZY! he did the first first and chorus.