Thursday, September 09, 2010
Crowded House at Club Nokia
It is hard to believe that it has been three years since I last caught Crowded House at the Greek Theater in August of 2007. Armed with their impressive new album Intriguer, Crowded House delighted their faithful fans with a set that made Club Nokia seem like an intimate living room.
Supporting their home country of New Zealand, Crowded House invited fellow countrymen Lawrence Arabia to warm up the crowd. Fronted by the affable James Milne, Lawrence Arabia worked through a delightful batch of hooky indie pop songs.
Crowded House is often overlooked for their vastly rich discography and splendid musicianship. Neil Finn sounded even better than I remembered as he gently strummed his shiny gold top Les Paul for "I Feel Possessed". Nick Seymour was plucking away at his Fender Bass while Matt Sherrod added his smooth drum shuffle to the mix.
"Saturday Son" had Finn alternating between his microKorg keyboard and his Les Paul for the upbeat echoey guitar lines while Mark Hart added some slide guitar licks over the top. The most entertaining technical difficulty to occur in a live concert in quite sometime happened when Finn's guitar wasn't working and he improvised an impromptu "He's Working On My Sound" '80s synthesizer jam.
Like true professionals, Crowded House easily regained their stride with the shimmery "Fall at Your Feet". Seymour switched over to the piano for a few bars and Finn grabbed his red Gretsch guitar for the upbeat "Don't Stop Now" with its singing guitar notes. The rambling gallop of "Whispers and Moans" strategically rises and falls as do most Finn penned songs.
Sitting down behind the keyboard, Finn tapped out the somber notes of "Pour Le Monde" as a lone spotlight shined down upon him. After dedicating "Message To My Girl" to Anna and Chris, the vocal crowd inquired in what key the song was written. Finn responded C sharp with Seymour quickly adding "the key of LUV".
Prior shows have included Finn's talented son Liam. Keeping things in the family Finn's wife Sharon appeared on stage to provide backing vocals for "Isolation" and "Archer's Arrows". "Hole in The River" had Neil Finn rocking his wah pedal back and forth while playing the understated muted guitar chords. Transitioning to their biggest hit "Don't Dream It's Over", a sea of cameras emerged from the crowd for Youtube posting purposes.
A four song encore still couldn't satisfy the Crowded House faithful. Their interlude of Talking Heads "Once In A Lifetime" during "Weather with You" was phenomenal as they closed out the evening with "Better Be Home Soon". It is hard to believe that Club Nokia could be more intimate than the Greek Theatre but that can happen when you are as talented as Crowded House.