Skip to main content


Just found this out via a tweet this morning from a guy called Jason Knox.  Looks like this may currently be only available on the US iTunes store.

"Over the past five years I’ve worked on an exciting creative project / jigsaw puzzle for ⁦‪@NeilFinn⁩. Thank you, Neil, for the opportunity and for being supportive throughout the process. So many great songwriters / artists on that stage.… <  "

7 Worlds Collide: A fan edits his hero using Final Cut Pro X

Neil Finn is my favorite songwriter, and his 1980s band Crowded House is my favorite band of all time. (And their first album is my favorite album. And that album features my favorite song. You get the idea.) So it’s a pleasure to relay the story about how Finn’s 2009 “7 Worlds Collide - Live at the Powerstation” concert video managed to show up on iTunes (and, soon, on other video outlets) this month.

It turns out that Jason Knox, a musician and video editor, is similarly a Neil Finn fan (as well as a Six Colors reader). Way back in 2013, Knox discovered that Finn was sitting on video footage from 7 Worlds Collide 

, an all-star concert in Auckland, New Zealand from 2009 featuring Finn and his sons; Johnny Marr of The Smiths; Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway of Radiohead; Jeff Tweedy, Pat Sansone and John Stirratt of Wilco; K.T. Tunstall; and a bunch of others. A studio album of songs was released in 2009, but the live concert remained unreleased. According to Finn, he had simply gotten too busy to find someone to edit all the footage into a coherent whole.

Knox figured he’d take a shot in the dark and offer to edit the concert together himself in Final Cut Pro X, and sent Finn a DM. After sending Finn some links to music videos he’d edited for a friend’s band, Finn must’ve figured Knox was worth a try—they got him the footage and he and Finn collaborated on the project via Dropbox.

“What kind of blows my mind about this whole thing is that we now live in a world where a fan can reach out directly to one of their musical heroes on social media, edit a two-an-a-half hour concert film on a home computer, collaborate via email and file sharing services from half way around the world, and then have the final film distributed via streaming to anyone,” Knox told me. “Neil deserves a lot of credit for his willingness to take a chance on me and send terabytes of footage from New Zealand to a stranger in Chicago.”

Knox’s professional work is largely focused on sound design, so there was a bit of a learning curve with the large, multi-camera project. “I learned a lot more about Final Cut Pro X while working on the concert video… I think it’s a great example of how FCPX has really put power into the hands of ordinary people who just want to accomplish a creative goal,” he said. “I think that Apple’s done an amazing job with FCPX-it’s designed so well that it allowed me to keep stumbling forward into a project like this, and I’m really grateful for that.”

Knox says he feels grateful that Finn was willing to take a chance on a fan, and that he feels lucky that he was able to do something “to say thank you for all the great music throughout the years.”

Since he began working on the project more than four years ago, Knox has had a chance to meet Finn a few times when his tours passed through Knox’s town. “It’s nice to know that the old adage ‘Don’t meet your heroes’ doesn’t always apply,” Knox said. “The entire project has been a pleasure from the start.”

The final concert—nearly two hours and 40 minutes long, featuring 32 songs from the Crowded House, Radiohead, Smiths, and Wilco songbooks as well as some originals and some covers of other artists (I’ll never get tired of “Throw Your Arms Around Me” by Hunters and Collectors), is now available on iTunes, with other services forthcoming. And all thanks to one brave fan who offered to help make the project happen.




Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I took the leap and bought this.  I haven't watched the whole thing, but I'm having mixed feelings.  First of all, I think it's fantastic that Neil took a chance on having this fan edit the concert together, and I'd certainly rather have this version than none at all.  That said, while it doesn't seem obviously amateur or anything, it does lack a certain professionalism.  I can't put my finger on it and I'm not super experienced with editing myself, but I found myself *aware* of the editing, which I know is not ideal.  Ideally you get lost in it and don't notice how things are cutting between this camera and that, but I never quite lost that awareness. I don't mean to damn the effort with vague disappointment but anyway, I felt like I could tell this wasn't done by a true professional filmmaker.  Even so, it's still watchable and enjoyable.  Maybe this is my own weird perspective and others will find it great, I don't know.  If anyone else watches this, please let us know what you think.

Last edited by slowpogo

I jumped on it as soon as I saw Neil retweet something yesterday.

I havent been this excited about a concert video in a very long time; It reminds me of what happened with Farewell To the World, it took a good 10 years to get a proper release.

The concert is simply amazing!!! The performances are just unbelievable to watch. The quality of audio/video is top notch and the editing is pure genius. Really makes you fee like you’re there in the audience at the show.

Is it polished, coreographed, hyper-rehearsed? No, but neither were those shows. Thats the magic.

This isnt Fleetwood Mac performing a scripted setlist with 9 musicians and teleprompters on stage. This is raw artistic magic unraveling over the course of 3 nights.

Oh ane did I mention its almost 3 hours long? (Amazing!!!)

I give this 5/5 stars.

Do yourself a favor and by it now, watch it over and over again.

Tell your friends, help spread the word...

What a totally unexpected 10 years ago blast from the past this is! Just watched it all and as familiar as I've been with what transpired at the shows , it was a lovely surprise to see the cover of Thunderclap Newman's "Something In The Air" at the end!
Coincidentally - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers covered the same song on their greatest hits compilation in the 90's as the only new track along with "Mary Jane's Last Dance" which went on to be an International hit.
Fast forward to today and Neil and Mike Campbell are bandmates!
Well done and much thanks to the fan who orchestrated this footage belatedly seeing the light of day!

It’s streaming on Amazon now.  I’m an hour into it and I love it.  This is the Neil I know and love, playing with a bunch of sympatico musicians who aren’t divas.  Not sure why the edits bother you slowpogo - it’s just cutting back and forth between different nights and doing a pretty seamless job if you ask me.


brownie posted:

It’s streaming on Amazon now.  I’m an hour into it and I love it.  This is the Neil I know and love, playing with a bunch of sympatico musicians who aren’t divas.  Not sure why the edits bother you slowpogo - it’s just cutting back and forth between different nights and doing a pretty seamless job if you ask me.


I’m glad it doesn’t bother you. I’m just saying, it shows that this person is a first-time editor. I know someone who’s a professional editor, and like any art form it takes many years to’s incredibly unlikely this person, who says his real training is in sound, *wouldn’t* be a little iffy. Also, there’s always a flurry of ultra-positive reviews whenever Neil puts something out so I take you guys with a grain of salt 😉. Maybe y’all just have your rose-colored-Finn glasses on. Like I said, it’s watchable, but a bit off to me.

Last edited by slowpogo
In Love With It All posted:

Does anyone have a tracklisting for this?  Can't see it listed in the iTunes store.

Distant Sun
Down On The Corner
Long Time Gone
Hazel Black
A Change Of Heart
Gather To The Chapel
Second Chance
In The Land Of Fairies
At Least That's What You Said
Too Blue
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
Throw Your Arms Around Me
What Light
Jesus, Etc.
You Never Know
The Late Greats
California Stars
I'm A Wheel
The Ties That Bind Us
Learn To Crawl
Four Seasons In One Day
Black Silk Ribbon
I Got You
She Will Have Her Way
Weather With You
Fake Plastic Trees
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Don't Dream It's Over
Something In The Air

Steve Shealy posted:

Thank you, Ligature! Some real gems there I wouldn't have expected! California Stars, Fake Plastic Trees, plus several I'm not familiar with. Would have liked to see Elroy get to do his Cobbler.

I was wavering a bit, probably going to have to go ahead and get it now. Great price for nearly three hours of entertainment.

Take the plunge Steve, it's a very cool part of Neil's career that probably didn't get full exposure at the time. Obviously there's been the album and documentary movie to delve into since but there's quite a lot going on in the set list here that wasn't represented on the album or in the documentary movie - It's been the preserve of fans who saw the shows at the Powerstation a decade ago until this week. Examples: Neil singing Radiohead's "Bodysnatchers", the Thunderclap Newman cover, several Wilco songs, Johnny Marr singing "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want", an additional Lisa Germano song...

It's true - there's no "All Comedians Suffer" or "The Cobbler" or Don McGlashan's "Girl Make Your Own Mind Up" and Tim Finn's contribution is unrepresented too (but I'm I'm sure that's because Tim didn't perform at any of the concerts).

It reminds me that there were select 7 Worlds Collide performances beyond New Zealand too - a night at Dingwalds in London featuring Wilco members, and one at Largo in Los Angeles with KT Tunstall, Bic Runga, Lisa Germano and Elroy where he did perform "The Cobbler", and a show in Santa Barbara after the documentary premiered at the film festival there which included Lisa Germano and Sebastian Steinberg where "All Comedians Suffer" and Sebastian's song "The Water" were performed.

It's been great to look back on the Powerstation shows, but also knowing that 7 Worlds Collide could be revisited at any time in the future! - Just imagine which musician friends Neil could collect for a third run!

Thanks @Underthewheel, that was my mistake.

Great review @The Ligature! Were those additional shows in the UK and the US billed as actual 7 Worlds Collide shows, or were they just Neil Finn solo shows where a couple of special guests made an appearance?

I did up a spreadsheet featuring the songwriters and lead vocalists of each song if anyone's interested. Also included are each song's origin and some of my thoughts on the performance and project. You can find it here.

Secret God (Stew) posted:

Great review @The Ligature! Were those additional shows in the UK and the US billed as actual 7 Worlds Collide shows, or were they just Neil Finn solo shows where a couple of special guests made an appearance?


The show in Los Angeles was billed as "7 Worlds Collide at Largo", whereas shows there on the following two nights were billed as Neil Finn shows.
I believe the show at Dingwalls in London which took place a week earlier was also billed as a 7 Worlds Collide show.
The Santa Barbara performance was a case of Neil taking the opportunity to play a show with some friends at a nearby venue after The Sun Came Out documentary movie premiered at the Santa Barbara film festival, so that was a Neil Finn show with Sebastian and Lisa being the two 7 Worlds Collide participants available.

Last edited by The Ligature

I was there on all three nights and I reckon it's most likely 'I'll be lightning' wasn't included because on Night Three (from whence most of the performance footage is gleaned) Neil was singing along with Liam and made a mistake in the song. He alludes to it in a couple of comments that made it to the final cut we are all now currently enjoying... the first mention is around the time of 'Throw Your Arms'... At the time I recall he was really down on himself for stuffing it up and apologised profusely to Liam. Jason was supplied a beautiful mix of all three nights that Neil had put together with Jordan Stone based on the best performances. That then had to be paired with the best footage available from all three nights and the third night seemed to have the most complete footage. That in itself is a massive reverse engineering brief and I reckon Jason did an amazing job. Granted, it ain't Speilberg, but it was done gratis, with a massive injection of goodwill and human kindness at the heart of it and it's way and above what my heart could ever have really hoped for. I couldn't be more thrilled and appreciative. On ya Jason! You've certainly rocked my world!

Secret God (Stew) posted:

If anyone's interested, the played songs that missed the cut were White Valiant and Long Time Gone (both Don McGlashan), Suddenly I See (KT Tunstall), I'll Be Lightning (Liam Finn) and three Wilco songs (War on War, Outtasite (Outta Mind) and Hoodoo Voodoo).

32 out of 39 ain't bad I guess.

It’s a shame Suddenly I See didn’t make it. I was there all 3 nights and it was a highlight for me.

This release was a real surprise. I was so disappointed that there wasn’t a concert movie alongside the documentary but this makes up for it.

For me, it does really capture the essence of the gigs. I had one of the camera guys next to me (up the front under Johnny) so some shots are really like reliving it over again. I am incredibly happy that this has seen the light of day... 

Hey all - I'm glad you're enjoying the concert film. I volunteered to edit the film as a thank you gesture toward Neil and the other artists, and also because it seemed like something that fans would want to experience - so I appreciate all the warm comments (and even the constructive criticism - I can take it).

I'll share a few details, since this seems to be a collection of folks that might be interested in reading about that kind of stuff.

This all started in 2013 when I was reading a Q&A with Neil on Twitter and somebody asked about a concert film for the 2009 shows. I wasn't even aware of the shows, but Neil mentioned that there was footage but no time / resources to edit it into a proper film.

As the article mentions, I'd been playing around with Final Cut Pro for a few years and editing some music videos for some friends. I figured "What do I have to lose?" So I sent Neil this message over Twitter DM:

"Saw the Q&A. Are you seriously looking for someone to edit the 2009 '7 Worlds Collide" videos? I'd be happy to help. Best to you."

It's not the first time I'd taken a real long shot like that (I once offered to record XTC in mid 90s when they were on hiatus - crazy kid). I honestly didn't expect to hear back from him, but he replied within a few hours and I sat there a bit stunned... though more excited by the idea that it could actually happen. I sent him some music videos to check out my editing work, and we began the slow process of getting the footage from New Zealand to Chicago, where I was living at the time.

Simon Mark Brown, who's shot the footage and directed the Sun Came Out documentary, located the footage and sent it my way. He warned me that it would be a messy process, but I said I was willing to take it on. Perhaps it was a bit foolhardy, but I had faith in my basic musical and timing instincts and I figured that I would just figure out the technical details along the way. On April 1, 2014 I picked up three hard drives full of footage, but didn't really dive into the editing proper until a few months later. I had to upgrade my home computer setup - and adding a powerful external drive was a key component.

Here are of couple of principles that I settled into regarding the aesthetics of the video:

The footage was raw but honest: no sweeping crane shots, no fancy steadicam moves, some blur here and there. There were usually three or four angles to choose from, but sometimes fewer and sometimes one night would only have partial footage on a given song. Some of that was a challenge, but I also felt that there was a beauty to the footage that paralleled the concert itself - the performances felt full of spontaneity as did the framing and movement of many of the cameras. I decided to follow that lead and keep the editing similarly honest.

What that meant was I tried hard to always use shots that were captured in the same moment as the music (even if it was from a different night). If a band member was shown doing something, I wanted it to be accurate to that point in the song and not just a collection of cool shots assembled like a music video.

I also avoided any effects or filters during the concert itself. There were some fun in-camera effects that were part of the footage (you can see an example of this near the end of the guitar solo in Distant Sun, or during Bodysnatchers, if I'm recalling correctly), but other than that I didn't want to add any polishing that would make the concert feel less real.

I felt like the relationships between the musicians was a key component of the concert, so instead of cutting from song to song quickly I left in a lot of the friendly banter and some of the stage shuffling between songs. A small example of this is when Jeff starts to jog off the stage after a song, but then looks down at the set list and turns back around. It's a silly moment that goes by quickly, but those are the sort of moments that were captured in the footage that helped make me feel like I was at the concert, so I chose to leave a lot of that in. I also looked for moments when the musicians were interacting on stage with glances or smiles or other quirky bits that you sometimes don't get to see, like motioning to the monitor engineer. I like that kind of stuff. It feels real.

Managing the footage from multiple nights was a challenge due to the changing clothes, hair, stage layout, and even personnel in some songs. Eventually, we just decided to lean into that and present the video as a collage of the three nights. I tried to set up this expectation early by showing an image of Neil changing guitars while he was talking in the background. My hope was to set the viewer up to accept a bit of surreality. Some songs ended up more surreal than others, but that was usually a matter of how much footage was available from the night the audio was from. I was originally worried about the changing clothes, personnel, etc - but I eventually came around to liking the collage approach and then I leaned into that a bit to make sure that it didn't just occur once or twice on one or two songs (even though there are some songs, like Distant Sun, where the footage is all from the same night as the audio mix).

And speaking of audio, Jordan Stone did a fantastic job on the mixes. I was working with the original in-camera audio for the first couple of years, and the whole video really came to life once I was able to swap in his new mixes. Kudos to him.

Anyway, hopefully some of you might find the thought process behind some the choices interesting. As you can imagine, it was an amazing experience to go from that original Twitter message to seeing the film released last week. Everybody on Neil's team that I bumped into along the way was really supportive and positive - and getting the occasional email from Neil (and then meeting with him before a couple of shows) was a thrill. He was just as gracious as I'd always imagined him to be from interviews over the years. It's been an absolute honor to be a part of the 7 Worlds Collide experience.

Thanks for the additional insights - I bet Neil is just as pleased as his fan base that this branch of his career tree is finally out there for all to see.
I get a kick out of the fact that a twitter message is the origin of it all and that the work was done on your home computer set up on the opposite side of the globe - the wonders of technology!
Have you received feedback from any of the 7 Worlds Collide musicicans? Were the aware they had a concert release imminent?

No direct feedback from other 7 Worlds Collide musicians, but that's fine. Neil had relayed that others appreciated it. I'm completely happy with how the whole experience turned out.

Not sure if the other participants were aware that the release was imminent - I'm guessing they're all cool with it being released but I think everybody involved now has other work that they're focused on.


You did a wonderful job capturing the spirit of this event. In addition to the "relationship moment" you mention above, in which Jeff Tweedy does a double-take and returns to the stage, I also appreciated the brief glimpse of (I think) Don McGlashan and KT Tunstall dancing stage left;  Bic Runga casually sitting on the riser for her background vocals; and Johnny Marr tapping McGlashan on the shoulder to get to the microphone for his harmonica solo. You and Simon Mark Brown captured something very authentic.

Thank you! 

Thanks, Jabberz.

Ha - I guess Jeff looking at the floor isn't exactly much of a relationship moment (probably not the best example I could have given), but you get the idea. There was a lot of warmth on stage and in the whole room, and Simon and his crew did a great job of capturing those moments. When it first became clear that this concert video project might actually happen, one of the first things I did was track down a copy of the Sun Came Out documentary that Simon directed. I loved every minute of it, and hopefully the concert video is now a nice companion piece to that great film that he put together.

That sounds old-fashioned... :-(. It’s a concert movie, so who needs subtitles? We saw the Finn family in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago without subtitles ;-). 

I’d be really annoyed if the sole reason to not release this officially in my country would be the  assumption that we won’t be able to understand what it is without translation. 

I agree that it seems a bit silly to have to worry about subtitles for a concert film, but the language / translation requirements are indeed the reason that the film has only been released digitally in English language territories at this point. The distribution company requires individual translation assets for every country, and though there's been some discussion about it I don't know if there are any plans to create the necessary assets for additional countries. Again, my hope is that eventually the film will be made available worldwide via some mechanism (whether that's with the translations on those platforms, or perhaps directly from Neil's website).

Thanks for all the answers Jaffaman and Jason!

I'm a bit confused though, because there are a lot of concert films on iTunes in the Netherlands that do not have any Dutch subtitles, descriptions etc. For example concert films by Marillion, U2, Kings of Leon, The Killers etc. 

I can imagine translation requirements apply to documentaries and movies etc. (although even then it seems to me that these days people can decide for themselves about wanting to buy/stream content in another language). But apparently there are exceptions (at least on iTunes) for music movies. 

It would be rather ironic, if this project ("7 Worlds collide") would run into language barriers.... 

Either way: I understand that these are decisions made on many levels but I really, really hope that this film will be able to find its way to us sooner than later. I really love the first 7 worlds collide DVD and have always been eager to see the 'follow up' concert. 


brownie posted:

10 years ago, you would have been able to order the DVD from overseas and have it shipped anywhere in the world.  It’s unfortunate that streaming can be so restrictive.

That is indeed unfortunate. Technology is useful as long as it doesn't get in the way... At least on iTunes, these language restrictions do not apply to music releases. Surely releasing concert movies brings money on the table? The distributor seems to be missing a trick... 

I wound up not buying this when it came out, but watched it the last couple of nights when I came across it on Amazon. Very, very enjoyable. Maybe a bit too Wilco-centric at times, but it is clear that Tweedy, and all the rest, really, LOVE and appreciate the Finns for the experience. Thanks again, Jason, for putting this together, I thought you did a fine job.


Unfortunately the video was only released in English-speaking territories on iTunes and Amazon. As explained earlier in this thread, that's due to the distributor's translation / subtitle requirements. As far as I know, there are no plans to subtitle the concert film and expand the release on the current platforms. I'm also not aware of any plans to make the video available directly from Neil's website or You Tube account.

But speaking of YouTube, the concert video is also available via Google Play (which I believe is a cousin to YouTube). When go to this link for the trailer I see an option to buy or rent the video:

That might be because I'm in the US, so I'm not sure if it will work in Spain, but I figured it's worth a shot.

Sorry that you're having difficulty.

I am also in Europe (in the Netherlands) and the link only shows that the video is not available. 

As said earlier in this thread, I'm quite disappointed that this film is not available in non-English speaking countries. And I don't buy the demand for subtitles to be honest. It's a concert movie. Who needs subtitles? There are loads of concert movies on iTunes without subtitles, that are still available in the Netherlands. Some random examples:

This really is missed opportunity and I would hate it if it is because the people in charge are simply not prepared to investigate the possibilities a little further. I'd have bought the movie in  a heartbeat. 

Jason Knox posted:


Unfortunately the video was only released in English-speaking territories on iTunes and Amazon. As explained earlier in this thread, that's due to the distributor's translation / subtitle requirements. As far as I know, there are no plans to subtitle the concert film and expand the release on the current platforms. I'm also not aware of any plans to make the video available directly from Neil's website or You Tube account.

But speaking of YouTube, the concert video is also available via Google Play (which I believe is a cousin to YouTube). When go to this link for the trailer I see an option to buy or rent the video:

That might be because I'm in the US, so I'm not sure if it will work in Spain, but I figured it's worth a shot.

Sorry that you're having difficulty.

 the video is not available.


Jason Knox posted:

I agree that it's silly that a concert film would need to be subtitled. I'll do what I can to look into it again and see what could be done to expand the release, but my powers are limited. I'd be a lame superhero.

Thank you so much Jason. I like lame superheroes! And sorry for shooting the messenger. I did also send an e-mail to Neil Finn (or, rather, to the address mentioned on his website), but got no reply. 

Fingers crossed!!

Update on the international availabilty:

The video should be available on iTunes in the coming days in every territory that includes a "Concert Film" category. No subtitles required. Amazon and Google availability will still be restricted to English-speaking territories only.

The Concert Film category loophole was something that we were just made aware of in the last week, so thank you for encouraging us to look into it further. Hopefully you should see it appear on iTunes in the coming days (assuming your country's store has a Concert Film category).

Enjoy, and thanks again for the constructive feedback!

Yeah - we just heard back from the distributor a couple of hours ago that they'd be flipping the switch to expand to additional territories, so it will likely take a little time to show up. I don't have any more details than that, so just keep checking - I'd be curious to know when it's finally showing up for you (obviously I can't see that from the US).

Last edited by Jason Knox

Just wanted to express my disappointment, as a fan, over this whole fiasco.

Despite the huge amount of love, effort and attention put into this release by @Jason Knox, there is still no way to legally own a digital or physical copy of this amazing work of art.

Sure, if you happen to live in the right country (or how what a VPN is) you might get lucky and be able to "rent" or "buy" a DRM-crippled stream from a closed off ecosystem (Apple, Amazon, Google). But doing so will prevent you (the paying customer) from downloading a copy of the file you paid for, which you can only access when signed in to said ecosystem via specific methods.

At this point I've accepted there's no chance of a DVD or blu-ray I can play (or rip to file) at my own leisure, but to not even have access to a digital file to archive to a digital collection and play at will is a bridge too far for this fan.

Clearly this is not a dig at Jason, Neil Finn, Jeff Tweedy, or anyone else involved in the Powerstation release. It's really just a commentary on the current state of digital media affairs, which is definitely not limited to this release.

I obviously don't advocate for piracy, but situations like this are the precise reason why others would be more than happy to go down that road, as it would literally (in theory) be the only way for a fan to own a copy of the concert. For the record I'm not suggesting it's even available via unofficial channels.

Anyway, just my $0.02.

Yes, it’s a sad reality about discs these days. Every time I’ve brought up the possibility of a DVD (2016 Crowded House Deluxe Editions, Sydney Opera House 2016, 7 Worlds Collide at The Powerstation) I’ve been reminded by management, lawyers, and the record company that DVDs and Blu-Rays don’t sell anymore. They’re expensive to produce and so few people buy them. I know I’ve cut right back on my visual media purchases.

Yeah - we're definitely in the middle of a paradigm shift that started about 10+ years ago in both the music and film industries. That was probably the beginning of the end for our traditional idea of media "ownership", which can be especially difficult for those of us who grew up in the era of record and movie collections. I spent hours (days? weeks?) ripping both my CD and DVD collections to digital files that I could access from my iPod, iPad, etc. For a few years that was how I accessed my entertainment - loading actual files onto my devices.

However, in recent years I've converted to streaming probably 90% of my media consumption (via Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, etc). I appreciate the ability to access a lot of content without having to buy everything individually while still understanding the desire to "own" certain media that is special for some reason (favorite bands, favorite films, etc).

It brings to mind Sting's great bridge from  "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free":

"Forever conditioned to believe that we can't live
We can't live here and be happy with less
So many riches, so many souls
Everything we see we want to possess"

I've thought of those lines many times in my life when faced with my ingrained consumerist tendencies.

There's likely a long philisophical discussion to be had related to the pros and cons of different digital media distribution models. The small portion of that discussion that relates to this concert video is that it was something that was started years ago with no distribution plan in mind, and no intent for any great commercial gain. Once the film was done, Neil wanted to make it available to fans, so his team looked into the options that are currently available. Physical media (DVDs, BluRay) are a dying concept - especially for a niche release like this that likely isn't going to sell 50,000+ copies. I suppose one could make the case for selling the files via direct download from a website (ala buying independent music releases from Bandcamp) and maybe that will be an option at some point in the future, but for now I'm guessing that a lot of fans are actually happy they can view the concert for free on Amazon (assuming they have a Prime account) or rent / buy the platform video for a reasonable price.

I appreciate (and share) your passion for the music, Stew, and I completely understand the desire to own a digital file that you can move around at will. However, I think the release is far from a fiasco. It's been an opportunity for Neil to test out current distribution avenues that everybody is still trying to figure out, and I'm sure that he and his team will learn from the experience. Feedback like yours is important. For now, I hope you're able to enjoy the concert film without letting your frustrations about file ownership cloud the experience for you. We're all ephemeral... "streaming", so we might as well look for the good wherever we can find it for as long as we're lucky enough to be around for it.

Last edited by Jason Knox

I appreciate that DVD's en BR's don't sell anymore. That doesn't explain why digital distribution - even through iTunes and the likes - should be so complicated throughout Europe, where Neil Finn obviously has a lot of fans (outside of the UK). Crowded House have always been very popular in the Netherlands and I don't understand why the 2016 Sydney concert was never aired here (and/or is not made available through iTunes or something). But perhaps this 7 Worlds movie (that I really like so far!) will pave the way!

Perhaps "fiasco" came across as a bit harsh. I was specifically referring to the availability of the channels it was released on, and my dealings with DRM eco-systems that don't support browsers and operating systems I use.

The release's production, editing, and the fact it came about at all, was far from a fiasco. Closer to a miracle and a fan's dream in fact!

I'm happy enough to leave physical discs in the past if I have to, and only ever play digital music and video files these days. 'Files' being the key word though, as opposed to "accessing DRM content" on services I don't want to sign up for. Having said that I do have a Spotify account haha. My Finn (and related artists) FLAC collection is my holy grail, and I too spent a lot of time ripping CDs, DVDs, converting, tagging and sorting this archive.

Loved reading your post by the way, and you made some great points.

I was somehow able to watch the concert early on via Amazon Prime, even though at the time I don't believe it was available to Australian customers. I think I might have signed up for a free month? But when I tried to watch it the next day I had no luck at all and believe something at the Amazon backend changed. From what I remember the concert was no longer available for me to even stream through my web browser and redirected me to the Australian version of Amazon. My memory is cloudy, but that was pretty much my experience. It looked amazing in 1080p HD too and I was even able to create a chart of who sung lead vocals (and wrote) each song.

Again, any issues I have isn't necessarily a major deal. I'm just a fan that doesn't really hold back with his opinion. Others may be happy enough to stream the concert if they're lucky enough. It just feels like perhaps a missed opportunity to sell a HD copy of the file to fans, or at least allow them to download it through one of the streaming services it was uploaded to. But I understand these options are currently beyond anyone's control.

Ironically, with a simple app, add-on, or browser bookmark, fans can download any video from YouTube in high resolution with a click of a button. This includes the likes of Neil Finn & Paul Kelly's brilliant two-and-a-half-hour Live at the Sydney Opera House concert in full 1080p HD (Note that this is a separate show to the CD / DVD / blu-ray).

But yet with other concerts released on Google Play, Amazon Prime and Apple iTunes, it's not even possible to pay for that kind of privilege, even if someone wanted to. I don't have the answers, I'm just throwing up points and creating a discussion.

I do like that when people like Phil Judd, Eddie Rayner and Pablo Vasquez (Elroy's classical band) release new albums fans are able to purchase high quality uncompressed FLAC copies from BandCamp / Reverb Nation. Further to what you said, I see no real reason why this type of service couldn't exist for visual content too. Hell, there are even methods to download audio tracks from SoundCloud if fans are persistent.

Tim Finn and Abi Tucker's The Fiery Maze soundtrack being "released" exclusively via Spotify / Google Play late last year frustrated a few fans who would have liked an actual copy of the songs. The same issue has come about recently with Elroy's new album, which I don't believe is (yet) available to purchase. Both of these albums ended up being uploaded to YouTube legally by the record labels / publisher. Therefore fans that want the music bad enough could technically find a way to save the files, proving that even paying Spotify subscribers could end up with a better product via a free unofficial method. Ironic, don't you think?

So very true @Jaffaman, and a point well made. I do enjoy collecting video releases where I can. This includes VHS, DVD and blu-rays. along with all those special edition bonus DVDs / CD-ROMs record labels included with album re-issues. Crowded House's Upstairs at Home (as an example) is a particular favourite. This was the limited edition DVD included with early copies or Intriguer.

But hey, the content is the most important thing, and if TV specials, visual radio performances and webcasts were available to purchase digitally I'd be more than happy to snap them up too. As long as the publisher can include a nice 2:3 digital cover (similar to what we got with Live at the Powerstation) I'd be a happy customer.

Hell, I'd happily create my own cover art if there was none available. A basic raw upload of a concert filmed from a smartphone, synced with an unmastered soundboard recording, would receive a nice thumbs up from me for a pretty $10

The whole thing around copyright and licensing is a tangled web too. Especially when there are many artists involved with one project. Each band or artist is represented by different labels and management. This might differ from country to country.

There can be many reasons why product isn’t available somewhere, even when it’s just a digital stream or download, and, more often than not not, we’re not  privy to that info. 

↑ This is true.

Most artists would love to make their content more available, but unfortunately they're often not the ones calling the shots. Some projects have been stuck in "developmental hell" for years.

At the end of the day, us Finn-related fans have had it great. The amount of material we've been blessed with just in the past 18 months is too long to even list. But I'm talking projects from 7 Worlds Collide, Neil & Liam Finn, Neil solo, Pablo Vasquez, Phil Judd, Tim Finn, Harper Finn, Fleetwood Mac, Elroy, etc. There's been digital singles, physical albums, live shows, music videos, 'Hidden Gems' performances, podcast interviews, radio sessions, etc.

Add Reply

    All times London, UK.

    ©1998-Eternity, All post content is the copyrighted work of the person who wrote it. Please don't copy, reproduce, or publish anything you see written here without the author's permission.
Link copied to your clipboard.