Dive Bomber

Dizzy Heights

In My Blood

White Lies and Alibis

The Lights of New York

Recluse

Better Than TV

Impressions

Sinner

Four Seasons in One Day (w Liam)

Flying in the Face of Love

Anytime

Distant Sun

 

I Got You

Private Universe

 

Absolutely wonderful show! 

Original Post
Great show! I was standing in line pretty early and got to say "hello" to Liam, Elroy, and Neil as they arrived.  Also got to chat with a lot of the string players and found out they were just meeting Neil and co. For the first time that very night. They had all just received emails of the sheet music before hand. I was Very impressed by their talent and focus!  Though the show was wonderful, I must say that Largo clearly got the better of the gigs with all its special guests and an additional 5! Songs.  I think there may have been a curfew in NY as Neil mentioned something about a dance club starting up at the end of the show.  Ah, well.  Looking forward to a longer show next April.  New songs all sounded terrific, even Divebomber.

WOW!!

 

The show was WONDERFUL!!!

 

I don't know about Largo getting the better show.  Although I was not at Largo, there was nothing shabby at all about the show tonight!

 

My head exploded several times.  *laughs*

 

Now THAT was the Neil Finn show I've been waiting for for a very long time.

 

Definitely in my top 5 Neil shows ever (including all his many incarnations).  

 

9 piece string section, Neil mostly at the piano.  Stunning music.  So very atmospheric.

 

I don't care if Largo was better (and what would I know, I wasn't at Largo).  This night has made for a very very happy brownie.    I am dancing on air.  sigh.

 

Jabberz, I wish I'd known you were going to be there...I would have loved to have said hi in person after all these years!

I'm still reeling (3 hours after the show ended). So amazing!

Highlights for me:
The opening - Neil on piano, blue spotlight, smoke drifting above, entire ensemble at the ready and Neil sings the first few lines of Divebomber in perfect falsetto. Then the strings come in for a crescendo and the entire room takes flight. Stunning!

I had chills for the entire first half of the show. Neil's delivery was spot on and  this particular gathering of string players added some quirky touches to the new songs that I hadn't heard before.

The second half of the show rocked loud and hard with Liam playing some great (sometimes quirky) leads and atmosphere, Elroy providing steady rhythm guitar, Chris playing an impressive range of drums, percussion and found sound (NY ambient ). Great backing vocals by Victoria, Liam and PJ Barnes(? Jimmy's daughter???... Sorry, can't read my low-light scribble and don't know her).

The sound mix (from just in front of the booth) could have been better (strings too far back), and a major feedback issue just before Recluse didn't help anyone's ears.  More of a rock mix (which worked well for the latter half of the show).

Overall wonderful show!

More to come after I sleep.

- Lisa
As I sit here in a Jersey City bagel shop across the river from the Big Apple and reflect on last night's concert it has occurred to me that, although the strings were absolutely incredible, it was the chemistry between Neil and son Liam that really stole the show. It began with Liam playing some beautiful and bizarre guitar accents on the new tracks like "White Lies and Alibis", but really grew into the center piece of the show when Liam and Neil dueted on "Four Seasons in One Day" with Liam leading off the song on acoustic guitar and Neil joining in on piano. This continued as they are joined by Elroy for songs like "I Got You" and "anytime". It's hard to imagine a more fulfilling and enjoyable parental experience than rocking out on stage with both your kids playing the world famous songs you wrote when they were toddlers.

If you're me and believe that "Distant Sun" is actually a song Neil wrote about the struggle of being a good parent (I.e. Distant "Son") when Liam was just a boy, then their performance of this song last night was the musical embodiment of a paternal job well done.  Neil on acoustic and Liam taking lead, the two jammed like old time rockers until Neil's guitar strap fell off and he could barely hold on to his guitar. He kept playing though and when Liam joined him at the center of the stage, as the soloing reached its epic climax, Neil reached over and pulled the guitar strap from Liam's shoulder! The two of them ended up kneeling on the floor and reaching out to strum each other's guitars as the song came to a close.  If it was half as fun for the performers as it was for the audience, then I'm sure they both spen the rest of the night on an emotional high!  What fun!

So you think  Liam was old enough to know who he was and wise enough to carry the scars without any blame at, like, 10 years old?

 

Sounds like I missed a great show! I'm so jealous! That's hilarious that Neil pulled the guitar strap from Liam's shoulder! 

Given that it was advertised as an acoustic preview of just the new album, and turned out to be a big band evening with 15 musicians on stage, who could possibly want more? 

 

Victoria Kelly has an easy rapport with Neil, and has clearly added a great deal to these songs. Dive Bomber and the lovely Lights of New York (written in a hotel room on a night when Neil could not sleep) are both quiet, atmospheric pieces -- both were beautifully delivered. But Flying in the Face of Love and Dizzy Heights almost remind me of The Style Council in the way they move and groove. There is definitely a swing to those songs.

 

How great to have Neil back with new music! 

 

 

Absolutely wonderful show, and totally worth 5+ hours on a bus to travel from and to Philly.  Neil was in spectacular voice and spirits, which seems typical but is special to experience nevertheless.  Lovely and layered to hear the father and his sons harmonizing about Neil's "alone together" take on life.

 

I am hoping he will sing "Turn and Run" when he returns in April to the Philadelphia area.

Thanks for the great descriptions everyone (I'm re-living it all over again reading your versions here!)

I spoke with Neil for a few minutes after the show and he said that they all "really enjoyed themselves" on stage.

(Sorry for the multi-posts last night... I'm limited by a smartphone app that won't let me delete)

I thought Dive Bomber sounded better live than it does on the YouTube clip.  On the recording, he seems to push his voice until it cracks. Last night, it sounded smooth and clear. BTW (for those of you keeping score of such things) he was playing a grand piano, not an upright.  

 

There was also a nice moment during Private Universe, when Neil dragged his microphone stand over to Liam, Elroy and Chris mid-song to get closer to the combo.  I'm not exactly sure how Neil accomplished this (since guitar playing generally takes two hands), but he did.

 

 

I agree completely - enjoyed the live version of Dive Bomber much much more.
 
Lori
 
Originally Posted by Jabberz:

I thought Dive Bomber sounded better live than it does on the YouTube clip.  On the recording, he seems to push his voice until it cracks. Last night, it sounded smooth and clear. BTW (for those of you keeping score of such things) he was playing a grand piano, not an upright.  

 

There was also a nice moment during Private Universe, when Neil dragged his microphone stand over to Liam, Elroy and Chris mid-song to get closer to the combo.  I'm not exactly sure how Neil accomplished this (since guitar playing generally takes two hands), but he did.

 

 

 

Originally Posted by Jabberz:
There was also a nice moment during Private Universe, when Neil dragged his microphone stand over to Liam, Elroy and Chris mid-song to get closer to the combo.  I'm not exactly sure how Neil accomplished this (since guitar playing generally takes two hands), but he did.


There was a stagehand helping him do it.

I wish I could add more to this discussion.  I am usually full of things to say about Neil shows, but this show was so great that I am truly lost for words.  I was feeling a lot of wonderful things from the music last night, but oddly for me, I can't seem to verbalize much of it.

I ran into an old friend last night, and even then, all I was able to do was run over to her at one point nearing the end of the show, grab her, and say "Isn't this GREAT???????"  She came over to our table afterwards and kind of laughed at how that was all I was able to say.  *laughs*

Thanks for the posts about the first of the Neil Dizzy Heights show...sounds awesome.  I hope Liam will be in the Australian shows next March.  I would love it if Sharon and Elroy were in the band too!!!

So far on the webcast and KCRW radio videos have been Finntastic...I just love the string section...voices...songs....well everything really  (how about that!!)

http://www.kcrw.com/music/prog...eil_finn/hd-showcase

Originally Posted by brownie:
... I am usually full of things to say about Neil shows, but this show was so great that I am truly lost for words.  I was feeling a lot of wonderful things from the music last night, but oddly for me, I can't seem to verbalize much of it.
 
 I'm with you, brownie - I've been experiencing the same loss for words after hearing many of the new songs. Can't explain it really, except that they are very moving and putting words to those feelings seems to limit the experience. I especially feel this way about White Lies and Alibis.

After listening to the Largo show, I would like to amend my initial comments on the NYC gig.  While it's clear that Largo had more exciting "special guests" and a much longer setlist, the NYC gig definitely had more energy.  This was predominantly driven by Liam, who added his crazy electric guitar to the mix in NY, whereas electric guitar was notably absent from the Largo show.

 

So, no, we didn't get to see Mark Hart, Mitchell Froom, or Sebastian Steinberg, but we did get a uniquely energetic performance while being spared some halfhearted renditions of half-remembered songs like they heard at Largo.  Wow, who would have ever thought that Neil would be forgetting all the verses of "World Where You Live"?  Didn't he sing that song every night of the Crowded House tours?  I guess it's as he said, he's cleared out the old songs to make room for remembering the new ones.

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