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That Rhett is one fine looking boy! He came on stage and straight into song, shaking his head around in a way that reminded me of Animal from The Muppetts. After a couple of songs the audience warmed up to him - he made a few cracks and with a charming smile and an up-beat set he won a few hearts tonight. Singing about his love for a four-eyed girl an audience member got up and started dancing around in front of him waving her glasses in the air - he half laughed his next line and the audience laughed along. We all cheered her bravery after the song ended and Rhett shook her hand. Rhett benefitted from a Neil Finn audience who were receptive to a new face with some good tunes. I'd recommend seeing Rhett again. But now to the important bit - Mr Neil Finn!

And on came Neil. Once again I was reminded of why I love this guy so goddamn much. He took us on a stroll through his various hits and tracks over the years. We were entertained with new tracks from his latest CD. He played Sinner wonderfully well, dedicated to Lisa Germano who couldn't be there. He did a Split Enz number - I Got You and later in the evening History Never Repeats. No tracks from Woodface were evident which was unusual - it wasn't until the final encore that he sang Fall At Your Feet - getting the audience to sing to him the chorus. We were treated to She Will Have Her Way and Loose Tongue. A fantastic Not The Girl You Think You Are. Pineapple Head with the double bass player providing an excellent solo. Another sing a long with Something So Strong and a rocking Locked Out. He dedicated Love This Life to Tim who is having a baby (well his wife is).

Several funny moments during the evening. Neil stopped a song for us to listen to his amp that was picking up a local radio station - this started a jamming session with the other musicians to play along with the radio noise. At a quiet point in the evening a fan requested Hole In The River - and immediately Neil started to sing it - just him and his guitar - fantastic. The middle part of the song has a piano piece, so Neil nochalantly strolled around to the synth, still playing his guitar, sat down and then at the appropriate point started to play the piano part - truly a one man band!

Another highlight - he dedicated a song to Johnny and then launched into There Is a Light That Never Goes Out. I think Neil Finn is one of the few artists who can truly get away with playing this song without ruining the memory of The Smiths doing it.

During one of his encores a fan requested Nails In My Feet - the fan had brought him requests on chocolate, so Neil felt obliged. He joked with another fan who'd only written them on paper that if they wanted their song sung they would have to bring chocolate next time. Neil admitted that he didn't think he could pull off Nails In My Feet and said he had to quickly run through it and told us to sing whilst he did it. He started us off on Better Be Home Soon and the audience carried on singing whilst he worked out the start of the song. I think he was impressed with the whole theatre singing to him without needing much prompting. He began Nails In My Feet - he tried but he forgot most of the words but it was a valiant effort when he hadn't performed it in such a long time.

He told us the story of how when Crowded House first started they had a fourth member called Craig. One night Neil, Nick and Paul went off to the pub, leaving Craig to practise. When they returned the door was locked and Craig was busy making too much noise to hear them. They knew that their amps picked up the local taxi cabs as they drove past, so they hailed one and got him to say - CRAIG, CALLING CRAIG - LET US IN! And it worked. He made a crack about New York cab drivers and how they'd just drive off into the distance.

I had more than my moneys worth tonight and I'm going again tomorrow - and I know it'll be different. This guy knows exactly how to play to the audience and get them enjoying themselves. He is an incredible performer and singer-songwriter - with the added bonus of Rhett Miller. If ever an artist came with Quality Guaranteed stamped on them - its one Mr Neil Finn.

I apologise for not getting all the set-list or in order but I do the best my swiss-cheese brain can cope with!
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I just got home, after a cold and sleety drive back up I-95. Too tired to post the setlist now (but have it in my pocket, so when I resurface... if someone hasn't already, I'll do it then.)

Was going to write a review but Charlotte beat me to it, and did it well. All I have to add is that my wallet and my immune system simply would not survive another 3.5-hour trip down to NYC for tomorrow night's gig... even if I could get tickets...

It's tough living in the sticks sometimes Frowner

Charlotte ... thank you for the details on the first NYC show ... I was there too ... and now I can pass along the info to friends who couldn't make it ...

I too live in Connecticut ... and alas, I will not be going to the second show either ...

Kia Kaha .. you're welcome to use my sofabed anytime if you need a place to crash after a night in NYC ... I used to live in Eastern Connecticut in the 80s, so I know what a 3-hour trip to the city is like ... living in Stamford it's only an hour or so in and out ...

Bob D.
What a great show. What a great night. Smiler

Charlotte Anne has done a terrific job of describing the whole thing, although the Split Enz song was One Step Ahead, not I Got You.

While I thought the whole thing was fantastic, the show REALLY started to take off after people stood up. *laughs* At some stage late in the show (I think it was during "She Will Have Her Way"?), 2 girls stood up, and Neil made a point of pointing out "the two brave girls - you look good standing up" -- or something to that effect. (God I'm so tired right now. LOL)

Hole in the River was really a highlight. I don't think 2 seconds passed between someone yelling out "Hole in the River" and when Neil launched into it. And then he went over and sat at the keyboards while still playing his guitar and switched back and forth between the two a couple of times during the song. It sounded great. Smiler

Pineapple Head sounded AMAZING.

And he played Nails In My Feet! - or at least half of it, with various lines inserted into various wrong places. Wink

We took a few pictures, unfortunately with a disposable camera (didn't want to risk having them confiscate my good camera), so if they came out reasonably okay I will post them here for Geddy. I was in the 4th row, so they do have a chance of turning out at least passable.

Nails In My Feet!! ( Can you tell I adore this song? Smiler ) and then I got to speak briefly with Neil afterwards - what a terrifically nice man he is. Smiler

Does it get any better than this? I don't think so.

What a wonderful night. Smiler

I should really go to bed now. Wink
Originally posted by bobd730:
[qb]Charlotte ... thank you for the details on the first NYC show ... I was there too ... and now I can pass along the info to friends who couldn't make it ...

I too live in Connecticut ... and alas, I will not be going to the second show either ...

Kia Kaha .. you're welcome to use my sofabed anytime if you need a place to crash after a night in NYC ... I used to live in Eastern Connecticut in the 80s, so I know what a 3-hour trip to the city is like ... living in Stamford it's only an hour or so in and out ...

Bob D.[/qb]
Cheers, Bob! I recall as we were driving along I-95 at around 1am, my husband saying "anyone who says Connecticut is a small state can bite my rear end. Three hours just to get home, and we're not even close to the border of Massachusetts."

That was my first visit ever to the Big Apple, and not nearly long enough! I think next time I go, it'll be on the train... the price of parking is outrageous! Eeker (Still, the sights and sounds of New York City... ahhhhhhhhh yep, I'll be back... although this time with a packed lunch, lol)

Anyway, set-list time... as I see nobody's posted it yet.

Main Set:
- Last One Standing
- Anytime
- Hole In the Ice
- Sinner
- (jamming to radio through the amps, seguing into some of Play It Strange)
- There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
- a few bars of Shark Attack (lol!)
- Love This Life
- Driving Me Mad
- One Step Ahead
- Hole In The River
- Not The Girl You Think You Are
- Human Kindness
- The Last To Know
- Pineapple Head
- Locked Out
- She Will Have Her Way

Encore (1st):
- History Never Repeats
- Loose Tongue
- Something So Strong

Encore (2nd):
- Nails In My Feet ("Ohhh no, I haven't done that one in about seven years!")
- Fall At Your Feet
- Lullaby Requiem

...hard to pick a standout song, or even couple of songs, from that lot. The overall package was just awesome, and I am SO glad just to have been there!
(Footnote: To you lucky people who are going to more than one show... make the most of it for us out of towners (read: poor CT hillbillies, LOL) who can only see one!!! Wink Big Grin Wink )

I can never get enough of Neil. I think his set was a little shorter than the 2 Irving Plaza shows. I guess this is the beginning of the tour, not the end...

Well that was me and my friend Yael standing up alone in the crowd. I think there was another fast song before SWHHW. I think it was Locked Out.


So, we got up and then at the end of Locked Out Neil looked at us and said something like "Look at those two brave girls, you look good standing" And, then I think he played She Will Have Her Way. Not sure if this was
planned...I'd like to think he played it because of us Smiler . He might have even said, this one's for you?

After the show, we waited around, got autographs while other fans got photos. It took Neil about an hour to come out - a long time for him - but before that we got restless and tried to get in with no sucess. It felt good to storm the stage door.

He didn't stay long I think because it was chilly (he said somethng about it being "tropical") and Sharon and Elroy were waiting for a cab. Neil got in with them and zoomed off to what I think was their hotel.

That's my piece. See everyone tonight!
Originally posted by Bean:
[qb]Well that was me and my friend Yael standing up alone in the crowd.

*laughs* I agree, but was not as brave as you were to get up beforehand. Actually, now I'm happy I'm going to be at Philly, where it will be standing room, rather than at NYC again.

Originally posted by Bean:
[qb]After the show, we waited around, got autographs while other fans got photos. It took Neil about an hour to come out - a long time for him - but before that we got restless and tried to get in with no sucess. It felt good to storm the stage door.[/qb]
Heheheh. Yes, that would have been me who started that, after that guy handed me those two passes. Oops. Wink I don't know if you realized what happened there, but I was standing around innocently with my friend Linda, when these two people came out of the stage door and one of them shoved two after show passes into my hand and said, "Hey, you guys want to go backstage?" Having no clue what to do, but figuring I should at least check it out, I walked up to the door, opened it, and asked if we could come in with the passes. As you know, they told me no. I didn't realize that everyone else had followed me till I came out again. *laughs*

So obviously I saw you there, Bean, since there were only about 10 people there outside. Although sorry, I didn't get a good enough look at the "two brave girls" to place you. Who are you? *laughs* It's quite odd to have been in the presence of someone who I've spoken to on a message board and not know about it till the next day.
What a night! Thanks for those who've posted the set list and reviews. I'm going again tonight and I assure you that I will stand much sooner than last night's crowd did. I think I like Bowery Ballroom and Irving PLaza better as venues. Even though Town Hall is gorgeous and I think Neil liked it, he had never played there before, the vibe is better when people are on their feet. The formality of the room also I think curbed the amount of banter between the songs. There were some longish silences between the songs at the beginning of the set and I think not until the end of the set did the crowd , as a crowd- there was certainly some great moments on stage, really demonstrate to Neil that they were really connected to what he was singing.

I completely missed the opening act because I had memories of the Irving Plaza shows when Ed Harcourt started playing at 9pm so I decided to show up late, knowing that we had seats.

A funny moment happened before the show as I was walking away from the theatre towards Broadway (heading West from the theatre) just before 8. I saw Neil! He was surrounded by an entourage. The thing that I loved about seeing him is that he was wearing that short double breasted black coat that he wore in some publicity pictures for Try Whistling This (I think) his hands were in his pockets and he looked exactly like that. I was very surprised to see him and I said "Hey! I'm gonna see you later." I felt like quite an idiot. I wish I had mustered up the thoughfulness to say something better. Ah well.

I loved the Hole in the River bit as well as Locked Out. I like Human Kindness more and more every time I hear it. Neil sounded great!

Have people mentioned that he dedicated Human Kindness, I think, to the drummer of Soul Coughing who was in the audience- don't remember his name?

At the beginning someone requested a split enz song, I don't remember which one (Shark Attack mentioned in someone's set list), and Neil started playing it, saying "That's one of Tim's songs" and, I think, immitating Tim's voice. Later on the person who requested the song said loudly "We love you Tim" and everyone laughed.

I'll post more tidbits as I remember them. I'll take notes tonight.

Anyone knoe whether they were selling CD's at the venue? Rain soudtrack perhaps?

Mari G
Yes, it was a great show. I know what you mean, Mari, about the vibe in the venue, but I also wondered if some of that formality and hesitation at the start of the set was just because it's early on in the tour, maybe it takes him longer to get his groove. Or maybe he was still recovering from our lovely winter air.

Personally, I thought it was so wonderful to see him in that venue. I loved having a seat, being able to relax and just listen and watch, without being jostled and having to hold onto my coat. But yes, I will stand sooner tonight.

Thanks to all who posted the set list and gave your reviews, I can never do it justice.

For those who have asked, yes they were selling goods at the venue -- CDs (I think it was One All, 7 Worlds and Rain), the 7 Worlds DVD and 3 or so different t-shirt styles.

Can't wait for tonight!!
I remembered another funny tidbit to share with y'all...

Regarding Nails in Feet... I can't remember if it was before or after the song.. Neil started discussing the origins/inspiration/themes of the song ... denying that it has anything to do with his Catholic background or references to the crucifixion fo Christ ... saying that it was about these gardening shoes with big spikes on the soles that one uses to irrigate one's back yard. He did a little walk on the stage as if he was wearing them taking huge stomps and bonding with a member of the audience who also said they had a pair.

OK is anyone interested in these little tidbits or should I edit myself? Please respond since I feel a bit dorky posting.
Originally posted by stacygirlvo:
[qb]i did miss DDIO though - hate to say, I'm sure he's sick of it but kinda fits the mood in the world lately.
Funny you say that, Stacy, as my husband said the exact same thing during the chants for the encore - "He won't leave until he plays DDIO" - and I grinned and shouted, "Well, he has over 25 years of back catalogue to choose from... I'm guessing he might throw out something different!"

And, I won that "friendly" informal bet (I suppose an intimiate knowledge of Neil's work, both recorded and onstage, from "Time Immemorial" helped... LOL)

Still, I think I made a new fan by draggin' the ole Smiler man along ... Smiler
great review, charlotte anne!!!! it was my chocolate airplane request that got him to play "nails in my feet"!!!!! i actually have to thank that other girl for getting his attention, tho...i used dark chocolate and a hunter green box, so he really didn't notice it right away, and the other gal had her requests on hot pink paper and was waving them to get his attention...thank you, thank you!

i can't believe it's been that long since he's played that live....will be trying a different set of songs for the chicago show....i've got a 10 pound bar of ghirardelli i just need time to get my handwriting with the white chocolate a little more fine i can ask for "throw your arms around me"

he was too he was looking thru the airplanes he told me he should play at least one....i showed him one that was script side down...with "locked out"....his face lit up and he said "ooh, we played that one!!" i told him that didn't he went back to trying to play "nails", asking the audience for the first chord, asking me if the chocolate had any drugs in them...i told him he could pretend that the edible gold i decorated them with was a hallucinogenic.....he was a little bummed it wasn't the real thing but accepted it like a trooper....then he fastened the airplane to his mike stand "for inspiration" i think he said...and kept it on for the last song too.....whatta guy!
It was very excellent to be back in the "Stardust Lounge" once again....i love the town hall and its red velvet chairs.
Our seats were too far away though....i didn't feel the excitement that i felt last July when i was pressed up against the stage!!!

Highlights: singing along to BBHS while Neil tried to remember the lyrics to nails (so many people knew the words!)

Not the Girl You Think You Are

The impromptu Hole in the River.....AWESOME!!!

Not a Highlight: Something So Strong. (sorry, even live, it sucks!)

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