To NZ frenz - Should I take friends to the Neil and Liam shows or go alone

I would tend to agree. The setlists give you a good idea what to expect.

It is a fascinating gig for disciples wanting a view into what will be on the upcoming album and to be part of what is a really cool concept tour (small halls in tiny towns). I really enjoyed it personally.

It isn’t a great gig for those going to hear the hits though. My wife didn’t last the whole concert. Much was due to the heat (the Hall was tiny with no air conditioning) but the amount of new songs (which were largely slow) also wore her down. She said it may have been different if they played a few more ‘hits’ upfront (of the first 11 songs, 8 were new, 2 were Liam solo and only Sinner from Neil’s back catalog which she doesn’t like!). 

I see the set list has changed a bit since then and it may hold non-fans attention a bit more.

I guess it comes down to what your friends’ expectations of the concert are...

Sorry - I didn’t realise you were in Aussie. I reckon the setlists could be quite different over there (just a hunch). Conan won’t be in the band for the Aussie gigs for starters as he has his own solo tour in NZ. My gut feel was they were keen to roadtest all the new songs as part of what was quite a unique NZ tour, and will only play a few of the new ones that were received best, once they get to Aussie. I could be wrong but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case.

So I wouldn’t base your decision solely on the NZ gigs...

Option C -- Get new friends that like to watch musicians, you know, make music, as opposed to being human jukeboxes that are there just to play songs you already know and have them repeated exactly the same way as they are on the radio.

There didn't seem to be nearly as much crowd chatter at Paekakariki as has been described at other Kiwi shows. I took my father and he enjoyed himself, but pretty much just the old stuff and his assessment of most songs sung by Liam or Connan was "pretentious".

I hope the Aussie shows have a bit of a different set. Presumably there will be more old stuff for the much larger crowds for the Zoo shows in Sydney and Melbourne, and for the various festival sets. I wonder about Wollongong though. But in that case some of the newer stuff will be a fun novelty in between the Taronga shows.

This stream is fascinating ...

fully concur with the thoughts of those saying neil’s not a jukebox and needs to be able to explore where he’s going musically ...

but the reax to liam and conan is interesting...

conan has never floated my boat personally and ive wondered if he’s a mate of liam’s who’s got himself into the inner circle...

liam i find a more interesting beast ... some really good early promise who has been a solid performer but who hasnt really kicked on in recent years ... have to admit i have high expecatjons of his contributions to the upcoming album but am rather uneasy after reading some of this.

IMHO i was underwhelmed by his producing on out of silence (reasons in other threads) but found his drumming on chameleon days close to a highlight because i think neil’s rhythm section has been weakest on his past couple of albums... so i was hopeful of him bringing something strong to the playing side of things. I’d have hoped we’d be starting to see it now in these performances but from the looks of this thread im not sure.

then again, keep expectations low and be pleasantly surprised. 




Connan is absolutely a divisive figure! But he is more than just someone in the circle around Liam. He has worked with and contributed to albums by James Blake and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The last tour Charlotte Gainsbourg did was a collaboration with Connan, he was here bandleader. And the most recent album of Charlotte (a great album) was partially written by Connan. 

I've have seen him multiple times in concert. He is a very weird guy, not completely on this earth. But very unique, really preferable to millions of sincere singer songwriters   I really like his contributions, and recommend seeing him live.

Having heard a snippet of one of the newer tracks over on Insta, I'm keen to hear a bit of the new stuff, but also love some of the classic Enz/CH/solo Neil stuff too - the Aussie shows will hopefully have a good mix of old and new. Will be interesting to see how the festival gigs differ from the other shows in terms of set list.


So. Freaking. PUMPED for next month! *happy dance*

I've only seen Connan on the Out of Silence stream, but based on that I'm relieved that he won't be coming to Melbourne.

Haven't really made it through a Liam album yet... Ummm how many are there?

I am intrigued to find out what collaborating with dad has brought out of him as a songwriter.

I like new material best, or album tracks like Driving Me Mad. 

As for the OP's question... Hmm I would go alone and maybe meet some Frenz.

So far FOMO is the only album I have, but I'll get others based on that one - I really like it! He's not everyone's thing though, I get that.

I've heard snippets of Connan's stuff and couldn't get into it; even Neil described his music as an "acquired taste" in an interview on YouTube ("Records In My Life" is the name of the video of memory serves me correctly).

Byrds Talk to Me posted:


Haven't really made it through a Liam album yet... Ummm how many are there?

I am intrigued to find out what collaborating with dad has brought out of him as a songwriter.


Well, he has I'll Be Lightning, FOMO and the Nihilist, plus an ep with EJ Barnes, a couple of live cd's , plus the Betchadupa stuff, so he's been pretty prolific. He's very capable of writing sublime pop, and just as likely to indulge in some "freakout" noise, so there's always a mixed bag. I honestly think some of his pop songs rank right up there with his dad's.

Steve Shealy posted:
Byrds Talk to Me posted:


Haven't really made it through a Liam album yet... Ummm how many are there?

I am intrigued to find out what collaborating with dad has brought out of him as a songwriter.


Well, he has I'll Be Lightning, FOMO and the Nihilist, plus an ep with EJ Barnes, a couple of live cd's , plus the Betchadupa stuff, so he's been pretty prolific. He's very capable of writing sublime pop, and just as likely to indulge in some "freakout" noise, so there's always a mixed bag. I honestly think some of his pop songs rank right up there with his dad's.

Yeah... I think Liam is really under-rated. He has been putting out well crafted, quality songs since he was a teen. He won't be everybody's taste, because he can go down some fairly unique musical paths (being a Neil fan won't mean you will instantly become a Liam fan). But as Steve said, he has already produced some killer pop songs that are up there with Neil's. 

I think Liam influences Neil more these days than vice versa. Liam was immersed in Neil's musical world from the moment he was born, and it must have had a major influence on how he developed as a songwriter and musician. But Liam has been very much his own man for a long time, and I think Neil is now keen to let Liam and his collaborators (such as Connan, James Milne etc,,,) influence his own songwriting.  

The more I reflect on the Where's My Room gig I went to, the moreI wish I could have attended more. For me, the new songs are not ones that instantly hit you, but I could see them really growing on me over time. It is those sort of songs that often become my favourites. The new songs did feel like they would be very much at home on Liam's The Nihilist (with the exception of Listen - which could have fitted nicely into Neil's Out of Silence)

I am keen to see if they feature as prominently in the Aussie sets as the NZ ones, and to hear more opinions on them.

I've always rated Liam as a live performer more than a studio artist. I enjoy a fair number of his songs, but I rarely return to them. His gigs, however, are endlessly entertaining, and if anything he seems relatively restrained with his dad - but "relatively" is the key word there.

I never expected Connan to be part of this circle though. I keep a fairly close eye (ear?) on new music coming out of NZ and always thought Connan wrote over-hyped incoherent junk. I've found some of Neil's recent choices of younger artists to support to be questionable. Connan, at least, just isn't to my taste; Kirin J. Callinan is finally being shown up for the unsavoury person that anybody in the Melbourne music scene always knew he was.

Getting back to the original posting, I am curious if you ended up going alone or taking friends to the the gig Fell Over On The Couch again???

The setlist looked like a pretty good crowd pleaser, with even some Beatles thrown in for good measure at the end! Just going by the setlist on it looked like a fantastic show.

How did you enjoy it? Any thoughts on the 4 new songs that were played? 

Hi Whysus

I went to 2 Neil and Liam shows this week. The first was at Taronga Zoo on Sunday accompanied by my 9 year old son. To be honest the crowd just didn't seem that into it. The jokes seemed to fall flat , the singalongs to the likes of Four Seasons seemed a bit half hearted. Liam even commented that the crowd should sing louder and that they were a bit comfortable. You could attribute this somewhat maybe to the picnic-style setting. More than a few people who were sitting near us left well before the end of the show seemingly frustrated by the new songs.

I did end up going with a friend from work and her partner to the Thirroul show (we're Wollongong folk - my mum grew up in Thirroul and used to attend the movies in what is now Anita's Theatre) and the atmosphere could not have been more different. There was a good buzz in the room from the outset , the singalongs to the hits were full throttled (Liam commented that they were the best on tour so far) and the covers medley of Those Were The Days , Killing Me Softly With His Song , Hey Jude , Blackbird and Back In The USSR at the end had the crowd really belting it out.

As far as the new songs go the pick seems to be Where Is My Room which is pretty funky if maybe slightly let down by a downbeat coda. My overall impression is the new songs are a bit nothing-y. I really want to like them but at best they're growers, not showers which can be fine when you're listening to them for the 10th time alone but can suck the momentum out of a concert.

My friends' verdicts were along the lines of the concert was great except for the new songs.

My 9 year old's verdict was - "now that's what I call a concert" but also "they should've opened with a more uptempo song."






Thanks for those reviews! Interesting how different the vibe was between the two gigs.

The Thirroul one sounded like it was pretty special.

I completely get what you are saying about the new songs - I’m confident they will be growers once the album is out but you are right- they can affect the momentum of the concert. 

I think back to the Finn Brothers shows when they were still writing and trying out the "Everyone Is Here" songs. The songs evolved and changed and even the Visconti productions vs the Froom versions made enormous differences to the appeal of the various songs. Eventually "EIH" has become on of the favorite Finn-related albums of all time.

While the new Neil/Liam songs are obviously not attempting to be the same kind of melodic/harmonic/pop that the Finn Brothers were attempting, we've seen all the various Finn's try out new material and evolve them live, in demos stages and various takes in the studio - and then evolve them further over the years live. 

Like Dylan, you get a sense that Finn songs are never really finished, just abandoned when time is up in the studio and what feels right at the moment is captured. They remain works in progress from that point on and very few people would agree on the "definitive" version of most Finn-related songs. It's not as often the official studio version that everyone loves most more than one would expect. Many times it's an earlier demo or a much later live version.

Neil and Liam are trying some experimental material with interesting changes and harmonies that challenge the ears. That's usually not the preferred approach from Neil Finn/Crowded House fans, but Neil has proven time and again that he cares little for expectations and follows his muse where it leads him. I wasn't crazy about the studio recording of "Divebomber," but the first live performances back 2013 solo on piano are stunning and elevated it to one of my favorites of his compositions. Many of the "Dizzy Heights" songs reveal themselves in stripped down performances for the wonderful songs they are. I think it's clear any "sameness" to the "Out of Silence" recordings have nothing to do with the song quality and had those same songs been produced and arranged like/by Crowded House, they would be seen differently - even though they are the same songs. 

I'm very curious to see where they land with this new material in the studio. Perhaps these live shows will help them understand how to best arrange and present each song, much like the Finn Brothers (and Neil/CH) have done with so many new songs over the years. Maybe the final studio recording won't excite everyone, but then, a year later when Neil plays one of the songs solo on his guitar it suddenly hits you. 

The work of the family Finn is something to live with, to grow with, to allow to evolve and revisit as they do. 99% of the time, I end up finding the gold, the value of the song and fall in love with it - or, at the very least, marvel at the breadth and scope of his artistic aspirations. 

Looking forward to the new album. I love that Neil isn't resting on his laurels and, like Paul Simon, Nick Cave, Bob Dylan and others, he's still obviously so interested in music and songs and pushing his art to new places. That's the mark of true artist - as well as a great one.

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