Awesome review Sean, thanks for sharing.
I too was at the show at the Budweiser stage last night, and would like to offer my 100% biased opinion. Yesterday was hands down, THE BEST Crowded House performance I have ever seen/heard (live or recorded, from any era) and THE BEST concert experience of my life; I’ve been lucky enough to see quite a few concerts and festivals (of all shapes and sizes, and in different parts of the world) including some of the biggest names in music (U2, Genesis, Coldplay, John Mayer, Clapton, Peter Gabriel, Wilco, Springsteen, etc.), and this was hands down THE BEST.
There was undeniable magic in the air, and Neil was visibly happy, and having a great time throughout the night. Maybe he was in a celebratory mood because of his birthday, or just happy to be back in Toronto (albeit briefly), or maybe he’s thrilled to finally be at arms length of wrapping up this never ending tour supporting DAW… who knows?
Highlights from the evening were:
1. Neil’s singing - he swung for the fences and never missed! His singing on Message to My Girl was easily the best he’s done over the past 40+ years. Mitchell provided a very cool and discrete background organ on that one.
2. The New (unreleased songs) - WOW!!! I think we got 3 new songs altogether. Each one better than the previous one. The last of the three featured Liam on main vocals and I can say without a doubt, this song can easily be a hit, and will quickly become a fan favorite upon release. The energy with which the band played these songs has not been witnessed in the CH camp since the late 80’s.
3. Musicianship - Perfection!!! The only slight snag I noticed (maybe) was during Love This Life; I want to say that Mitchell was playing parts of the song in the wrong key, but I also don’t dare question the master architect himself. (I’m pretty sure something weird was going on and maybe it wasn’t as noticeable to others). Anyone who has questioned Liam or Elroy’s abilities or qualifications as fully fledged band members, is simply wrong. With all do respect to Mark and Matt, this lineup exceeds all expectations.
4. Setlist - great selection of songs all around. Although they basically ignored Time On Earth and Intriguer (except for a mention of Nick’s Teddy Bear on the cover), they created an almost perfectly balanced setlist of old and new songs. The flow was seamless, and although I understand a lot of people won’t react the same way to To The Island as they will to Weather With You, the crowd of thousands was All In. People around me were singing, clapping, smiling and enjoying every minute of this 2-hour sonic-buffet, without any signs of boredom.
I would have loved another 20-30 min. and given the chance obviously would have added other songs to the setlist. Still, Crowded House allowed us to indulge while leaving us wanting more.
I can’t wait for what’s next. Neil and Co. are in their prime, and NOT showing any sings of slowing down!