Monday, September 13, 2010

Neil Finn at Largo

This was our makeup show. Neil, the gentleman that he is, put us on the list for Sunday night’s show after the problems we had at the Crowded House concert in San Diego. And what a great way to say I’m sorry. Both shows (Saturday and Sunday) were sold out and with the room only seating about 220 people you can imagine how tough it was to get a ticket.
I have seen Neil with a band, with his brother Tim and with Crowded House. This was my first solo (although he wasn’t alone all night) show. What a treat it was to just see him. But, Neil is Neil. If you’ve seen him perform, you know, it really doesn’t matter who is around him. He is up there putting on a show and having lots of fun. The first hour or so of the set was dedicated to rarities; songs he hasn’t sung in years. Not owning everything Neil, I’m not sure I recognized a single song. But it didn’t matter. He is such a talented songwriter, all of the songs were instantly enjoyable.
The show kicked into a higher gear when he brought out Jon Brion to accompany him. Jon is himself pretty amazing. Bouncing between piano and guitar he played some fantastic licks throughout the evening. Taking it up a notch, Neil brought out Grant-Lee Phillips. I’m not sure which was the bigger highlight for me, Grant-Lee singing harmonies on “Only Talking Sense” or trading lead vocals on “Four Seasons in One Day”. Neil also brought out Sebastian Steinberg on upright bass and a drummer who’s name I missed.
Maybe the biggest surprise that evening was the computer. Given that Largo is so anti electronics (phones/cameras/etc.) I was shocked that they actually had an Internet connection. Next thing we know, Neil is calling Tim on Skype and after chatting for awhile, Tim and friends in NZ were performing with Neil and friends in L.A. It was pretty amazing and worked really well.
The evening pretty much ended with covers. First the Talking Heads classic, “Road to Nowhere” and coming back for their encore with David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream”.
And I can't end this without talking about some of the funny moments. The sound guy, Jesse, had to come down from the balcony to adjust the microphone so that Neil wasn’t playing his mandolin, uhmmm, between his legs (that turned into a very funny moment as I’m sure you can imagine). Grant-Lee bopped onto stage and when asked if he knew the song they were about to play, said, “No” and then bopped off again. He also showed his willingness to serve Neil, dropping to his knees to sing into the guitar mic when it appeared there wasn’t a microphone for him. It was that kind of evening. One I’ll remember for a long time.

6 comments:

Jenny G. said...

I believe that the drummer was Matt Chamberlain! Did you stay for the all-request Neil/Jon/Grant/Sebastian after show in The Little Room? If not, here's the set-list:

01 - For The Turnstiles
02 - Ashes To Ashes
03 - Stairway To Heaven
04 - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
05 - Everybody's Talkin'
06 - For No One
07 - Rocky Racoon
08 - It's Not Unusual
09 - Daydream Believer
10 - Time Of The Season
11 - Sunny Afternoon
12 - Honey Don't Think
13 - Stayin' Alive/Billie Jean
14 - Three Little Birds
15 - Wave Of Mutilation
16 - Your Song
17 - Miss You/Popcorn

Bruce Greenberg said...

As Neil mentioned, it was a school night and my wife is a teacher. :-( Sounds like way too much fun.

Randy said...

Is this set available for download anywhere, or can someone help me get a copy? I would sincerely appreciate it!

Randy said...

Is this set available for download anywhere, or can someone get a copy to me? I'd sincerely appreciate it!!!

Bruce Greenberg said...

The odds are that there is no recording. Largo is very strict about having no electronic devices on.

crb said...

There are recordings of the main set of both nights on Jane Music.

Music Hall Link - Alejandro Escovedo listen