Crowded House brings down Queen E

Post by Kerri Brkich in

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Eighties favourites Crowded House impressed at the Queen E Theatre last week

Most concerts focus on the spectacle—dance routines, costume changes, pyro—an over glorified music video, where the music almost seems secondary. Entertaining? Absolutely. But it also makes a concert experience, like the one I had on August 29th, stand out even more—because it wasn’t the “norm”, it was intimate: 3,000 fans, not 60,000. No fireworks, just amazing musicians. And there were multiple guitar changes, not over-the-top costume changes.

Crowded House played to a sold out audience at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. I managed to get 4th row, centre stage tickets and I was close enough to see every expression on Neil Finn’s face. I’m not going to lie, this is going to be an extremely biased concert review, because I love Crowded House. But even if I didn’t, there could be no denying the brilliant musicality and musicianship that this band has, complete with a song catalogue that makes you smile, ache, and yearn—sometimes all at the same time.

Neil Finn, Nick Seymour, and Mark Hart are now joined by Matt Sherrod on drums. (Original drummer Paul Hester, one of the original "faces" of the band took his own life in 2005 after a long struggle with depression.) Remembered for hits in the 80’s and early 90’s, the band took almost a ten year hiatus—disbanding in 1996 and reforming in 2006 to release Time On Earth. Their latest tour supports 2009’s Intriguer, and the concert featured many new songs from the album, all of which were amazing. If the last song you remember from this band is “Something So Strong”, I urge you to get these last two albums—melodic and edgy at the same time, they are incredibly strong.

The concert itself was phenomenal. The on-stage chemistry, easy banter, and obvious joy at playing together in front of a live audience were unmistakable. The newer songs like “Pour Le Monde”, “Silent House”, and “Archer’s Arrows” easily blended with the older catalogue.

And they brought the house down with their older hits like “Don’t Dream it’s Over”, “World Where You Live”, and “When You Come”. My personal favourite was a reworked version of “Private Universe” that absolutely stopped the show. To me, Woodface is their ultimate album and “Fall at Your Feet”, “Weather with You”, “How Will You Go” and “Four Seasons in One Day” gave me goosebumps. I was pretty much euphoric for the entire time they played and I’ve been humming their songs for the past two days.

If anything could have been improved upon, it would have to be the fun police at the Queen E Theatre who actively tried to stop people from dancing. You could feel the pent up energy, and when the band came back for their encore there was no quieting the crowd, who finally got up, danced and sang with abandon, and showed the band their love and appreciation.

The band gave it back in spades. Crowded House played from about 8:20 pm until 10:30 pm, and only quit because of the noise bylaw restrictions. You got the feeling that if they could’ve played every song they knew, they would have gladly kept going. The final song of the evening was “Better Be Home Soon” and when the crowd sang back to the band the acoustics at the Queen E sounded amazing—a night to remember for sure. And if you fondly remember this Aussie (with one Kiwi) band from your youth, rediscover them. You won’t regret it.

- post by Kerri

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