Falling For Crowded House- All Over Again

I am listening to live concert footage of the ’96 Crowded House Farewell concert at the Sydney Opera House (while I work on my bloody spreadsheets) and I am falling in love with them all over again.

I wasn’t there (sniffle) but I was lucky enough to go to the concert before it at the Horseshoe. I was actually employed at the time (!) so I cajoled my brother into waiting in line at the venue (in the rain) in order to score tickets.

A bunch of friends (and friends of friends) did the same so there was a large group of us. And just in case you were wondering, I gave my brother one of the tickets for being such a good sport.

I came by my adoration organically. I was a fan of Split Enz (who doesn’t love I Got You?) so it was natural to follow Neil Finn to Crowded House.

It kills me to see footage of them performing in small bars the size of my living room for their first album. At the time, Toronto was too far away for me to get to. The “big city” is only about a three hour drive (shorter if you are a maniac) but it wasn’t going to happen with very traditional (strict) Chinese parents who kept us on a very short leash.

The first time I saw them was in Hamilton for Temple of Low Men. I dragged people I didn’t even know to the concert with me because I was not going to miss the opportunity. It was amazing. As a bonus fry, Sheryl Crow opened. (Opened!!)

Since that first time, I have seen the band in its many incarnations and individually, Neil on his own, Neil with Tim, Neil with his son Liam, Liam on his own- upwards of 20 times….

Yes, I may be a little obsessed- but not in the pathological sense.

I have seen them with friends, on my own, with strangers… I hadn’t planned to go to their concert at The Danforth Music Hall May 2008 (since I had just seen them in 2007 at Massey Hall) but a friend had an extra ticket and I couldn’t let it go to waste.

I sat with a friend of his that I knew only casually (not sure if I could even pick him out of a crowd) but it was hysterical. We sang through the entire thing, yelled requests for them to do Throw Your Arms Around Me by Nick’s brother’s band Hunters and Collectors and repeatedly screamed (under our breath) if Neil would be my baby daddy (not in those words). I am sure the people sitting around us would have clubbed us over the head if they could get away with it. Thankfully Crowded House fans are generally not of the violent sort.

Would I see them again?

In a heartbeat.

They are not just a studio band and there is none of that recorded I’m-just-going-to-sleepwalk-through-my-set bullsh!t. They are such good musicians and Neil is such an amazing songwriter- highly underrated. When he performs with Nick, they will often come up with a impromptu songs about what they did before coming on stage.

I wish Youtube was around when they performed at the Horseshoe. They threw together a bit about Queen Street. Incredibly clever but I have a memory like a sieve and remember nothing about it other than it was about Toronto.

I have been going through hoards of stuff at my place and found some souvenirs from the concert in Sydney my friend brought back for me. I forgot I even had them.

Oh la, I can’t wait to see them again….

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~ by angryegg on January 12, 2010.

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