House Dreamers Are Waiting Tour
Crowded House have a different line up from years ago, but the cheery banter and indisputable talent have been a constant mainstay over the decades. Neil Finn, Nick Seymour, Mitchell Froom, Liam Finn and Elroy Finn make up the band on this Dreamers Are Waiting Tour with all of them, on this night indoors, breathing a collective sigh of relief not having to battle the cyclonic elements present at Geelong a few days earlier. Liam Finn, Neil’s son, adding a dynamic that is joyful and organic; Neil looking to his son with well-earned pride in his role as a key vocalist.
Nick, happy to be in hometown Melbourne “the spiritual home of origin”, regaled us with stories of past living addresses with both he and Neil telling us of the significant places where songs were written. The link between place and artistry important memories for the virtuosos. The creation of songs, great songs, has always been a mystery to those of us less talented. Songs that last the distance, lyrics linked to precious recollections and tunes that stop us in our tracks on any given day are part of our psyche, our being. To most Australians, many Crowded House songs fit the bill – hearing Don’t Dream it’s Over, Weather With You, Something So Strong, It’s Only Natural and World Where You Live is special, pop songs for sure, but an integral part of our societal foundation.
A lone, almost battered piano, sat on the left-hand side of the stage. On a platform bereft of screens, fancy lighting and theatrics, the piano stood out. It came into play during Split Enz’s Message to My Girl; Neil singing as purely and as beautifully as the time I saw him in the 2000s. Many special surprises were provided during the show including Noel Crombie playing “silverware” during Sister Madly, the “spunk of Lower Templestowe” Mark Seymour coming on for Throw Your Arms Around Me and the wonderful four-piece Greek band, Maistrato, accompanying Crowded House on Private Universe, Some Greater Plan and Four Seasons in One Day among others.
The audience were appreciative, phones only coming out occasionally indicating the age and the longevity of the band’s fan base. I Got You beginning the encore, another reward for those of the Split Enz era and the night rounding out with the glorious Better Be Home Soon – a fitting ending to a show big on nostalgia and collective enjoyment.