Crowded House bring the sunshine to The Piece Hall

Posted on 23 June 2024
By Frank Ralph
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Crowded House played to a packed house at The Piece Hall, and yes, they brought some glorious weather with them, which made a welcome change to the opening shows of the 2024 summer series, that had all been somewhat wet. 

Opener Liam Finn, son of Neil, pulled a double shift as he’s also a full-time member of the headliners. Looping drums and guitars to create sonic soundscapes he created some fantastic, dreamy music. He cut loose on the drum kit and fired guitar solos at the sun that was beaming down at him making it hard to even open his eyes.  

It was a pleasant enough set, but he seemed to struggle engaging the audience. This could have been a wonderful opportunity for a local band like The Hazy Janes to play the opening slot and make a bunch of new fans so maybe that was a missed opportunity. 

Crowded House, and namely Neil Finn, got a hero’s welcome when they took the stage. The Antipodeans have held a cherished place in many people’s hearts for the last 4 decades and their 1991 album Woodface is a classic of the time.  

Stood in front of a massive piece of artwork that resembled a Black Metal band logo made from pipe cleaners, their sound was full and engaging. Liam Finn’s guitar soundscapes proved a lot more successful as part of the band than they had earlier.  

The pace of the set was pitched perfectly, allowing fans to bask in the sun and let the music wash over them. Featuring a chunk of tracks from their new Gravity Stairs album, alongside fan favourites and throwbacks to the Split Enz era the 2-hour set flew by in no time.  

Sharing dad-jokes with the crowd, and toying with the BSL interpreter they had everyone laughing in between songs. Neil in particular seemed very taken with one of the signs on the balcony at the Piece Hall, so you can probably expect a new song about ‘Independent Businesses to Explore on Every Floor’ on their next album. 

The closing salvo, in the perfect setting, as the sun set was something dreams are made of. ‘Distant Sun’, ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ and the unforgettable ‘Weather with You’ are all masterclasses in perfect pop songwriting and hearing them being sung back to the band by the audience was a special moment. 

This show was a perfect storm of weather conditions, music and atmosphere, and showed how this music in this setting is unbeatable.