Thursday, August 5, 2010
Hot Finn In The Summertime: Tim Finn @ City Winery
*Review written by Sal Nunziato & John Dunbar*
It's good news that Neil Finn has reunited Crowded House. It's a smart career move, as he gets to play to more people than he would under his own name. But at a Crowded House show, you'll only hear Crowded House material. At a Neil Finn solo show you could hear Split Enz, stuff from his solo albums, Finn Brothers tracks, as well as Crowded House faves. Seeing Tim Finn last night was a reminder of how much that deep catalogue is missed.
Thinking it was going to be a solo acoustic affair, seeing a full band was a nice surprise. Tony, Brett and Carlos on bass, guitar and drums respectively, were hot stuff. It was Carlos' first time in NYC--originally from Chile but living in Sydney---and he made quite an impression, falling into the mostly pop-oriented material with rhythms and fills that were loose and almost jazz-like. Tony seemed to exude the exuberant personality of the late Crowded House drummer Paul Hester, and even looked like a dirtier version of the man. And guitarist Brett seemed to effortlessly get three to four different sounds on his guitar per song, giving this 4 piece a sound that was much bigger, yet completely unintrusive. They really cooked on the Split Enz fave, "Dirty Creature."
Tim's voice is a bit odd now. He sounds jittery at times in his normal range, yet his falsetto is flawless, and he seems to have changed keys on a few songs. Yet, he is still a class act. He is warm and respectful of both his material and the listening audience. About 45 minutes in, he asked, "How many of you are on a date and have no idea who I am?"
The show was near-perfect. Finn made some brave choices at the Winery. Some songs that are terrific on record didn't bode as well live, "The Luckiest Man Alive" is one example. Some of the new arrangements of old classics were refreshing. "Stuff and Nonsense" and "Charlie" were both standouts, as was the rousing, "Many's The Time." Plus, the unxepected second encore of the Neil Finn-penned Split Enz track, "I Got You" made everyone, band included, very happy.
Here is Tim's version of the Hunters & Collectors track, "Throw Your Arms Around Me," a song that is a fan favorite, but did not make last night's set.
THROW YOUR ARMS AROUND ME