I last caught Liam Finn at The Crocodile a couple of years ago, and having missed his earlier performance in March this year, made it a hot priority not to miss this gig, part of his tour to promote his latest release, the aptly-named FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Opening act Marques Toliver was like no musician I’d ever experienced – nuanced, charming, and funny; he mixes classical violin, hip-hop and acapella as if alchemy.
Finn was joined onstage by his backing band, including his cohort in the Champagne in Seashells EP, Eliza-Jane Barnes. The setlist proved meandering, confrontational, and genre-defying, including searing experimental droning and melodic folk plunking alike. One of the best live musicians I’ve ever seen, Finn pours absolutely everything into his craft, delivering a manic, no-holds-barred set that features two drum kits (one manned by his younger brother Elroy), whimsical alternative percussion instruments, and his signature looping pedals. Finn is no stranger to jamming with huge musicians – his father is Neil Finn of Crowded House – and together they have played with the likes of Bic Runga, Ed O’ Brien and Jeff Tweedy as part of their side project, Seven Worlds Collide. In a great end to the set, he was joined onstage by Eddie Vedder for an encore that featured both Pearl Jam’s “Habit” and Split Enz’ own “I See Red”. If the audience response to the night was any indication, Finn will be paying another visit to our rockin’ city eventually – I hope it’s soon.
Liam Finn – Review & photos by Nicky Andrews
Check out a great YouTube video that’s doing the rounds