My birthday present from DD was supposed to be a Crowded House gig in Perth, but Mark McGowan ruined our plans.
DD is still waiting for his refund on those tickets, but he ponied up for two extra ones so I could see the band play at Sydney ICC on Tuesday night.
As we waited for them to come on stage, he asked how many times I’ve seen Neil Finn perform live. There have been so many gigs that I’ve lost count.
It all began way back when I was 13. I saw Split Enz on Countdown singing “I Got You” and was totally transfixed.
Other girls had posters of Simon le Bon on their walls but I had this …
Split Enz weren’t meant to be naked poster boys, but hats off to their PR team for giving it a red hot go. My raging teenage hormones were very grateful.
I spent one of my first Split Enz gigs standing in the lighting booth at the Newcastle Workers Club – after desperate parental wrangling – because I was too young to attend a licensed venue.
A few years later there was a farewell concert in Speers Point Park that none of my friends were allowed to attend because it was during the HSC … so my mum took me and got a thrill out of being breath tested on the way in and being gawped at by Tim Finn as she stood jammed against the stage with her powder blue cardy and grey, immaculately coiffed blow-dry.
A band came next called The Mullanes that lasted a blink of the eye, but just long enough for me – and maybe 20 other people – to watch perform at Belmont 16 Footers.
Then I became a cadet journalist at The Newcastle Herald and angled to go backstage to interview Neil after a Crowded House gig at the Palais. I embarrassed myself by having Absolutely. Nothing. Intelligent. To. Say.
Anyways, moving forward a few decades and endless gigs, Neil made me cry at a Foxtel Max Session at the Enmore Theatre. It was an intimate affair, maybe 100 people. The tears started when Neil sang Distant Sun. Such a beautiful song.
Since then, I tend to cry unexpectedly at most concerts.
It happens at the oddest times – James Reyne made me cry last year singing Hoochie Gucci Fiorucci Mama, which was a bit unexpected.
I was wondering when I’d cry at Crowded House this time around and it surprised me by happening the moment they stepped on stage. As they started singing the first bars of Weather With You, I blubbed with sheer delight.
Later I laughed when Neil revealed it was a bit awkward to sing the next song – When You Come – on stage with his sons (Liam on guitar, Elroy on drums).
How did I not realise that When You Come was a sex song? It’s about as obvious as Chrissie Amphlett singing I Touch Myself.
I will never listen to the rousing chorus of When You Come quite the same way again … and neither will his sons …
Anyways, it was an awesome concert, we had the bulkest of fun. DD was very pleased that they played his favourite Crowded House song, Silent House, which is a bit of a slow burn one he wrote with The Chicks (formerly the Dixie Chicks).
I was slightly worried about how many people would catch COVID at the concert, because there were 9000 fans crammed into the arena singing Don’t Dream Its Over at the top of their lungs.
I’m hoping the infectious joy outweighed the infectious germs. The band were so obviously delighted to be performing live again, Neil literally leapt into the air and clicked his heels at one point.
Live music is the BEST! Thank you for my awesome birthday gift DD!
And now I’m having a little rest for a few days. Have a great Easter and I’ll catch you on the other side.
Song of the day: Crowded House “When you come”