Getty | New Line Neil Finn has penned a new track for the upcoming film The…
- Posted on Jul 20th 2010 10:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
Andy Sheppard, Redferns
"We feel 'The Intriguer' has been present in our lives once more," Finn said, referencing the fictional character for whom the group's latest album -- its sixth overall and second since reuniting in 2007 -- was named.
According to a cartoon posted on the Crowded House website, the Intriguer is "uncanny and unseen," prone to popping up from time to time and "leaving peculiar shadows and odd little signs" in one's life. He's a funny sort of mascot for the Melbourne quartet, in other words. Finn's group is many things -- tuneful and tasteful are adjectives that immediately spring to mind -- but mischievous isn't one of them.
Since 1985, Finn has specialized in impeccable, if somewhat inert, pop songs. He's like a more wistful, contemplative version of Squeeze frontman Glenn Tilbrook, and Monday night, even when the native New Zealander let loose on his Les Paul and showcased guitar heroism nearly on par with his melodic skills, he was never in danger of rumpling his starchy white suit.
"They said I look more like the head waiter on the Titanic than a singer," Finn said at one point, quoting a critic's recent concert review. "I'm just glad I'm the head waiter."
Monday night's menu consisted of some 25 selections, including 'Intriguer' tracks and such old favorites as 'Fall at Your Feet' and 'Weather With You.' Finn welcomed his son Liam on 'Say That Again' and 'English Trees' and jammed with wife Sharon on 'Isolation' and 'Archer's Arrows,' making the middle portion of the show a family affair.
Unlike a lot of bands known for one or two massive hits, Crowded House still thrills diehards with its signature tune, the 1987 smash 'Don't Dream It's Over.' That song's sing-along extended out into the hallway, where the seemingly larger-than-capacity crowd spilled out in the stairwell separating the Bowery's performance space and underground lounge.
Finn spent the latter half of the four-song encore behind a keyboard, moving jauntily through a cabaret-ska version of 'Chocolate Cake' -- featuring updated lyrics about Lindsay Lohan, not original celebrity laughingstock Tammy Bakker -- and taking a reflective stroll through 'Elephants,' the final song on the new album.
The lines, "Let's admit the world don't care about us/It's acting like we don't exist," were reminiscent of "When the world comes in/they come, they come/to build a wall between us," the chorus from 'Don't Dream It's Over,' only Finn's narrator is older and more fatalistic. He's no longer the victim of a malicious world, but rather an indifferent one. Maybe his apartment burned down, too.