I have never been a die hard fan of Tim and Neil Finn. I always accepted that they are gifted songwriters (Neil probably much more so than Tim) and acknowledged that between the two of them they had created a number of great popsongs within their various attempts of collaboration within Split Enz and Crowded House, and their recent album in the guise as The Finn Brothers. Everyone is here left me pretty much untouched as it lacked any gems that were the hallmarks of their last work. Nevertheless, when the Finns announced 4 dates in New Zealand to promote their latest oevre, I found myself booking tickets for me and my significant other to see them at the nearest venue, the friendly university town of Dunedin which is just an hour down the road from the 120 year old cottage we call home (and my s.o. calls "Geek Central {well, ok, so I have 5 computers, a telescope, Wifi etc, but who doesn't?}). I was curious to see what those living Kiwi Legends looked like from a close distance, whether they aged gracefully and what they would choose to play from such a huge back catalogue.

Dunedin Town Hall is a 95 year old, rather ugly mock victorian place and pretty unsuitable for modern music with its echoy high ceilings, the oddly shaped galleries and stuccoed walls, but as it has a rather small footprint, only about 1000 people fit in, making the whole thing rather intimate. The stage was tastefully lit, and after the Phoenix Foundation finished its half hour in the limelight, on came a


Yep, you heard right. The stage was entered by a furry donkey, obviously powered by two tall humans stuck inside. Then the donkey vanished again and out came the Finn's with their band. Please don't ask me to analyse that bizarre opener.

So, apart from that little oddity, how was the concert?

Well, I clapped, whooped, danced, laughed and cried. It was genuinely one of the most intense experiences of my life and I am delighted that I was there that night. They had a nice choice of songs, ranging from their Split Enz days via Crowded House to their current album. A pretty tight 3 piece backup band gave them the necessary sonic background. Even though their drummer was pretty competent, he still had to play against drum loops during the newer songs, and I'm pretty sure I heard some midi generated synth tracks in the back once or twice. After the first 13 songs the brothers came back and did a small acoustic encore comprising of three songs, before coming out again and doing another 3 songs together with the rest of the group, dedicating Better be home soon to their departed friend Paul Hester.


  • Part of Me
  • Homesick
  • Message to my girl
  • Six months in a leaky boat
  • A life between us
  • Won't Give In
  • Suffer Never
  • Time for a change
  • There goes God
  • Angels Heap
  • Nothing wrong with you
  • It's only Natural
  • Anything can happen
  • Encore #1:
  • World where you live
  • What's the matter with you
  • I Got You
  • Encore #2:
  • I See Red
  • Better be home soon
  • Weather with you

Quintessence: ten out of ten from the significant other (who is not really into that sort of thing) and me. See them if you can and prepare for a wonderful emotional rollercoaster.