Neil Finn performing his Dizzy Heights Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Monday 5th May 2014.
Having been in the music industry for more than 35 years, Neil Finn has acquired a faithful following, a vast repertoire and some serious kudos. This latest concert at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall as part of his Dizzy Heights tour was further testament to an already distinguished career. Having first found fame with Split Enz, followed by Crowded House, and then with his brother in The Finn Brothers, he now writes and tours with his wife Sharon, in a group they formed called the Pajama Club. But this tour is solely about Neil Finn, a genuine superstar in his own right.
The show began with Finn on the piano and his six strong band jumping into Impressions, Dizzy Heights and Flying In The Face Of Love from the new album. With rich harmonies, contrasting rhythms and pleasant melodies, they were warmly received by this audience. There was an almost 3D looking psychedelic background which provided the set for the evening, which changed colours to match the mood of the song being performed, and which just added to the whole evening’s ambience.
Other new songs, White Lies And Alibis and Pony Ride took Finn’s often deep and melancholic twists into a new framework that with his distinctive light vocals, kept everyone captivated throughout.
Joining him on this tour are Andrew Everding, Tiny Ruins, backing vocalist Lisa Tomlins with her excellent vocal powers, drummer Alistair Deverick, the very versatile Jess Sheehan who wowed the audience with his ability to shine equally on piano, behind the mic and on the guitar and his wife Sharon on bass guitar. They all added to the feeling that for Finn, his music is very much a family affair.
Treating this near capacity audience to numbers from his Split Enz days; One Step Ahead, History Never Repeats, and a goose-bump inducing piano solo on Message To My Girl; it was I Got You that had this Nottingham crowd up on their feet and singing along.
To his credit the full Neil Finn playbook was available as the audience were also treated to offerings from the Finn Brothers with Only Talking Sense and Suffer Never, a Pajama Club song; Golden Child, but it was the Crowded House numbers that received the most cheers of course. Distant Sun was an early favourite and it was the young band members accompanying Finn that really gave the raw energy to these older classics which included Locked Out.
Switching between his trademark red guitar, an acoustic guitar and the piano throughout the evening served to show just how talented a musician he is. A subdued piano led version of Don’t Dream It’s Over allowed Finn to really show off the vocals that have kept him a stand out voice in music for so many years. And when it came to Fall At Your Feet and I Feel Possessed, he never sounded better.
An encore of History Never Repeats, World Where You Live, and Four Seasons In One Day seemed the perfect way to end such a huge show, but then a second encore captivated with Weather With You, whilst the achingly poignant She Goes On revealed Finn’s ability to hold the entire audience in the palm of his hand whilst performing solo on the piano. All too soon this set was brought to a close with the final song of the night being the anthemic Better Be Home Soon.
In this two hour plus show, Finn had reminded us (just in case we had forgotten) of his super talent as a singer, songwriter and his ability to captivate an audience. This concert was full of energy and humorous in-between song banter, and like wave after wave of the ocean he so likes swimming in, there was relentless playing of simply great tunes.