Crowded House 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the formation of the band as well as the 20th anniversary of their Farewell to the World show at the Sydney Opera House (which I attended along with over 100,000 other people). To celebrate these milestones and their induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame, the band not only remastered and released deluxe editions of all their studio albums, but also announced four exclusive Encore concerts on the Sydney Opera House Forecourt from 24-27 November. These shows sold out super quick as they were limited to 6,000 tickets per night. I was fortunate enough to attend the Friday, Saturday and Sunday night shows, with assorted friends joining me on each night.
Kirin J Callinan. Having seen Kirin live before I knew it was going to be interesting to see how the crowd reacted to his set. He was a vision on stage with his bleached mullet and tight mustard tank top and grey slacks on Friday night, and sunset colored ombré suit on Saturday and Sunday nights. Joined by a band for most of his set I thought he kept the creepy factor toned down. His singing was quite strong and the band sounded good. The highlight of each night was his last song "The Toddler," which he did solo, shirtless and without any music. He asked the audience to use its imagination as he sang and danced to the beat in his head. It was amazing to watch and by the end I thought he had won over the majority of the crowd.
The main set closed each night with a huge sing along to "Don't Dream It's Over" (Matt tapping on the perspex wall between him and Mark on Friday night was pretty funny) and "Distant Sun," which was one of my highlights of the shows due to the blistering extended guitar solos by Neil and Mark. For the encore the band emerged onto the stage by running out in a bit of a race each night. Besides the 1-2 songs played with Tim, they did "World Where You Live," and on Saturday night after persistent requests from a member of the crowd they attempted "Now We're Getting Somewhere" with no rehearsal (it wasn't that bad). The closing song each night was "Better Be Home Soon." On Sunday night Neil threw in a verse of Carole King's "I Feel The Earth Move" before the final extended crowd singalong to "... home soon." Then we were treated to planned fireworks behind the Sydney Opera House before the band took their final bow and left the stage.
We hung around afterwards and Mary and I managed to get a photo with Nick on Friday night, and on Saturday I was able to tell Mark how much I enjoyed his ARIA Hall of Fame speech where he joked Crowded House are really an American band (an argument I've been making since Matt joined the band). While this may have been the final farewell, Neil did say "And we will meet again" so that is promising. Hopefully it's not another six years before they return to play live again.