Liam Finn Live at the Exchange Hotel, Sydney, Australia
Liam Finn Live at the Exchange Hotel, Sydney, Australia

Mark and I went to see Liam Finn tonight at the Exchange Hotel in Darlinghurst. He’s the son of Neil Finn and I guess to an extent he was possibly damned whatever he did. Damned if he sounded too much like Crowded House, damned if he didn’t. As it was, he was a little of both.

Neither of us had much of an idea of what to expect. We knew he was Neil Finn’s son, but that was about it. We had watched him walk past us and was surprised at how short he was. We had seen the support act who was like Missy Higgins meets Diana ah Naid. We had heard the mood music which included everything from Phil Collins doing Sussudio to some contemporary dance. As a result of this, we had no idea what to expect.

So what did we think? Well, he’s a fantastic guitarist, a wonderful drummer, and an amazing musician who manages to do all of these things at once with amazing skill. In some ways, he’s bit of a one man band, even though he has an accompanying musician. The way he manages to use technology to allow himself to play drums, while his guitar loops, was just amazing. It was like Sonic Youth meets Nirvana. There were times when I had goose bumps.

His ballads, however, did nothing for me. And there was a lack of enthusiasm in the room for his quieter moments. It was almost like when he sounded too much like Crowded House the audience was disappointed.

One of the real highlights however was when Jimmy Barnes joined him on stage. Mark and I had seen Barnesy earlier in the night and had wondered if he was there purely to see the son of musical peers. Clearly he wasn’t, though, as he joined Liam and his offsider, EJ on stage for a “real screamer”.

For both Mark and I, the highlights, the really exciting moments were when he did the rock and roll thing, pounding the drums and making the guitars squeals. The lowlights were when he bored us with self-indulgent ballads. He’s incredibly engaging, very talented and you just know with his pedigree, he’s gonna be a star.

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