I hadn’t heard so many Australian and New Zealand accents since Christmas when I was visiting home. The accents belonged to fans of Crowded House, who had flocked to the venerable Beacon Theatre (74th and Broadway, in my old Upper West Side neighbourhood) to see the band on their first world tour since 1996.
The first time I saw Crowded House was in 1986 at the Tivoli on George Street with my friend Daniela. The venue closed shortly after but the band’s career took off. Then there was the farewell concert at the Opera House in 1996. My friend John Moore, who bought the tickets for last night’s show months ago, had watched the famous Opera House concert with me from a boat on Sydney Harbour. It was he who informed me that the band had a new album out. (I’m so out of the pop music loop I don’t even know if “album” is a word still used in this context …)
The sold-out show was two hours of enormous, uncomplicated, extraordinarily musical fun. I had goosebumps at how beautifully most of the material stands the test of time – testament to Neil Finn’s songwriting skills – and the band was full of energy and excitement to be playing live and in New York. If you have the chance, see them.