"The Spaghetti Incident?"

Set lists and a little bit of Rock

Saturday, 29 March 2008

It Never Enz

Stuff Review of Split Enz Wellington Concert by Heather McCracken

It wouldn't be a Split Enz show without something weird and unexpected to start - in this case, a shuffling blob.

The billowing gold beast bobbed onto stage at Vector Arena before six members of the reunited band burst out, grinning wildly.

It was the first Auckland show for the New Zealand reunion tour, following a sold-out Wellington concert.

And there was no easing into it, with 55-year-old Tim Finn throwing himself around like a man chased by bees for the opening track, Shark Attack.

Little brother Neil took his turn on the microphone next with One Step Ahead and Give It A Whirl.

"It feels great already," Tim told the crowd. "This is going to be a good one."

In matching cream suits, the band known for their other-worldly style looked surprisingly demure.

But Noel Crombie's influence could still be seen in the billowing clouds of coloured fabric on the changing backdrop.

I Hope I Never and Message To My Girl were greeted with hand waving and syncronised swaying.

But it was Tim and Neil's harmony on the piano-led Stuff and Nonsense that produced the first genuine goosebump moment of the night.

"That was phenomenal, Tim," screamed an appreciative fan.

Not to be outdone, Noel Crombie took the spotlight for a show-stealing solo on the spoons, backed by Eddie Raynor on piano.

It was a two-hour set with no dull moments, and a celebration of a band overflowing with talent.

When Tim brought the crowd to its feet with Six Months In a Leaky Boat, Neil responded with I Got You.

The main set ended with an I See Red eruption.

Nobody even sat down before the first encore, (Charlie, That Was My Mistake) featuring a 'sing after me' session with Tim and a delightfully eccentric guitar solo from Crombie.

The second time they returned to the stage it was to remind us of the quirky brilliance of Bold As Brass, and wrap up beautifully with History Never Repeats.

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