Split Enz @ BrisbaneEntertainment Centre(07/06/06)
Tue 13th Jun, 2006 in Gig Reviews
I love it when an old band that you used to love years and years ago suddently rises from the ashes to allow you to relive the moment once again. Especially a band whose final concert in 1984 was one of the highlights of my teenage years. An avid fan of Split Enz since the beginning, I still have an original ticket to their final “Enz with a Bang” tour for Festival Hall on November 4th 1984. History sometimes repeats!
I naturally jumped at the chance to see these legends of vaudeville rock once more. As the traffic crawled along to the Entertainment Centre, my first thought was “Wow! I didn’t realise this many people loved them as much as I do”. The place was packed. I was amused to see a much older crowd than I am used to encountering at a concert, most of the patrons were as grey as the performers! But with another kiwi band, Evermore as the support act, this was a chance for parents to share the concert experience with their teenagers familiar with Evermore’s involvement in the soundtrack for every teeny boppers favourite show, the O.C.
I managed to catch the end of Evermore’s set and their O.C. hit ‘It’s Too Late’ followed by the new track ‘Running’ before the headliners appeared on stage. Wrapped in a rippling sheet of silver plastic Split Enz writhed onto the stage before breaking into their classic track ‘Shark Attack’. The lights dimmed down for the lyrical ‘Poor Boy’, followed by ‘One Step Ahead’ and then picked up the pace for an oldie from their Frenzy album called ‘Give it a whirl’.
By this time, the crowd in the seats down the front were all standing and dancing in the aisles and I noticed how innapporiate a venue the Entertainemnt Centre is for a rock concert. It has no ambience whatsoever and being restricted to numbered seating might be all very well for an orchestral performance, but does litte to enhance the musical experience and energy of a band as fantastic as Split Enz. I wanted to dance too, but was restricted to bopping madly in my seat for most of the show.
Fans of the Enz would have been well and truly satisfied with the two hour set. They played all the classics like ‘Six Months in a Leaky Boat’, “I Hope I Never”, ‘I See Red’, ‘Dirty Creature’ and my all time favourite ‘Message To My Girl’ which Neil dedicated to the memory of the Festival Hall gig all those years ago.
Both Tim and Neil Finn had their moment in the spotlight and the chance to showcase their respective talents with a few solo tracks from each while Noel Crombie once again entertained us with his marvellous spoon playing during ‘Straight Old Line’ which was one of the band’s later hits before they disbanded! Noel was also responsible once again for the bands’ costumes and stage design as well as the concert program which I bought for twenty bucks after the show. I also bought a T-shirt to add to my collection as I still have the 1984 one but sadly dropped it in the rush to get Evermore to sign a CD.
Two encores later and they finally played the compulsory track we had all been waiting for, finishing off a performance that was sentimental, inspired and timelessly brilliant; History never repeats, unless you are Split Enz.