Liam Finn w/ The Drab Doo-Riffs

Thursday August 11 - ReFuel, Dunedin

Fresh from releasing the awaited follow up to 2008’s treasured I’ll Be Lightning, it was a typically energised and affable Liam Finn who appeared onstage to celebrate the release of FOMO last Thursday night. With his new material simultaneously showing growth, maturity, and a realisation of the value of restraint, it was oddly fitting that Finn’s audience was significantly non-student, filled with those financially stable enough to brave the steep $45 door sales. While it wasn’t exactly a Pink Floyd tribute concert, the influx of balding males at a spritely 8pm certainly wasn’t the usual Re:Fuel experience.
Unfortunately for many who attended, as the venue reached capacity, it become near impossible for most to see the diminutive Finn and his band, featuring brother Elroy on drums, frequent collaborator Eliza-Jane Barnes on vocals and percussion and Jol Mulholland on bass duties. Thankfully, Finn’s natural charisma shone through as he opened with the familiar ‘Better to Be’ and ‘Second Chance’. Previously relying on a clever manipulation of loops in his one-man-band incarnation, with a competent accompaniment solidifying each song, Finn was free to let loose both instrumentally and vocally.
With the crowd warmed up, Finn changed pace, turning to his new FOMO material. Whether due to lack of exposure or lack of enthusiasm, the material seemed to fall slightly flat - lacking the casual abandon of “I’ll Be Lightning”. With looped piano leading the gentle pop of ‘Real Late’, Finn began to literally bounce, the crowd grooving with him, smiles plastered on faces.
After an hour or more of consummate performance and musicianship, and a pseudo encore of “just four more songs” the night drew to close with a rousing crowd-assisted ‘Gather to the Chapel’. Whether a fan or biased reviewer, its hard to fault a performer who delivers live in the same manner as Liam Finn. After all, this was the FOMO tour. I’m afraid you missed out.

Posted 11:38pm Monday 22nd August 2011 by Sam Valentine.