You probably thought about this before: what is the concert that you would visit if you could travel back in time? My first ideas were always one by The Doors, Genesis when Peter Gabriel was still with them, or one by The Beatles. But to be honest, there’s one occasion that I really would sell my soul to the devil just to travel back in time.
That concert took place on November 24th, 1996, on the steps of the world famous Sydney Opera House. It was the farewell concert for Crowded House, one of Australia’s most famous bands. Splitting up already in 1994, the band got together once more for a last gig. Actually, it was two gigs. The original one was planned for November 23rd, but Australian weather did not really behave that night, so the gig was moved to Sunday. Whilst any other artist might have taken this as an excuse to go out and paint the town red, Crowded House decided to play the concert that night anyway for the few thousand fans that had turned up by then. There were a lot of people flying in from all over the world just for this concert, but couldn’t postpone their flight back home. This showed once more that Crowded House really cared about their fans.
It was a sunny day next day, and in front of over 120’000 fans (some of them attending the concert from their yachts in the harbour!), Crowded House gave their farewell to the world. I can only assume that it must have been a very intense experience. I have seen the video of the concert, and although it has some chilling moments, it probably doesn’t come close to the feelings those people there had. During their last song, Don’t Dream It’s Over, you can see people hugging each other and crying as if it was the end of the world. But then… it probably has been for some…
Singer and Songwriter Neil Finn has been pursuing a quite successful solo career since the breakup (a new album is already in the making), while Nick Seymour and Paul Hester have chosen family, painting or the occasional music project. The saddest point in Crowded House‘s history must be that day in 2005 when drummer Hester left this world by committing suicide. This was quite a shock, because to me he always seemed to be the happiest and funniest guy in the band… shows again that you can’t really see behind someone’s face.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the band’s farewell concert, and for this reason, a DVD and a Double-CD of the gig has just been released. While I know the concert only from VHS, I have been listening to the CD already, and it is a damn fine legacy of a band who created some of the best pop songs in music history.
I can’t give you any downloads, but two videos from that spectacle. Enjoy!
(I’ve tried to embedd those videos, but it just wouldn’t work… and I don’t have the nerve to try for longer! Sorry ’bout that.)
Oh yes… question remains: what concert would you go and visit if you could travel back in time?