Fans of Crowded House are well catered for with the Christmas season looming, with the release of both this 2 Disc CD set and an equivalent double DVD set, commemorating the 10th anniversary of their legendary farewell concert at the Sydney Opera House in 1996, played in front of 120,000 fans at one of the most spectacular and memorable large outdoor gigs to have ever been staged in Australasia.
Despite being a live recording, the sound is superb, beautifully mixed, and is an excellent demonstration of just what talented musicians they all are. With the band in top form, they run through two dozen of their favourite hits, including 'Weather With You', 'Four Seasons in One Day', 'Fall At Your Feet', 'It's Only Natural', 'Distant Sun', and 'Locked Out' (to name but a few), with the finale being a tear-jerking rendition of 'Don't Dream It's Over' – the perfect way to see the band off, and sung with tangible emotion not only by Finn, but, seemingly, by just about every one of the tens of thousands of people in the audience.
And while this was the band's last official performance, Neil Finn, Paul Hester, Mark Hart and Nick Seymour show no signs of any 'band-breakup-blues', and are instead in the best of spirits, being their usual effusive, energetic and witty selves, entertaining the adoring crowd as much with their between song banter as with the playing itself.
Made all the poignant by the subsequent death of Paul Hester in 2005, this recording is a testament to a band that has produced a classic body of work, which is loved the world over. It not only catches a band at the height of its powers, but of a band that also knew when to bow out in spectacular fashion. Highly recommended.