ENZSO, conductor Peter Scholes, at the Aotea Centre last night (2 April 1996)

By Tara Werner, from NZ Herald, Wed 3 Apri 1996

A potentially potent potion this; bring together several of the country's most famous music icons and then back them with a full symphony orchestra. Have them perform a mixture of their most popular songs; add a youthful choir plus a poet for flavour.

But was the result totally palatable? Not quite. The capacity "forty-something" audience loved it, but after an evening of rather standard orchestral arrangements by group member Eddie Rayner, even the best from Split Enz did not mitigate against boredom.

Mind you, the light show was something else; no holds barred in this quarter, with every section of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra focused in a bath of technicolour.

But lighting does not a concert make, and although the Finn brothers plus special guests Dave Dobbyn, Sam Hunt and Annie Crummer worked exceedingly hard at providing a warm and nostalgic reunion of Enz songs, there were moments of pure embarrassment as well.

Sam Hunt looked exceedingly uncomfortable when elucidating the words of two songs, shuffling off stage as quickly as he could; and Tim Finn actually made quite a hash of his opening number I See Red.

Fortunately things were retrieved by a beguilingly direct performance by Neil Finn of the bitter-sweet Message to My Girl although here the New Zealand National Youth Choir sounded a little too pure to be convincing.

Possibly the best singing came from Dave Dobbyn, whose soaring vocals in Poor Boy were quite poignant, while Annie Crummer gave a highly expressive account of I Hope I Never.

Ironically the most appealing parts came when the group was accompanied by the orchestra, especially the songs History and Six Months in a Leaky Boat.

Oh the whole there is nothing wrong with "Cross-over" concerts. But on this occasion, the outcome was a bit Finn.

back to the home page or frenz.com home page

If there are any problems with this site, please contact webmaster@aswas.com.