Enzso, NZSO and guests, Christchurch Town. Hall, Sunday, March 31, 8pm.

Reviewed by John Reid in "Christchurch Press" 1 April 1996

Flamboyant appearance and clever pop music carried Split Enz far.

They shaped an aspect of themselves that was intrinsically New Zealand, and managed to persuade a fickle poppy slashing public to let thein live long.

Concerts like this ask whether the miniature performance and idiom of pop can translate to the much larger scale and momentum of the symphony orchestra language.

It is like taking a fine drawing and shifting it onto the scale of mural. I was not sure if the mural would be full of empty holes.

What was achieved was something like film/TV music. The song remained secure and was relocated in the larger landscape of orchestral music., a sort of BBC adaptation of important novels crossed with travelogue sequence in a great detective film.

An impressive array of varying orchestral sound boosted and coloured the original ballad.

This successful and artistic development found a ready response from the audience with two encores and a standing ovation.

Part of their pleasure was due to a large input from many of the original band as a mini-concert within the larger structure of the night. In these moments fluid style, cramped by orchestral demands, returned to their performance.

The other guests also gave a very good account of themselves. The National Youth Choir, wriggling like puppies, although asked to do little but ethereal sounds, managed these with aplomb.

Annie Crummer squeezed the last drop of angst. Dave Dobbyn showed his bold performance. Sam Hunt entertained with style.

It was a wonderful night that appealed deeply to those in the audience listening to the anthems of their youth, lightly reshaped and made grand.

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