I'm usually not a fan of looping live instruments, but Liam Finn really makes it work.
Finn played The Pour House Tuesday night to play songs from his debut solo album, I'll Be Lightning. His friend EJ Barnes contributed backing vocals, percussion and autoharp during the set.
Finn jumped from guitar to drums throughout the night and even played a theremin-like instrument during one song. The energy that he puts into his set added a whole new dimension to his songs.
At the end of a number of songs, Finn would loop a series of guitar, "bass" (guitar with an octave pedal) and vocal parts and then hop on the drums. He's a bit of a spastic drummer, but he's quite good. He played most of the instruments on his album.
Liam Finn definitely has his father's sense of melody and musicality (his dad is Neil Finn, by the way, frontman of Crowded House and a solo artist). Liam is certainly not recreating the music of his father or trying to use his name to garner attention. During an interview with Nic Harcourt at KCRW, Finn said that hearing Nirvana was one of the landmark moments of his formative years. Finn has a 3-year work visa and plans to build a fanbase from the ground up in the US.
From his performance at The Pour House, it doesn't seem like it'll take Liam Finn three years to make a name for himself in the states. He has the personality, energy and most importantly, the songs and musicality to go far, and we'll hopefully see more of him in the area in the not-so-distant future.
[all photos by Kevin Norris]