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
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.
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