ENZO - Stranger Than Fiction

By Patricia McInerney

Artist:  ENZO - Stranger Than Fiction

Date / Venue:  Saturday November 2nd - St. Mary's In Holy Trinity, Auckland

St. Mary's in Holy Trinity was the place to be this evening. This very special venue, beautifully lit with an impressive stage set up for a 15 piece ensemble was buzzing with anticipation when I arrived. 

Tonight we took a dive into the songs of Split Enz from 1972 to 1984. The concert featured original members Eddie Rayner, Mike Chunn, Geoff Chunn, Emyln Crowther and Wally Wilkinson, plus guest vocalists Annie Crummer, Rima Te Wiata, Rikki Morris, Jesse Sheehan, Jackie Thomas and Tom Batchelor.

A beautiful melodic start as Eddie Rayner took the reins and started the show leading the 15 strong musicians. Mike Chunn was MC for the night, storytelling from the pulpit and the banter with Eddie between songs made for great comedy.

Rima Te Waita mesmerised us with her sultry tones singing 'Devil You Know' as she walked down the aisle with ownership and emotion. Her version of the manic 'Shark Attack' was killer and Brett Adams guitar skills were pretty outstanding.

I was dancing in my seat to Annie Crummer's energetic rendition of 'The Straight Old Life' with Michael Parker drummer and percussionist coming out front to solo on the spoons (too cute ) and would've liked to have seen the reserved audience dancing in the aisles for this song too. This captivating performer knows how to rock the place as well as being a little bit of a comedienne, entertaining us as some tech issues were dealt with.

The familiar tones of 'Message To My Girl' with the haunting beauty of the string section was a crowd favourite and Rikki Morris did such a great job of this iconic song. Again I was dancing in my seat and would've been standing if I hadn't been writing :)

There were some nice performances by Jackie and Tom and their voices blended really well on 'Stuff And Nonsense' as the other performers mouthed the words to this beautiful song. It would've been nice to see these new up and comers take more ownership of the stage and their performances but I can only imagine performing with such legends could be pretty daunting.

The second half of the show had a completely different vibe with a really nice start as the original members of Split Enz joined by the talented Jesse Sheehan who completely looked the part (eyeliner included) sauntered down the aisle to strumming instruments and then took to the stage.

The standout song and performance of the night for me was 'Stranger Than Fiction' as the 5 original members performed with Sheehan on vocals and his performance so convincing that I think they should re-form with Sheehan on vocals!

Although some elements of the show still need a little polishing it's definitely a must see and runs until Monday November 4th, do it