Finns at the Zoo

By Jake Ebdale

Artist:  Neil FinnTim Finn & Liam Finn

Date / Venue:  Friday February 27th, Auckland Zoo, Auckland

A gig at Auckland Zoo is a gamble. A rotunda performance to an over-packed crowd of 50-somethings semi-drunk on wine is NOT my idea of a good time, and the accompanying squawk of thousands of pissed off birds isn't either. But the quality of Liam, Neil and Tim's tunes drew me in regardless. Crowded House, Split Enz, The Nihilist on a Friday? Yeah, I'll go the extra mile.

The seven-strong flock of Finns, including multi-instrumentalist spawn Elroy, Harper, Ellie and Neil's wifeSharon, put on the greatest hits set with obligatory dad jokes in-between. Liam was slightly reserved, but looked like a continental soldier and really rocked the fuck out at points. So kudos.

The music was great. The sound was crystal clear travelling through the many winding Zoo walkways; at times transcendent. But a rotunda means quarter of the crowd has great seats, whilst others are forced to sit on bumpy concrete walls and next to rubbish bins; those without fold-out chairs, blankets and corn-chips feeling a bit like lepers. The tiger pit probably had better views than where we plonked down.

Minor squawks aside - all the tunes played well. Liam's ‘Cold Feet' and ‘Second Chance' gave the perennial‘Dirty Creature', ‘I Got You' and ‘Better Be Home Soon' runs for their money. We even got ‘Kiss the Road to Rarotonga' from the Finn album, which seemed to scare a portion of bum-wiggling mummies.

A crowded gig at Auckland Zoo is a nightmare - but the Finns made it work.