“The Best Gig I Ever Saw” is a weekly column that will see us ask a musician to chat about their favorite concert thus far. This week it’s L.A. based singer/songwriter Kirin J. Callinan…
There was the last great gig I saw, Weyes Blood & company at the Troubadour, just last night. Or my more formative experiences — the sonic heroin of HTRK (as a trio, RIP Sean Stewart) at a grotty Hibernian House in a rougher nook o’ Sydney City sometime in the mid 2000s; or falling in love with all five members of Bridezilla, fronted by a teenage Holiday Sidewinder, in a now long gone downtown Sydney dive. Some two hours or more of doom jazz with Bohren & Der Club of Gore in near total darkness, London ’08, has since kept me up at night; yet so does the image and voice of “The Voice,” an Australian icon, John Farnham doin’ “The Last Time” tour for the literal last time, returning to his spiritual home, The Sydney Entertainment Centre.
But there’s one “group” that keeps coming up for me. The Finn family. Full shark. Father & son (plus plenty of Holy Spirit) Neil and Liam Finn exploring their generational differences, competitiveness, family baggage and unconditional love in pure pop perfection at the Largo in Hollywood just last year. Or the same father son duo at the very same venue a year earlier with a swathe of special guests from Sheila E. to Mike Myers (plus the aforementioned Weyes Blood and yours truly, not afraid to admit it) or four evenings of Crowded House in 2016 featuring both brothers Neil and Tim at a crowded (sorry) Sydney Opera House forecourt, hit after hit after sentimental hit. And then, more recently of course, there’s Neil Finn now fronting Fleetwood Mac — I saw ‘em at The Forum as his extended family watched on, still in a sort of semi disbelief.
But best of all I think, was being reduced to a puddle o’ muddy tears at Falls Festival Tasmania, at the end o’ the earth, New Years Eve, five years ago as the sun set for the last time on 2013, silhouetting the full Finn family in full Finn flight — Neil on vocals and guitar, Liam guitar and vocals, Elroy Finn on drums and their matriarch and leader of the pack Sharon Finn on electric bass — as all their collective genius and heart came together as one. I hope it sounds kinda spectacular. It was. And I’ll never forget it.
Kirin J. Callinan plays with Rinse & Repeat and BONAVEGA at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25 at The Lodge Room.