Last night we made the trek from Boston to Brooklyn to see one of our favorite live performers, Liam Finn, in the first show of his four week residency at The Rock Shop. Finn’s Murmuration, as he is calling the residency, is meant to be his coming out party as a new NYC resident.
Last night Finn cruised through two sets (see full setlists for each below), the first as just a man with his looping pedals while on the second he was joined by his brother Elroy on the drums and Jol Mulholland on the bass. In the first set Finn showed off his skills both behind the drums and on guitar, masterfully looping each instrument to create an astonishing amount of sound for one man.
The first set featured songs mostly from his solo debut I’ll Be Lightning and his Champagne In Seashells EP, but Finn was also able to work out “Chase The Seasons” off of 2011’s FOMO for the first time ever in concert (see video below). For the last two songs of set #1 (as well as a between songs jam) Finn was joined on stage by Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen. The musical chemistry between the two on “Don’t Even Know Your Name” and “Lead Balloon” was nearly flawless even though the pair had seemingly had no previous practice time together with the songs.
During set #2, Finn dug even deeper into his musical catalog, playing a song from his first band Betchadupa and another from his side project BARB as well as a cover of BARB bandmate, Connan Mockasin’s “Megumi The Milkyway Above.” Finn went so far as taking requests straight from the crowd and played “I’ll Be Lightning” for a shouting audience member (who had a striking resemblance to Judah Friedlander I might add) which turned into The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.”
The night was almost just as much of a stand-up comedy routine as a rock concert, which we’ve found to be typical of Liam Finn shows over the past months. Finn cracked jokes about his relationship with absent band member EJ Barnes (“friends with musical benefits”) and even the size of his man parts after switching shoes with Elroy and finding them to be quite large.
Through jokes and songs, Finn created an atmosphere that made us wish we lived in Brooklyn and could post up at The Rock Shop for the next three Monday nights. The night ended with a sing-along to “Second Chance” and a hope that we could find a way to get back to The Rock Shop next week and the week after…and the week after…
Set 1 (Liam and his loops):
1. Residency Jam/Foxy Lady
2. Fire In Your Belly
3. Music Moves My Feet
4. Wise Men
5. Long Way to Go
6. On Your Side
7. Chase The Seasons
8. Don’t Even Know Your Name*
9. Lead Balloon*
Set 2 (w/ Elroy Finn and Jol Mulholland):
10. Energy Spent
11. Better To Be
12. Megumi The Milkyway Above (original by Connan Mockasin)
13. Counting Sheep (original by BARB)
14. This Place Is Killing Me
15. Cold Feet
16. My Army of Birds and Gulls (orignal by Betchadupa)
17. I’ll Be Lightning/Dear Prudence
18. Second Chance
*w/ Mikael Jorgensen of Wilco