Reviews \

‘Lightning’ Strikes for Liam Finn

BROOKLYN: Riding the bottom of the bill, the quirky New Zealand-based wunderkind steals the show and wows early arrivals in Brookly

By: Larry Fitzmaurice // February 28, 2008

It’s a hard knock life as the first opening act on a bill. No matter who you want to reach with your performance, you’re often stuck with a small crowd of audience members slowly trickling in and talkatively preparing for the headliner as you play through your set. It was a testament to up-and-coming Kiwi multi-instrumentalist Liam Finn’s star power then, that Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg was packed with admiring fans singing along to the troubadour’s opening set for Apollo Sunshine and Pela last night (Feb. 27).

Along with instrumentalist and close friend E.J., Finn, who is the son of Crowded House founder Neil Finn, animatedly recreated the psych-pop of tracks off of his recently released debut LP, I’ll Be Lightning, with the help of looping pedals and his propulsive and animated drumming style — dude can crash a kit, that’s for sure!

The album’s rocking title track and the slinky pop of “Better to Be”were highlights of the half-hour set, as was Finn’s affable, easygoingstage presence and humorous antics. Speaking to SPIN.com before theshow, Liam explained that the gig marked his first ever visit toBrooklyn, and that now he’s considering a move. Judging by hisperformance and the crowd’s rapturous applause, it appears Brooklynwill be happy to have him. I’ll Be Lightning is out now on Yep Roc Records.

The hirsute Finn serenades his future neighbors / Photo by Beowulf Sheehan
Alongside his musical pal E.J., Finn strums the six-string / Photo by Beowulf Sheehan
Finn stealing show one theatrical move at a time / Photo by Beowulf Sheehan Finn adds a little thunder to ‘lightning’ on the drums / Photo by Beowulf Sheehan