A number of years ago I was in the audience at a Finn Brothers gig over at the 9:30. A superb, albeit proper show was frequently interrupted by a much younger Liam and his brother, high up on the dressing room balcony overlooking the stage, sailing paper airplanes down over the band in mid-performance. So, if it's to be that fine, nuanced, and melodic songwriting and performance is a Finn Family hallmark, much like the paper airplanes sent sailing down from the rafters, Liam tosses in his own air of unpredictability in a live setting--fidgeting with often abused notion of 'one guy and a guitar'.
From Liam's press bio: During his raucous yet intimate performances Liam utilizes effects pedals to create, sample and loop bass, guitar, drums and vocals to layer with his live vocals and guitar. Pre-programmed flourishes, also keyed live by Finn, gurgle under his sharp, addictive melodies to produce experimental pop music that is simultaneously ghostly and direct in its atmospherics and emotionalism. Being responsible for all the sound flowing from the stage is inevitably risky, but it's a risk in which the youngster relishes. "I think the fact of doing this looping, one-man-band sort of thing really keeps you on your toes and keeps it fresh. The more you mess up, the more you're forced to turn it into a good mess and people seem to respond more. I find it really stimulating. I just love the danger of it, really." As one might assume, a Liam Finn show is by no means the seated, shh-inducing coffee house affair many solo singer-songwriter performances can be. It's actually the antithesis. Finn drops fuzzed out guitar riffs, bellows bass lines and thunders on his drum kit like a punk rock caveman. When asked the philosophy behind this approach Liam remarks, "Whenever I walk in and see just a guy and a guitar, I think 'Here we go again.' I want to give people something different."
So, I'm thinking it's a pretty safe bet that the show the night before in Philly will bear just a tiny resemblance to the show the following night right here in DC--for which Liam and TVD are offering a pair of tickets and a copy of Liam's debut CD (they're out of the vinyl, I asked...) "I'll Be Lightning" to one lucky winner.
The aforementioned winner will be the lucky commenter who can touch on something truly wondrous and utterly unpredictable that has occurred to him or her at a live show--and we won't look the other way if it happens to be sordid and/or scandalous. (That's a good night out, right?) And if you can work in some Liam love too along the way, we won't call it predictable at all.
Unfog those memories and let us have 'em. We'll choose a winner next Friday--9/5!
Liam Finn - Second Chance (Mp3)