7 Worlds Collide is Neil Finn's highly anticipated live album on DVD culled from a series of shows in Aukland, New Zealand in April 2001. The live band was made up of Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, Smiths' guitarist John... more »ny Marr, Neil's brother Tim, Lisa Germano, Soul Coughing's Sebastian Steinberg, and drummer Phil Selway and guitarist Ed O'Brien from Radiohead.« less
"I have no doubt that Radiohead, Pearl Jam or Soul Coughing fans may be a little surprised by this DVD--what are Eddie Vedder, Sebastien Steinberg, Phil Selway and Ed O'Brien doing in Auckland, New Zealand, playing pop songs with a relatively obscure 40-something songwriter? It should be apparent upon viewing this DVD, however, why Neil Finn, who remains relegated to cult status here in the United States, has quietly become one of the most respected pop songwriters of his time--by critics, his peers and his exceedingly loyal worldwide fan base.The performances on this DVD were selected from a week's worth of shows shot at the St. James Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand, and also include musicians Lisa Germano (former violinist for John Mellencamp) and Johnny Marr (of Smiths fame), as well as cameos from Tim Finn and Neil Finn's son Liam's band, Betchadupa. In practical terms, the DVD is quite sparse; there are no special features to speak of. What you do get is a straight-forward concert film with a crisp picture and pristine sound, mixed in Dolby 5.1 surround by Bob Clearmountain. The film opens with a brief voiceover by Finn that explains the conception and execution of the project, with footage of the band arriving and rehearsing at Kare Kare beach. Preceding songs throughout the DVD are brief interludes where the various band members share their thoughts and are warmly introduced by Finn.Other than that, you get the performance--and it's excellent. There are numerous highlights, including the opening tune "Fall At Your Feet," during which the crowd eagerly sings along with not only the song's familiar chorus but the entire bridge as well; when Finn adds his own harmonies to the audience's singing, the effect is magical. Finn admirably chooses not to make this DVD a "greatist hits" concert, and instead showcases songs from his two most recent albums, "Try Whistling This" and "One Nil"--as well as a few obscure numbers from his days in Split Enz, such as the successful updating of "Take A Walk" with Eddie Vedder singing. A few Crowded House classics are present, including a haunting acoustic rendition of "Private Universe," "Four Seasons In One Day" and "Weather With You."Though the band only had a few days to prepare 40+ songs, the performances are incredibly loose. In addition to the eclectic selection of Finn songs, Marr, Germano and Vedder offer a few of their own, and Betchadupa give energetic, if not all that original, punk renditions of the Split Enz favorites "I See Red" and "History Never Repeats" with Vedder singing. One of the DVD's finest selections is the atmospheric, sweetly understated version of the Smiths classic "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out," which Marr had reportedly not played for years.For those unfamiliar with Finn's music, he has given his songwriting style the tongue-in-cheek description of "Leonard/McCartney," meaning the dark themes of Leonard Cohen superimposed upon the classic pop sensibilities of the Beatles. Overall the DVD is a good representation of Neil Finn's remarkable songwriting--we've seen other talented songwriters, but few if any can boast the rock-solid consistency of Finn's catalogue. He's written more than his fair share of sublime pop songs during his 20+ years as a pop artist, and he continues to be at the top of his game. The DVD ends with a fragile, tender version of Finn's most recognizable song, "Don't Dream It's Over." Hopefully this DVD, with its celebrity cameos, will give Finn some of the attention and exposure he deserves."
Terri B Heiges | Valley Park, Missouri United States | 03/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a fan of Neil Finn since 1980 and have loved his music with Split Enz, Crowded House and now on his own. In the states, you either know who Finn is and get it, or you don't. When I am asked who is my favorite musician, I have spent lots of time explaining who Finn is, and humming "Don't Dream It's Over." He deserves better than my "hey now, hey now's". This dvd is such a great mix of Split Enz songs, Crowded House favorites, his solo stuff and other musicians' music, as well. Hearing Finn play "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", my very favorite Smiths' song with the great Johnny Marr, is unbelievable. Don't miss this music - even if you're only familiar with "Don't Dream It's Over," there is so much more to Finn. His brother Tim appears, as does Eddie Vedder, Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway and Lisa Germano. It's time Neil Finn was discovered here - about 20 years later than his beautiful music deserves, but better late than never. This is an absolute gem. It is perfection."
This is so great!
Robert E. Johnson | Marriottsville, Maryland USA | 02/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, first I see the annotated version of this DVD on Direct TV, I tape it and practically play it into the ground. Then I see neil in DC playing live. I get home and order this thing on Amazon right away. I love it even more, mostly because of Neil's delivery of "There is a light that never goes out" and J Marr's "Down on the Corner."I think we sell neil short if we say we hear a bit of Lennon in his muse and in his voice. But the same spirit that comes through in lennon's "Julia" and "Across the Universe" is undeniable. I love Neil's modesty and openness to his fans. Next time he's in my town, I'm going to be first in line to get on stage with him. Can't wait for more and more and more........"
7 Worlds, 5 Stars.
G. Merritt | Boulder, CO | 04/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Experiencing Neil Finn's recent, sold-out show at the Gothic Theater in Denver inspired me to purchase this DVD along with the companion CD. Drawn from five shows at The St. James in Aukland, New Zealand in April, 2001, this DVD captures all the energy and musical genius of Neil Finn live. With Lisa Germano, Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Johnny Marr (The Smiths), Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing), and Phil Selway and Ed O'Brien (Radiohead) backing him, Neil's set list includes songs from his days fronting both Split Enz and Crowded House, as well as from his solo career. While Neil covers The Smith's "There is a Light that Never Goes Out" with a Morrissey-like vocal, it is ultimately Smith's guitarist, Johnny Marr, who steals the show with his song, "Down on the Corner" (which Neil covered in Denver). The DVD offers an amazing version of the Crowded House song, "Four Seasons in One Day," unfortunately missing from the companion CD.G. Merritt"
The next best thing
Ian John Cook | Hong Kong, Hong Kong Hong Kong | 05/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great DVD. The first concert DVD I have viewed and it's a beauty. Great venue and atmosphere. It makes you realise what an amazing back catalogue of songs Neil has after all those hard working years. The sound is very good. Acoustics pristine and lighting beautiful in places. It's clear everyone enjoyed themself hugely. Some nice camera work, not too many indulgent SFX.One senses the film captures the warmth and essence of the concert and you don't even get tired of the numerous shots of Lisa Germano's back. I am a Neil Finn\ Crowded House fan but don't take his two solo albums out of the rack very often these days.This band kicks his recent material into the right gear and takes off. Check out the sustained sonic duet of Finn and Ed O'brien on 'In My Head'. Other highlights - 'Fall At Your Feet' is such a melody, Neil and Johnny Marr bringing life to "There Is a Light' and Liams bands renditions of 'History Never Repeats' and 'I See Red' and .... and ..."