It had to end one day. And it did. In tears.

When drummer Paul Hester left Crowded House in 1994 after becoming fed up with the incessant touring, the signs and portents of the end of the band were everywhere. Deadstar drummer Peter Jones replaced him on the rest of the schedule, but never really had a chance. In 1996, after releasing Recurring Dream, their 7x platinum Best of album, Neil Finn declared his split from the group.

Crowded House was no more.

But there was to be one final, feisty and utterly futile act: The band decided to go with a bang: They got permission by the city of Sydney to stage one final farewell concert, with proceedings going to the local children's hospital, in front of Sydney's Opera house.

150000 people turned up on November 24, 1996 to witness that final act: The weather was perfect, a large full moon shone over the bay, and the band was in good form (only Mark Hart's 12 string guitar was terribly off pitch in Distant Sun). By the end Tim Finn and Peter Jones had joined the band on the stage, and Mark Hart, Paul Hester and Nick Seymour cried their eyes out while Neil Finn screwed up his face and quickly left the stage, while fireworks were going off and people were still singing Don't dream it's over.

Fortunately this event was documented on video.

In 1997 Polygram released a 115 min VHS Video of the concert, with a 45 minute intro with plenty of interviews and the buildup to the concert. Unfortunately the set list is significantly cut, but the remaining 21 songs are beautifully shot, with a great sound and gives the viewer an idea of the magnitude (and intimacy) of the event: Crying bandmembers, crying fans, needing to be cuddled and stroked by their friends and parents, the probably largest choir in the world singing in pitch perfect harmony and Neil Finn belting out these sad and cynical songs full of sweet melodies and daring chord progressions. In 2007 the DVD was finally released with many additional features. 


  1. Weather With You
  2. Mean To Me
  3. World Where You Live
  4. When You Come
  5. Private Universe
  6. Four Seasons In One Day
  7. Fall At Your Feet
  8. Whispers And Moans
  9. Hole In The River
  10. Better Be Home Soon
  11. Pineapple Head
  12. Distant Sun
  13. Into Temptation
  14. Everything Is Good For You
  15. Locked Out
  16. Something So Strong
  17. Sister Madly
  18. It's Only Natural
  19. Fingers Of Love
  20. In My Command
  21. Don't Dream It's Over
Buy it. But have those Kleenex ready.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.