Like the Jesus & Mary Chain, Crowded House got their “unofficial” reunion show out of the way at Glass House on 4/27, where they joked about expecting a hostile crowd of mainly Rage reunion seekers. Prescient thought, ’cause despite taking the Coachella Stage a full three hours before RATM’s headlining set, the crowd was NOTHING but Zach and Morello fans. Nothing. And as they joked at Glass House, the kids were gonna be in the mood to throw things.
Felt bad for the Brothers Finn; their obvious enthusiasm on stage (this was their big reunion show, after all) was met with utter indifference from the dehydrated and impatient crowd. Worse yet, from our vantage point, it didn’t quite seem like Crowded House understood just how much of the audience wanted them off immediately (i.e. 100%).
When the opening guitar of their smash “Don’t Dream It’s Over” rung out, we looked around, frantically; would any of these kids respond, even in passing recognition of the tune? And they responded alright. With a water bottle straight to Neil Finn’s head! What followed just compounded Neil’s embarrassment: He was rattled, the band audibly contemplated aborting the song, but Finn felt for sure he could rely, at least during this one song, on the crowd picking up the slack by singing along. “It’s alright, everybody! Come on!” Neil waved the crowd on to sing the legendary hook.
And … nothing. By this point we were far back into the crowd, and you had to be there to appreciate just how thunderous this silence was.
Absolutely the most embarrassing moment of the fest. But for closure’s sake, and to bury the dagger deeper in the Finns’ chest, toward set’s end Crowded House said, “Soon Rage will be on” — and the otherwise silent crowd roared to life. Coachella, ya might not wanna book two such disparate reunions so close together next time. But it’d take more than bottle-wielding Rage fans to stop us from singing along to “Something So Strong,” even if our friends had a little fun changing the hook to “…could hit me in the face.”