Crowded House: Masonic Lodge, New York, NY 7/19/07

If taking eleven years off helps a band’s sound as much as it did for Crowded House, perhaps every band needs to take an extended hiatus.

Crowded House returned to New York City for the first time since 1996 on Thursday night for a brilliant performance at the Masonic Lodge. The band played in the stately Grand Lodge, a room better known for housing meetings of the usually secretive Free Masons than as a venue for a rock band.

The private show was being filmed for a concert series called Artists Den, which features musicians playing in small beautiful rooms that aren’t usually associated with music. High-definition cameras were everywhere, but I never felt they hindered the performance. There were probably 200 people in the space that holds 1,200, leaving plenty of room for everyone to dance.

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