Crowded House returning to Sydney Opera House 20 years after epic farewell show

Crowded House, from left, Neil Finn, Matt Sherrod, Nick Seymour and Mark Hart are photographed in New York on June 8, 2007.

For two nights in November, homegrown Australian rock band Crowded House will reunite to perform at the Sydney Opera House.

The shows, on Nov. 25 and 26, are happening just after the 20th anniversary of the band’s Nov. 24, 1996 farewell concert on the steps of the Australian city’s world-renowned performance venue. Some estimates put attendance as high as 250,000 for the 1996 Sydney Opera House show.

The two 2016 concerts follow another momentous event for Crowded House, as well: the band will be inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame on Nov. 23. They’ll join a group that already includes AC/DC, INXS, The Bee Gees and Men at Work, among others.

Crowded House formed in the mid-’80s, releasing their first, self-titled album in 1986. The band saw great success over the next decade, but never achieved the same degree of global acclaim as Aussie acts like AC/DC or The Bee Gees

The Nov. 2016 concerts will reunite founding members Neil Finn (guitar/vocals/songwriter) and Nick Seymour (bass) with Mark Hart (guitar/keyboards), who went from hired gun to permanent band mate in the early ’90s, and Matt Sherrod (drums).

Sherrod is the third musician to fill the role of Crowded House drummer. Founding member Paul Hester quit the band in 1994, though he returned to record three new songs for the band’s 1996 greatest hits album, Recurring Dream. Hester also played at the Nov. 1996 farewell concert.

Peter Jones filled in for Hester during the stretch of time that the band remained active between 1994 and 1996. Sadly, neither drummer lived to see Crowded House’s ARIA induction. Hester committed suicide in 2005 after a long struggle with depression, and Jones died in 2012, of brain cancer.

Sherrod joined the band after Crowded House reunited in 2006, and stuck around through two studio albums. The band has been on hiatus since 2011, but Sherrod will be back in November to play at the Opera House.

Crowded House may not have achieved the same global success as other big Australian acts, but the band’s popularity at home is not insignificant. Recurring Dream is the top-selling album of all-time by an Australian group.

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