Welcome to Breakdown, an unofficial resource and discussion list about the innovative guitarist/producer Michael Brook. This site is infrequently updated, but contains a great deal of background info which will remain online. For up-to-date news and information, visit Michael Brook's official site and MySpace page.

Live tour dates and concert reviews

November 1998
by Steven Davey

Last night I attended the Neil Finn (ex-Crowded House singer / songwriter) concert at Reverb here in Toronto. Michael Brook was the un-advertised special guest for the two nights (Nov 17 and 18). The Reverb is a 500-seater - or rather stand-er - and was sold out both evenings.

Finn opened with six songs which I sorta recognized (I am not a fan but the crowded house - heh heh - recognized them and sang along) but I was more interested in Michael's equipment set-up ( a mutual friend of ours brought her camera, so I took a coupla photos). Then Michael was introduced as "Toronto's own fantastic guitarist" by Finn and the crowd cheered loudly. I know most had no idea who he was - one of the promoter's asked me if he was the guy from the Everglades. "Well yes, but he's done a bit more than that!"

He had a buncha FX pedals - I recognized the old Electro Harmonix stomp boxes he rewired from 20 years ago - and played a black Strat-like solid body guitar (it was dark!). I couldn't figure out why there was a microphone set-up for him. When he came on, he started doing shtick with Finn. They joked about the Red Green TV show (an alledged intentionally bad Canadian comedy show). I was surprised how jovial Michael appeared bordering on goofy. The Finn fans laughed at his jokes!

He accompanied Finn for five or six songs - mostly repeated arpeggios looped through the Memory Man - and a couple of straight "tasteful" guitar solos. They did play Michael's Ultramarine as a Brook solo spot with Finn playing Philip Glass-like piano. They obviously hadn't rehearsed much - both were following each others songs off a chord list.

And it wasn't loud enough! Michael was way down in the tasteful mix. Most of it sounded like sub U2 noodling at that volume. Although Michael did throw in a Hendrix-y thing at one point. But way down in the mix.

Michael left the stage and Finn did another seven or eight songs followed by the inevitable parade of encores. He came back to accompany Toronto singer Ron Sexsmith and Finn do covers of Brian Wilson's Caroline No and Henry Mancini's Moon River (!). Quite beautiful actually.