Concert Review: Come Together – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road at The Civic

The Civic was hoarding bodies last night as we celebrated the finale of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, fuelled by some of NZ’s premium musicians who form the supergroup in the Come Together series.

The excited crowd found their seats and not long after the lights dipped low, the subtly lit stage wooed our attention.

Come Together
Matthias Jordan

And out he came, wearing a silver glittering cape, NZ’s top-shelf pianist himself, Matthias Jordan, representing Elton John in all his glory. Glasses, hair and all the flair, he took to his post on the keys.

The staple of the evening consisted of band members Brett Adams (guitar), Alistair Deverick (drums), Jol Mulholland (bass), Guy Harrison (keys and trumpet), and mate, they held it down, this band was tight!

A variety voices brought Elton John’s songs to new and exciting places with the familiar timbres of Jon Toogood (Shihad), Luke Buda (Phoenix Foundation), Laughton Kora (Kora), Mel Parsons, Deva Mahal and Lou’ana.

And first up was the opening tune Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding. Matthias, was all over it. From the get-go his fingers brought the keys to the forefront of the ensemble – and a delightful dive into the 70s washed over us.
The crowd was a slow turnover but that didn’t stop the energy emitting from the stage – Soul and R&B singer Deva Mahal was up next with her white boots and soulful rendition of Candle In The Wind and later she gave us her all with her Aretha Franklin like execution of Border Song (Holy Moses).

Come Together
Laughton Kora

Benny and the Jets was reserved for the one and only Laughton Kora who took us all by surprise, knocking it out of the park with his controlled falsetto. He coaxed the crowd into clapping to the tune and invited us to sing on the seesawing hook: BENNY Benny BENNY Benny!

Luke Buda seemed a tad shy to begin with but after a few songs and tagging in and out with falsetto slaying Laughton, he loosened up and gave us a tasty tribute of Tiny Dancer – one of my favourite additions to the evening.

Mel Parsons stepped up emitting her deep tones and serenading us with her version of Daniel. The feel-good tune had people in their seats waving their arms above their heads sharing in the nostalgic chorus.

Who do we have here? Ha! Jon Too…this’ll be…good.  Giving us a sporting display of calisthenics and speckling profanities as he jumped from speaker to speaker during the upbeat number Grey Seal and The Bitch Is Back. His energy couldn’t be matched, and the audience was awakened!

The essence of Elton’s signature sound of keys and vocals returned to the limelight with Matthias nailing the juke box tune I’ve seen that movie too – his voice was well equipped in its execution and Brett, who you may recognise as Tim Finn’s guitarist, effortlessly swept over his strings with the angsty solo.

Come Together

The uniquely smoky voice of Lou’ana charmed us all with her sultry entries of Sweet Painted Lady, All The Girls Love Alice and my favourite Honky Cat. She glided across the stage in an array of outfits and had us hanging off every word – hang on to your men, ladies!

Finally, an epic finale, can you guess the tune that set us a flight? Too easy, Rocket Man, fronting Jon Toogood and lastly, a sweet replay of Benny and the Jets. We were finally out of our seats, hips pressed to the balustrades, celebrating the splendid tribute of Elton John’s masterpiece.

Odessa Neilands

Click any icon to view a full gallery of photos from the show. All photos copyright Leonie Moreland.