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Jon Toogood - Gig Review: Jon Toogood @ Leigh Sawmill, Leigh - 03/01/2021

04 Jan 2021 // A review by TheMechanism

I’ve enjoyed many Shihad shows over the years. Visceral guitars and bass, thunderous drums, and powerful vocals are the hallmark of Shihad’s sound…

But, what happens when you strip it all back to just Jon Toogood, and an acoustic guitar?

My experience - an unforgettable evening of fun, laughter, and epic tunes. Jon brought the house down, with a passionate performance that absolutely rocked…

As soon as Jon walked on stage, the crowd greeted him with hearty applause…

“Aw gidday, I just came to tune my guitar….”, Jon explained.

While the audience laughed, he proceeded to adjust his tuning pegs…

“Now pretend, I’ve just walked on stage!”.

Earnest applause followed…

I was pleasantly surprised… Not only did Jon connect with the whole audience through the entire evening, he also filled the room with laughter, with hilarious anecdotes and stories of his adventures on the road.

Before Jon started his set, he confessed, “So, I’ve just realised, that I forgot to write a set list!”.

No band. No massive guitars amps. And, as it turns out… No set list either! Just Jon and his acoustic guitar, winging it from one song to the next, with ease.

Along with classic Shihad tunes, Jon also graced us with singalong anthems from his favourite artists, including The Beatles, David Bowie, Tom Petty, and Neil Young, as well as hits from kiwi icons Dragon, Split Enz and Th’ Dudes.

It was a real treat to hear acoustic renditions of Run and Home Again. I wasn’t sure how these tracks would translate with only a single guitar and vocal. However, Jon’s clever, lively acoustic guitar arrangements, in combination with his powerful vocal delivery, just nailed the vibe.

On live sound was the legendary Malcolm Wellsford, who produced The Feelers, Supergroove and many of Shihad’s studio albums. His golden ears and brilliant audio engineering added to the magic of the evening.

Before ending the show, Jon suggested, “Let’s just pretend I’ve walked off stage!” so he could stay on, for what he referred to as “the grandad encore”, performing 3 more fantastic songs. Just before Jon was about to leave, the crowd demanded another song. I would never have thought Motorhead’s The Ace of Spades could ever be managed without a full band, but Jon somehow pulled it off, and like every other song he performed, it sounded incredible.

Jon Toogood is as remarkable solo, as he is with a full band. His song selection was awesome, and his impressive performance and vibrant personality lit up the room. If you’ve never seen Jon perform solo, what you holding on, holding onto? Run, and check out his next show.

Photos courtesy and copyright to Morgan Creative.


About Jon Toogood

NZ music legend, and guitarist and vocalist for Shihad and The Adults.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jon Toogood


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