A Summers Day 2019: Live @ Brooklands – Toto, Dragon and Jefferson Starship

A Summers Day 2019: Live @ Brooklands – Toto, Dragon and Jefferson Starship

The best gig experiences come from the vibe. Three classic bands, amazing weather and an outdoor amphitheatre would bring a smile to the Kanye West himself. Dragon, Jefferson Starship and Toto are the perfect combo for a summers day.

WORDS BY KJ PANUI – PHOTOS BY NICHOLE DAVIS

The Bowl of Brooklands has hosted many well known musicians such as John Farnham, Elton John and my all time favourites Fleetwood Mac. It is a venue that lives true to Taranaki’s slogan. It is genuinely like no other.

The gods of kiwi anthems, Dragon were a great start to the night. Mark Williams fronted the band and got the crowd involved coaching the crowd through the classics. I have seen these guys a few times now, and they always deliver.

Hearing the intro to “April sun in Cuba” is New Zealand’s version of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”. You can feel the vibe before you hear the song. Playing that song to a crowd like this would be an epic highlight for the band.

I have been to the bowl empty, and tonight it was filled with thousands of people. You know you have made a mark when you generations of people, old and young.

Onto to Jeffersons Starship, a band known to all generations making it’s mark on Singstar. It is worth noting that most of the band are in their 70’s. And you wouldn’t believe it with Grace Slick owning the stage in some badass heels. Rock will always live on.

The band mostly played songs from their recent album during the first set, so the engagement wasn’t as high until they played banger “Nothing’s gonna stop us now” and “We built this city”. And the crowd were great and my lordy the pipes on Slick were insane!

I loved the attire of the band. You had Grace with her black heels, metallic lycra tights, a sparkly kimono and a flappers style headband. And then you had David Crosby kicking it back with his black jeans, an old looking black shirt and his piercing white hair and mo combo.

A great feature to point out about this gig was that all bands started on time. Toto actually came out a couple of minutes before 8:30pm which was nice to see. So many gigs you see the rockstar ‘YOLO’ attitude come out with sets starting way later than they should. So big ups to the musicians and organisers for that.

Right before Toto came out was when the vibe had really kicked off. The sun was setting, there were a few wines had from the ladies and beers downed by the men, in particular, a guy in a kilt loving life too much. A stag do on the rark from Auckland saw the stag dressed as a dinosaur with the rest of the group wearing T-shirts with his face on it in full swing. Kids were running around making friends with other kids, all that was needed were the sweet tunes of the headline act.

Toto came out to a crowd of appreciation. I was lucky enough to get right to the front for their first couple of songs, and seriously lost my shizzle when the keys were hit for the intro to one of their most famous hits “Hold the line”. That song got the crowd pumping and continued with “Rosanna” and the bongo/drum solo was amaaaazzzzing.

The highlight as a superficial fan was hearing their number one hit “Africa”. We were treated to a preview of the band singing their hit when they arrived in New Zealand and sung it as their manuhiri waiata. But the lights, the atmosphere, and the sound made it a amazing memorable moment.

The band all looked like they were in the moment. They looked vibrant, with Steve Lukather in his specatles, vest and dapper scarf. Each member had their own style with snakeskin boots, hawaiian shirts and hats all around.

All in all, as Dennis Denuto is quoted for saying what makes a great night is ‘the vibe’. These three acts provided everyone a chance to get loose and be free. With the classics all being played on point, they did not disappoint.

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