Image by: SomeBizarreMonkey
Concert Reviews

Concert Review: Jon Toogood's The Adults Failed To Draw Auckland Crowd

Where: Powerstation, Auckland NZ
When: 15 Sep 2018
Take It On The Chin

Shihad front man Jon Toogood brought the latest iteration of his other band, The Adults, to Auckland’s Powerstation, only to find plenty of empty space on the dance floor.

With the recent bewildering revelation that Six60 has sold out Western Springs Stadium, it seems that Kiwis like their music the same way they like their food… bland, with very little spice to it.

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The second Adults record, Haja, was borne out of Toogood’s wedding, which took place in 2014 in Sudan. While in Khartoum, Jon experienced something of a musical awakening when exposed to the local music. And so, instead of bone-crunching guitar riffs and four-on-the-floor drum beats, the new Adults album is full of skittering guitar lines and ambient beats mixed with a dose of hip hop thanks to the contributions of JessB, Devin Abrams, Raiza Biza and Estere.

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Bringing this heady musical mixture to the live stage was always going to be a challenge, but Toogood has pulled it off, mainly by taking the role of a sideman, playing mostly bass guitar, while Estère and Biza held centre stage.  

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“We’re The Adults and we’re gonna play pretty much the whole Haja album for you now”, Jon announced as the band, also including guitarist Emily Browning, percussionist Steve Bremner and drummer Ben Lemi, took the stage.

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And that’s just what they did, performing all eight tracks, almost in the same running order as the album.

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While some fans knew what to expect and proceeded to dance in front of the stage, others weren’t so sure. Toogood picked up on the vibe and made this suggestion:

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“Pretend you’ve just dropped an eckie in the Boiler Room at the Big Day Out”, then pointing out a guy in the crowd who was “so not looking impressed at all”.

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It was Estère who became the star of the show, writhing around behind her keyboard and singing, not only her contributions to Haja, but those of Chelsea Jade, JessB and Aaradhna.

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Miloux did make a guest appearance in order to sing her song, Because Of You, and Raiza Biza, who also served as the opening act, came and went as the music demanded.

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Toogood himself remained attached to his bass, stepping out to sing only once, on Gisma.

After 40 minutes, the album had been played out and the band closed the set with Nothing To Lose, the lead track from the first Adults album, with Bremner, the lone holdover from that version of the band, moving over to drums.

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For those looking for some of that Shihad fury, they were rewarded halfway through encore tune Short Change. By this time Toogood was brandishing his electric guitar and he mounted one of the PA speakers before jumping into what was left of the audience and rocking out a bit.

It won’t be long before Jon rejoins Shihad and the rock & roll ritual of fist pumping, guitar shredding and moshing will return.

But for this evening, Kiwi music just got a bit more flavourful. Some can deal with it, some can’t.

Radio 13 thanks and credits Reuben Raj from SomeBizarreMonkey for all the photographs in this article. More photos further below!

The Adults set list:

  1. Boomtown
  2. Take It On The Chin
  3. Haja
  4. Bloodlines
  5. That Gold
  6. Like The Moon
  7. Because Of You
  8. Gisma
  9. Nothing To Lose
  10. Short Change   


Written By: Radio13

What people are saying

  • Gilbert - 2 years ago

    Great album. Pity people didn’t go to the show.
  • Graham Hooper - 2 years ago

    Great Photos ,Sad about the Small Crowd Was a NZ Rugby Game on That Night? ;-) It can Affect Rugby Fans Who Love Rugby More thanLive Music,,.