Dragon show their power and strength

19:34, Nov 24 2013
POWER, STRENGTH AND LUCK: Veteran rockers Dragon.

Concert review: Dragon

Old St Paul's Wellington

Saturday, November 23

It's worth checking out the sign of the Dragon in Chinese mythology as it references being a symbol of power, strength and good luck. And you could certainly say that about Dragon.

Power - well yes, that is a given with the number of hard rock pub anthems over the years - strength - certainly the capacity to survive - and good luck - well, if you are looking for good luck then look no further than a band that has had at least 35 members over the years, survived the loss of charismatic leader Marc Hunter (cancer) and two members dying from drug overdoses. And that's not to mention car crashes and surviving being bottled off stage in Texas for calling the audience "faggots".

Yes, I reckon that equates to good luck.


Yet the biggest surprise is that, given their incarnation in 1972, the group we see tonight has been together longer than any other lineup, playing more than 500 gigs together since 2006.

It's a brave band that starts with one of its biggest hits, Still In Love With You (1978) and it could have gone downhill from there but no, they know how to pace a show. 

Though lumbered with the name "acoustic tour" it was anything but, electric keyboard, electric bass, and miked drums and amplified acoustic guitars proving once and for all that it's hard for a rock band to truly switch off and no, we minded it not one jot.

But, let's cut to the chase, that last hour was absolutely mesmerising as they segued from April Sun In Cuba to Kool and The Gang's immortal Celebrate and then into Rain. The audience were on their collective feet, singing with such gusto as to make me think, replace Jerusalem with Celebrate and you might fill up a few more pews on a Sunday morning.

The encore sees a return with Buddy Holly's classic It Doesn't Matter Anymore, a guest appearance from local boy Thomas Oliver and a rendition of Isa Lei and a magic finale in Are You Old Enough.

The Dominion Post