Elixir ft. Katie Noonan; Gratitude and Grief
Reviewed 15 February 2019
Presented By Katie Noonan
For one night only, Elixir, the band, lead and driven by the incredible voice of the ARIA-award-winning Katie Noonan, performed in The Garden of Unearthly Delights. As far as opening night performances go – both for Katie and Elixir, and the Adelaide Fringe which launched its festival at the same time, it couldn’t have been a better way to start Adelaide’s most wrenchingly good entertainment season.
Katie Noonan is an incredibly dynamic woman, in many ways, but her voice is seriously something special. Her appeal is more broad than just stage goddess though, with her accessibility and ability to connect with the audience, taking her performances to a level that most performers can only dream of.
She played the first song she had written with Michael Leunig titled Peace is My Drug, with her guitarist executing a hypnotising riff full of depth and swamped in cool effects. The audience was in awe, and the connection between herself and her adoring fans was palpable.
The trio floated harmoniously together during the band’s songs, but Peace is My Drug really showed off these incredible artist’s combined abilities, and the singers impressive vocal range. Strong emphasis was placed on long, drawn out notes, from high, to low, and back again. Katie eventually introduced her guitarist Cameron on the (as she described) “weird” guitar and also gave a shout out to her magnificent husband / saxophone player Zac, who seemed to nail sax solo after sax solo. There was a huge round of applause at the end each solo, fittingly.
The audience was so enthralled by her performance, that it was almost as if time and space didn’t exist, she captured everyone in the moment that was.
A beautiful poem was read next, with passion, almost in a slam poetry style, but more gentle and flowing. It was a good time filler, and the guitar amp spilled dying, waning sounds in the background, which fit the mood, albeit unintentionally.
Whilst there were a few technical issues with the guitar amp, and some of the songs didn’t start as strongly as I would have expected, overall, the performance was absolutely breathtaking. The audience are sure to have left with a feeling of complete satisfaction, and surely wanting to see her perform oh-so-magnificently again in the future.