Thoughts on Damien Leith – Elvis The Gospel Collection

What: ELVIS – The Gospel Collection
Who: Damien Leith
When: 16th August, 2017
Where: Playhouse, The Arts Centre, Melbourne

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I was lucky enough to attend Damien Leith’s one-off show at the Playhouse Theatre/The Arts Centre in Melbourne. The date marked forty years since the passing of the King. Singing songs from Elvis Presley’s gospel collection, the acclaimed singer-songwriter and 2006 Australian Idol winner proved once again he can sing anything.

It is difficult to know if the crowd were fans of Damien, Elvis or a combination of both. (His children had also flown down with a couple of friends to see the show). I, being a fan of Damien, wasn’t too familiar with many songs (I counted ten on a very long set list), so for people like me, the concert was a bit of an¬†introduction. Although there were some recognisable classics including Bridge Over Troubled Water and You’ll Never Walk Alone (from 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel and anthem of Liverpool fans).

Dressed in a red blazer and black shirt, pants and shoes, the Irish-born performer, was joined on stage by a fourteen-piece band and back-up singers. Despite a broken shoulder injury making him unable to play guitar, we were treated to the rare-sight of Damien dancing. Although he joked about his lack of abilities, modest being, he can dance! It also felt a more special because we did get to see that different side of him – those of us who’d seen him before.

After an interval, Damien sat at the piano to play a few tunes – Stand By Me with Gavin Chatelier (whom impressed Damien earlier in Tamworth this year), as well as requested fan-favourite Hallelujah (and not technically an Elvis song, but a special treat for the audience and “Damienites”).

At the end of the show, he gave us a medley of Jailhouse Rock, Suspicious Minds and I suspect a third but I can’t remember which one. He also sang American Trilogy and Crying in the Chapel*

For sale at the merchandise desk was a three-song collectors CD for $10 (I believe only 150 were made for the night). Although, as I’ve read many asking for a full release, I suspect a full album will be released in the future (but don’t quote me on that) – but honestly, it would be a shame not to. There’s no denying Damien has a beautiful, soulful voice; if gospel music is about joyous celebration, that’s what we got.

*If anyone is reading this who was there and knows more songs, please let me know below so I can add them in. Not being familiar with Elvis’ songs, I’m unsure of titles.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Damien Leith – Elvis The Gospel Collection

  1. Gloria Gale says:

    Set list for Damien’s Elvis show at Playhouse Theatre, Melbourne. 16.8.17
    I have a feeling I missed a song near to the end of the show, maybe, maybe not!
    Agree with all you said, Damien can sing anything and sing it extremely well. Thanks for the report.

    How Great Thou Art
    Rock my Soul (upbeat, great)
    Crying in the Chapel
    Swing low sweet Chariot
    You’ll never Walk alone
    Where could I go but to the Lord
    Clean up your own backyard
    Peace in the Valley
    Can’t help Falling in Love
    Bridge over Trouble Waters – perfect one to end the break, gorgeous.


    Damien came out Solo on the piano and was joined by Gavin Chatelier (beautiful voice, and great harmonies with Damien on
    Stand by Me
    Hallelujah (solo on piano) beautiful

    Band returns….

    So high, can’t get over it
    Did you ever have One of these days
    If the Lord wasn’t walking by my side
    Amazing Grace, sounded great with all the backing singers
    I Believe
    Put your hand in the hand

    Then a little rocky medley –
    Don’t be Cruel
    Hound Dog
    Jailhouse Rock
    Suspicious Minds
    Damien left stage but band remained.

    I think I’ve missed a song here, (sorry) there was one more, and the finale blew us all away

    If you received this twice I apologise. Left my details off the first one and figured it may not go through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mallory Arbour says:

      Thank you so much for this! Your memory of the night is so impressive! Wasn’t it a fabulous night? I also feel having it at the Arts Centre made it feel just that little bit more special – I hope you felt that too? x


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