Metro-East Living

Elton John tribute band coming to O’Fallon KC

John Gore sings and plays the piano with the Dogs of Society, the Ultimate Elton Rock Tribute.
John Gore sings and plays the piano with the Dogs of Society, the Ultimate Elton Rock Tribute. Provided

The Dogs of Society will be howling up a storm Saturday night when John Gore brings the Ultimate Elton Rock Trubute to the O’Fallon Knights of Columbus Hall.

“I tell everyone we’re a tribute band, I’m not an Elton John impersonator,” Gore said in a telephone interview from his home in St. Louis. “We favor classic Elton John from the ’70s and a little from the ’80s. I wear the glasses and a jacket, but we don’t do the kitschy stuff. We are true to his songs.”

Gore, 50, grew up playing Elton John music.

“I loved the music. I played Elton in my living room most of my life. It’s kind of a scary fit.”

Take a peek at Gore singing Elton’s “Tiny Dancer” on a video at The resemblance is uncanny, and so is the voice.

“The voice is mine,” Gore said. “I don’t think about sounding like Elton. I do use his phrasing, I work at that.”

Gore started the Dogs of Society, which takes its name from a line in Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” about three years ago.

“I’m a piano player,” Gore said. “I played the nightclub circuit with different bands. It was generally cover songs and I got tired of that. I took a sabbatical for about 10 years.

“Now I get to play music I enjoy and have fun. I’ve got a crack band, too. It takes a lot of effort to get the sound just right but these are some of the finest musicians in the area. I get to play quality music with musicians I respect.”

Those musicians include Steve Johnston, guitar and vocals; Louis Michael, keyboard and vocals; Curt Shaw, bass and vocals; and Dave Johnson, drums.

Gore never met Elton John, “but I did see him perform when he was in town. I wanted to meet him backstage, like a million other people, but it didn’t work out.”

Gore couldn’t pick just one favorite Elton John song.

“Some of mine are the highlights of our show, including hits like ‘Funeral for a Friend,’ ‘Madman Across the Water’ and ‘Rocket Man.’ We do deeper cuts too, like ‘Border Song.’ People who are really into Elton John will be excited to hear it.”

The Dogs of Society, based in St. Louis, have never played O’Fallon before, but they have played the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville.

“The audeince is all ages because the music appeals to all ages,” Gore said. “We see a lot of people in their 30s and 40s — and a lot of people bring their kids.”

You can expect Gore to be pounding away on a baby grand piano on stage.

“We do all the harmonies, notes and licks like Elton in his heyday. We keep it very accurate and true to his songs.

“I want people to suspend their belief and feel like they are really at an Elton John concert. The songs are the star of the show, not the band.”

At a glance

Here’s what you need to know about the Dogs of Society’s Ultimate Elton Rock Tribute.

  • When: 7 p.m. Saturday; doors open at 5:30.
  • Where: Knights of Columbus Hall, 402 East U.S. Highway 50, O’Fallon
  • Tickets: $25 in advance at 618-632-6229; $30 on Saturday