Live Review: Matchbox Twenty, INXS, Evermore

14 November 2012 | 10:56 am | Jake Dennis

Matchbox Twenty, pic by Jacinta Mathews

Matchbox Twenty, pic by Jacinta Mathews

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Australian rock legends INXS and headliner Matchbox Twenty sharing the stage for an unforgettable and dynamic cover of Jimmy Barnes' Good Times. That's how the once-in-a-lifetime show at the state-of-the-art Perth Arena finished on Sunday. Such was the camaraderie and respect between the American rockers and the Aussie legends who earlier in the evening announced, to everyone's dismay, that this show would be their last.

The evening of brotherly love began with indie rock trio Evermore, whose youthful songs, particularly the title track from their latest album, Follow the Sun, started the night with a positive vibe. From the outset of their short 30-minute set, which included crowd favourite It's Too Late, the Arena's acoustics proved faultless.

INXS, decked out in military-themed navy coloured jackets, began their commanding set with a dramatic suspense-building drum intro before launching into Suicide Blonde. Oozing charisma and paying respect to the band's founding vocalist and songwriter, the late Michael Hutchence, Northern Irish lead singer Ciaran Gribbin stalked the stage like a growling leopard. If you want to know how to move like a rockstar frontman, just watch him. Celebrating the rerelease of their classic '80s album, Kick, the well choreographed band had the audience applauding and on their feet. One lucky lady even got nose-to-nose with Gribbin during Devil Inside. “Perth is really important to us – we feel really connected to this city,” drummer John Farriss' revealed after the shock announcement that this would be INXS' final show, before Rob Thomas joined the group on stage, helping the band achieve their aim of leaving on a high.

It was the last concert of Matchbox Twenty's 2012 Australian tour, and with four guitars on stage the Arena burned with energy. Bent, Unwell, 3AM – all the favourites were played and the band eagerly promoted their latest album, North. Fierce lead singer Thomas' gravelly voice, pulsing neck veins and bulging eyes suited the songs about the anger, frustration and pain of relationships. Spraying sweat and spit like a cobra, Thomas proved himself an intense storyteller. Another highlight was funky guitarist Kyle Cook getting up close and personal by sitting on the edge of the stage improvising blues while the drummer and Thomas beat the stairs with drum sticks. A powerful rendition of Push was their final encore before INXS were invited back on stage to join the headliners in closing this extraordinary show.

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