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January 27, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 04
 
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INXS flips the 'switch' at Paramount
INXS flips the 'switch' at Paramount
by Lee Arthurs - SGN A&E Writer

INXS
January 19 at Paramount Theatre


Any doubts that INXS couldn't survive after the untimely death of Michael Hutchence were quickly laid to rest Saturday night at the Paramount Theater. Playing for a sold-out crowd, in their first US show of the current "Switched On" tour, INXS kicked off with "Suicide Blonde", with new lead singer J.D. Fortune elevated on a platform at the back of the stage, dressed in black and wearing shades, clearly signifying his arrival. When they break into "New Sensation" next, the crowd is assured that INXS is back. Better than ever.

With his dirty good looks and crotch-grabbing antics, Fortune has certainly won over a new legion of fans, but it's his dead-on familiarity with the INXS of old that retains fans of the past and brings them current - to what they can expect with the new INXS.

Any comparisons to Hutchence aside, Fortune has definately found his own voice here - taking ownership of the songs and adding a breath of fresh air into what could have been nothing more than a karaoke session. It's evident with the Fortune-penned single "Pretty Vegas", made popular on Rock Star: INXS and found on their new album Switch, that Fortune is a perfect fit.

The energy of the night was intensified as they tore through a set of both old and new material, including "Mystify", "Need You Tonight", "Devil Inside" and "What You Need", the latter creating such frenzy I've not seen in recent concert memory with the crowd dancing everywhere you looked.

In an encore that included "The Stairs" and the classic "Never Tear Us Apart", they closed the night with "Don't Change" - a fitting reminder that INXS's blueprint as one of the defining artists for a generation has not changed.

Opening for INXS was Marty Casey and The Lovehammers, who pumped the crowd with selections from their recent self-titled debut. It was their cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" however, that brought the crowd to their feet, where they remained for the rest of the night, during a show that was nothing less than memorable and a total blast.

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