So, my conversation with INXS front man, J.D. Fortune was short and sweet.
Fortune: "Hey there. How are you doing?"
Me: "Marvelous. And yourself?"
Fortune: Letting out a sigh of exhaustion as he ran his hand over his face, "Oh, I'm getting there."
He can't be blamed for being tired.
The Sunday night INXS performance at the Steelback Centre was the final stop on an extensive 21-month tour for the one part Canadian and five parts Australian rock band.
The last minute cancellation of opening act, Haley Sales gave local replacement, Stiffler's Mom a chance to show their stuff.
And show they did.
Prior to starting the first song, I over heard singer/bass player, Jon Ferguson tell Mike Davies (guitar) and Greg Simpson (drums), "Just pretend it's a really big bar."
Being a massive INXS fan since the age of 14, I must admit some skepticism regarding Fortune's ability to fill the charismatic shoes of Michael Hutchence, now deceased for almost a decade.
As AC/DC blasted through the sound system, the five veteran band members emerged on stage soon followed by Fortune, strutting cool and smoking a cigarette.
Every female was immediately charmed.
From the first notes of the opening song, Suicide Blonde
, all fears vanished as Fortune verified that he was indeed the deserving winner of Rock Star: INXS
Utilizing every square inch of stage space to rollick with the finesse and dexterity of a much more seasoned performer as the band had an equally, albeit less boisterous good time, confirmed a new spark in a band whose career has spanned three decades.
No signs of road wear manifested on stage and the audience fed off the energy that poured from the band.
Admittedly, I was struck at just how timeless the classic INXS songs truly are, and found it almost impossible to ignore the urge to set my camera down and shake my booty.
The night's selections included What You Need, Devil Inside, Disappear, Afterglow, Original Sin, Devil's Party, Mystify Me, Need You Tonight
and By My Side
With the redundant question, "Mind if we do another one?" the crowd finally got what most came to hear.Pretty Vegas
With that, the set was done.
But the small yet mighty audience would not rest until they got more of what they paid for.
Following an energetic three-song encore, the members of INXS seemed almost hesitant to leave the stage.
"Sault Ste. Marie, this is a great f**king crowd," said Fortune.
There was also a mention of "next time."
Fingers crossed.Click here to view SooToday.com video highlights