INXS of Matchbox Twenty

7 11 2012

Hmm? What? Did you say something? I’ve only been deaf a few hours, I haven’t got this lip reading thing down yet.

Yes, it was fantastically loud, but I didn’t feel the magic like I have done on previous occasions. Of course, I’m talking about the INXS and Matchbox Twenty concert I went to last night.

The variety of songs was good, the crowd interaction was good, the crowd response and behaviour was also good, but I didn’t feel the magic; it just wasn’t there. It may have been my seat, or it may have been the venue, I don’t know. It was my first time seeing a live show at the WEC (Win Entertainment Centre). I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy it, I’m really glad I went, because I’ve now fulfilled a childhood dream, but I just wasn’t pumped the whole show like I have been previously. Not only that, because I don’t have the best camera in the world, and also because of the lighting and seating position, I don’t have many photos to share, and the clips that I captured are a bit below par if I’m honest.

The night started out alright. I was able to get there pretty early and finding my seat once they let us in was a breeze. INXS started the night and it was the first opportunity I got to hear new lead singer Ciaran Gribbin. From the get go, it seemed like it was going to be a bit of a disappointment because he only had so many moves. One of them was to thrust his hips back and forth in an exaggerated way, and grew old fast. The track listing was awesome. I knew pretty much all of the songs that they played, and the ones that I didn’t recognise they told us what were; so that was good.

At one stage, Kirk (Pengilly) was even in the audience to play a saxophone solo; and he was right near where I was sat, on the opposite side. That was a shame really, because if I’m honest, Kirk is my favourite member; a sax player in a rock band, doesn’t get much better than that.

Their set list was: Suicide Blonde, Original Sin, What You Need, Sugar, Disappear, Kiss The Dirt, Beautiful Girl, Need You Tonight, Mediate, Mystify, Kick, Devil Inside, New Sensation, Never Tear Us Apart and Don’t Change.

They dedicated Never Tear Us Apart to Michael (Hutchence), as you could say was expected I guess. The coolest part of their performance of this song though was what they did in the silent part after the chorus. They all stopped dead; absolutely froze on the spot, all of them. They held it for a good 30 odd seconds to, which was a blow out.

Then something peculiar happened, Ciaran jumped off stage and started shoving his tongue down some girls’ throats. The thing was though, he was still singing; “how is that possible?” my mind boggled. The first and disappointing thought that I had was that he was lip-syncing.

Once they wrapped up there was a 40 minute intermission before Matchbox Twenty came on. It was a long break because INXS had their own drum kit with a ‘Kick’ skin on the bass drum to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that album. They also had a massive block that the kit sat on that said INXS in massive chrome lettering, so all that had to be moved, naturally.

I’ll tell you what though, I’m glad my seat was close to the toilet though. As soon as INXS were off stage I darted there to try and avoid the long line up, but the line was already out the door when I got there, and it only got longer.

Before Matchbox Twenty came out, there was a short clip in black and white of a male tap dancer singing and introducing the band. Then the curtains pulled back and they were straight into it.

I know the tour is it promote their new album North, but I was kind of hoping that they would play all their other stuff, because North is their only album I don’t own yet. As it turned out though, they did play a lot of their classics, so I was chuffed at that. Unlike INXS though, if they played a song that was new, they did tell us what it was called and told up what type of song it was, but Rob (Thomas) was a bit hard to make out, he came through a bit muffled; and a few people are me agreed, so I can’t say for sure I know what all the tracks they played were called, but I know most of them so it’s all good.

They didn’t disappoint with the stuff they played either, their set list covered all their albums, both hits and fan favourites. There were a few I didn’t know, so bear with me while I try and nut it out. They opened with Parade, Bent, Disease, She’s So Mean, How Far We’ve Come, 3 A.M., Real World, Radio, If You’re Gone, Overjoyed, All Your Reasons, Long Day, Back To GoodI Will, Unwell, So Lonely, one I don’t know, but I think was Over The Years (I think), The Way (sung by Kyle Cook), Bright Lights, Sleeping At The Wheel, Put Your Hands Up, Girl Like That, You’re So Real and Push. So there was a plethora of songs both old and new.

One thing that I did notice though, was they had a wondering bass player. First Brian (Yale) would be over here, and then there; he really wasn’t in the same place for two songs in a row.

The stage set up that they had was quite interesting. It involved a series of stairs and different levels. On one level you had the drummer, on another you had keyboards, on the opposite side to which you had a grand piano and right up the top you had a small platform that was empty. This was utilised by both Rob and Kyle at different stages throughout the night.

The other guitarist, Paul (Doucette) had two big drums bought out to him for different songs and gave them a good old bashing. He was also good at strumming chords really, really fast that I wondered how many times he had broken strings from playing that hard.

Unlike Ciaran though, there was no doubt that Rob wasn’t lip-syncing. You could pick up all the little changes that he made compared to the cd and not only that you could see the physical strain on his face.

So overall, it was a good night and I glad I went despite not feeling the magic, but this may have been the seat. I reckon it was because with the other two gigs I’ve been to; I was inches away from the stage and it was a much smaller venue. Seeing the crowd swell up in front of the stage, I instantly regretted not buying a ticket for the ground level. Rob did his best to get the whole crowd into the mood, but it just wasn’t the same.

I will be able to tell you if it was the venue or the seat in a few weeks time though as I am returning to the WEC to see Simple Minds, DEVO and The Church and I have a ticket for ground level.

For all you Church anoraks out there, I will be on Peter’s side of the stage.

Probably the weirdest thing about last night though is that I woke up with Disappear in my head.

P.S. – I am having trouble uploading pictures at the moment, but will try and get round to it at a later date. Please bear with me. As I said though, they are not of the best quality.


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