At the Lobero Theatre, Wednesday, June 14.
Reviewed by Hannah Tennant-Moore
I have new respect for reality television. As much as I hate to admit it, it landed INXS a perfect front man. Yes, self-named J.D. Fortune is a shameless rip-off and ridiculously vain, changing three times throughout the night — from a black blazer with a fluorescent pink tie to a black T-shirt emblazoned with “Mr. Wrong” — but it turns out, that’s exactly what you want him to be. I admit I was laughing at him for introducing songs with things like “Are you ready to rumblllllllle?” and yet when he jumped off of the stage and ran into the audience, I found myself praying I’d be one of the lucky girls to get a hug. It was Hollywood pretty boy — with a voice to match — meets middle-aged, leather-clad ’80s rock star, and the combination actually fuckin’ rocked.
They thankfully stuck mainly to oldies, opening with “Suicide Blonde” and going on to play most of Kick. But even their new stuff sounded much better — or at least much more convincing an imitation — than it does on their latest album Switch. Maybe it was the strobe lights and the Las Vegas video projected in the background. Maybe it was the ktwo full minutes Fortune spent licking his mike stand before violently throwing it to the stage and squeezing his crotch — the least you can expect from the replacement of a guy who accidentally killed himself masturbating. The night itself was a sort of tribute to old-school rock ’n’ roll, in that INXS allowed fans to determine ticket prices by teaming up with StubHub — a Web site that facilitates ticket sales between customers — to auction off the seats; several seats went for less than $20, while the most expensive (which included the chance to meet the band) was $502.50.
If nothing else, you had to give them credit for their makeover of the Lobero. Who knew it could so comfortably accommodate booming amps and intergenerational partyers dancing in the aisles for three hours straight and shrieking like school girls (and boys) as Fortune sprayed us with his half-drunk water bottle? Still, the Lobero/loud rock culture clash was clear when an older man turned to his wife during intermission and grouchily announced, “My mom told me to never put your feet on the furniture. And what is he so angry about anyway?” He was referring to Creed’s lead singer Scott Strapp, who (oh, yeah) opened the show with such moving radio hits as “Higher” and “With Arms Wide Open,” embodying the lyrics by pointing to his eye and toward the ceiling. He asked the audience to request his new single at local radio stations. Please don’t.