The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world






11 NOVEMBER 2012




Matchbox 20 is one of those bands that tend to divide opinion, though by the capacity crowd here tonight at Perth’s newest venue – The Arena it’s clear that they have a pretty large, vocal and appreciative following. It’s strange how evenings go though, and after the events of tonight surrounding support act INXS is hard not to see the performances as being overshadowed by the announcement.







For those who weren’t there or haven’t read it yet- tonight in front of a packed out arena INXS called it quits. Now some might say that for a band that fronted packed out stadiums like Wembley and Rock In Rio back in the day announcing your retirement as a support act to matchbox 20 isn’t the way to go. I completely disagree, there are plenty of bands out there who don’t pack them in like they used to and to me the important thing was that they did it in Perth where it all began all those years ago in the front bar of the Subi Hotel.




As far as gigs go the Evermore, INXS and Matchbox 20 Bill was certainly value for money – three quality rock bands to grace the second night ever at The Arena. On the basis of their performance tonight Evermore might just be a band that couldclimb higher on bills like this. Even though the crowd is still flooding into the arena as they play they seem to go down well with those already in. They of course got best responses for their hits like: ‘It’s Too Late’, ‘Light Surrounding You’ and of course ‘Running’;  but newer songs like ‘Follow The Sun’ the title track to their latest album sounded pretty good too.




INXS Last Show 2012




 Like last time we saw them at A Day on The Green INXS start with a variation of their ‘Drum Wars’ before kicking into the initial raft of crowd pleasers in immediately post and pre-commercial peak numbers like: ‘What You Need’,’ Kiss the Dirt’, ‘ Beautiful Girl’ and ‘Suicide Blonde’ the first song proper. There’s also a new track ‘Sugar’ just to put you off the scent of the announcement to come.




The one thing I will say is that INXS latest lead singer Ciaran Gribbin, who thanks to band profusely for his year with them moments before the big announcement is certainly the sort of confident capable singer that they could probably have done with immediately post-Hutchence. Tonight he’s on fire, and how much of that is his natural style and how much is that is little bit extra due to the occasion we’re not sure. What we do know is that he’s won himself some admirers tonight.




INXS Last Show 01




When Tim Farris comes out and takes the microphone and announces things are ‘getting teary’ you know something is up. As it turns out like we said this will be INXS last live show, though we are left in suspense as to if they will continue as a project.




The highlight of the set for most, announcements excluded, is the selection of songs from INXS most well known album ‘Kick’ which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.  The crowd claps along to ‘Mystify’ as we go through the band introductions – Beers being the non-Perth native, hailing from Manly Beach in Sydney.




It’s really on songs like Kick and the later ‘Need You Tonight’ which is dedicated to Michael, that you realise what a great voice and what a decent performer Gribbin is, which of course makes the announcement rather ironic.




There are funny moments where he manhandles a woman in the front row while singing ‘Devil Inside’ close up as the whole arena watches on the big screen.







At the end of the day it’s a fine set by a band that will be fondly remembered ends with the classic “Don’t Change’ which also sees the appearance of Matchbox 20 main man Rob Thomas on stage. It’s a fitting close.




Tonight of course should be all about the juggernaut that is Matchbox 20. Rob Thomas and co are huge and have a catalogue that the capacity crowd here tonight pretty much know by heart.  We watch the stage set of neon and ramps being assembled behind the black curtains and very much like their set it’s all about precision.




Matchbox 20 Perth 2012




On stage the band are consummate performers, they throw the right shapes, stalk their spots whilst Rob has free reign, one moment prowling side to side, another guitar strapped on throwing shapes: then up behind the drums, hand held aloft.




It’s a beautifully orchestrated show and at two hours Matchbox 20 get the nod from me – opening with ‘Parade’ and ‘Bent’ followed by the first single from their new album North: ‘She’s So Mean’ does the job first up and whilst Thomas may not be the greatest or most forthcoming front man out there he makes up for it in other ways.




As far as the crowd goes tonight I’d be very surprised if anyone went away disappointed. Thomas was flawless throughout with vocals as crisp as they are on the records and songs like:3AM’, ‘If You’re Gone’, ‘Long Day’, ‘I Will’, ‘Unwell’, and ‘Bright Lights’ hit all the right spots. There’s also a nice cameo from the impressive Kyle Cook on vocals on new number ‘The Way’




It’s the closing number though that raises the emotional level again with INXS joining the guys on stage for a version of The Easybeats’ ‘Good Times’and coming just after arguably their best song ‘Push’ it’s a great way to end the night.




by Mark Diggins