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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

INXS Original Sin Concert Review at The Mountain Winery

My concert experience actually began earlier in the day when hubby, some friends and I had lunch with band members Kirk Pengilly and Tim Farriss at Apple Inc.'s Caffe Macs on the Apple campus. Hubby has been friends with the band for years so lucky me that I've been able to become friends with them too. I really love these guys. They are as nice as they are talented!

They were in town on tour to promote their latest album Original SIn, a tribute of sorts to their former lead singer Michael Hutchence who passed away in 1997. The album focuses on re-inventing some of the group's biggest hits by changing the arrangements and bringing in guest vocalists like Rob Thomas, Pan Monahan, Ben Harper, Deborah de Corral (just to name a few) and a musical performance by John Mayer.

Over lunch I learned that Kirk is quite the foodie and he was on an Australian cooking competition tv show called Master Chef. He came in second place!

Bruno, who works at Apple happened to be sitting across from Kirk and, just like him, is also a world traveling foodie. It was so fun to listen to them. I took some notes about local restaurants Bruno recommended and a few food themed tv shows too.

Once we arrived at the venue we began the night backstage at the meet and greet and got to pose for a picture with the guys. They looked so sharp in their suits and ties. Really sweet.

We watched Berlin open the show from the balcony alcove on the side of the stage while waiting to get backstage for the meet and greet. Terri Nunn's voice sounded really beautiful as she sang their huge hit "Take My Breath Away."

After the meet and greet we were waiting for INXS when our night took a fun turn. Well, it actually had become interesting even earlier. When we arrived at the venue to pick up our four VIP passes the band surprised us by upgrading our tickets! (We'd already purchased fourth row tickets but moving from the side to center stage was an unexpected bonus.) With the clock ticking we quickly got on the phone and Facebook looking for friends who would want to come use our other tickets. We found homes for three of them but were left with one an hour and a half before INXS was going to hit the stage.

I'd suggested we go find someone with a seat way far back and give them the ticket if we couldn't find any of our friends who could make it on such short notice.

So as we sat there waiting in between Berlin and INXS, Janet and I decided to trek on up and back to the furthest reaches of the venue.

We began back on the bleachers in the BL32 section. We asked a group of 5 women if any of them would like to join us but they were pretty tight and as much as they would each love to they weren't going to ditch each other for the better seat. I could appreciate that though I think I'd ditch hubby in a heartbeat for a better seat :P

Then we went to the top corner of section 22 but everyone there was a couple so we found no takers.

We persevered and went way back to GA 31 (the General Admission bleachers) and saw a guy standing by himself along the back rail. I have to admit I was a little concerned he might think we were hitting on him when we walked up and asked if he was seeing the show alone but as soon as he said "yes" we told him about the extra ticket and offered it to him. It kind of made me feel like Oprah giving someone who didn't expect anything a really cool surprise. So that's how we met Steve and moved him up into Section 1 with us.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! I was so excited when I saw the guys heading onto the stage. . . And then the show began with the "Drum Opera" featuring all three of the Farriss brothers, Andrew on the left, Jon in the center and Tim on the right.

BTW, once the show starts you usually never sit down and end up doing a 2 hour aerobic dance work out by the time the show is done! Theirs are the most fun concerts I've ever attended and the weather that night was perfect :D

The second song was their classic show opener "Suicide Blonde." That's lead singer J.D. Fortune at the microphone and Gary Gary Beers on bass guitar.

It's a challenge to get all of the guys in one picture because they're usually so spread out across the stage. This one is pretty great because I managed to fit them all in. It looks better bigger so click on the image to see it close up.

One of my favorite things about this show was that we finally got to see Andrew, a lot! Here he is with J.D. Fortune and you're going to see quite a few more pictures of him throughout this post.

Watch Andrew Farriss, Jon Farriss and Kirk Pengilly perform Don't Change

As the guys performed the new Original Sin version of "Don't Change," which is a slower, more soulful and ballad-like rendition of their classic hit, all of a sudden a large white owl began flying over the stage.

It's a blur in the photo but you can kind of make out its legs dangling down on the left and those are its wings beating the air towards the right as it flew back towards the stage.


It flew around and to and from the stage several times during the concert landing on the lighting rig and catching parts of the show between hunting expeditions.

Janet had been to the venue recently and knew a few details about the owl like it has a nest in the tower above the stage and it has owlets (babies) in the nest.

Next, back up vocalist Kelly took center stage when she joined the guys to perform lead vocals for the Original Sin version of New Sensation. It's a much slower tempo with a hint of a country vibe to it.

Andrew Farris and J.D. Fortune performing "Beautiful Girl."

I had a hard time getting pictures of Kirk because from the audience's perspective we were just right of center stage and he's alway at stage left. I was glad I was able to grab this shot of him when he stepped in closer during "Beautiful Girl."

This was the first show I'd been to where the guys did a wardrobe change! Tim came back out  onstage with a fighter pilot helmet on!

Ah! A great opportunity for a close up of Kirk!

And Bass Guitarist Gary Gary Beers dressed up and down.

After the wardrobe change Andrew was wearing a gaucho hat. So cool to him see him out towards the front of the stage playing and singing a lot more than he was on the Switch tour.

In the second part of the show they played one of my all time favorite songs, "Disappear," that I'd only heard live once before at a Palm Desert show.

They also played old favorites like "Need You Tonight" and "What You Need" and a favorite from the Switch album "Taste It."

They closed with their huge hit "Never Tear Us Apart" then lined up with their back up singers to take a final bow.

J.D. back out for the encore with three more songs beginning with "By My Side."

The very high energy and impossible-not-to-dance-to "New Sensation" (the original version) was next followed by their standard show closer "Don't Change" performed in its original upbeat style.

For "Don't Change" J.D. Grabbed two fans from the front row and brought them onstage for the duration of the entire song! They even had to play the tambourine and maracas! How fun that must have been for them!

For the curious I took these photos with my Panasonic Lumix DMC LX3 point and shoot.

If you've never seen them in concert I can't highly recommend the experience enough. They are great live! Janet remarked they are one of the few bands she's ever seen perform that sounded even better live than on their cds or albums. I agree!

Remianing U.S. Dates for the Original Sin Tour are:

July 22 The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA
July 23 The Pearl Concert Theater Las Vegas, NV
July 25 Ogden Theatre Denver, CO
July 28 Mystic Lake Casino Hotel Prior Lake, MN
July 29 The Venue at Horseshoe Casino Hammond, IN
July 30 Fox Theatre Detroit, MI
August 2 The National Richmond, VA
August 3 Wellmont Theatre Montclair, NJ
August 4 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
August 6 House of Blues Atlantic City, NJ
August 7 Mohegan Sun Wilkes-Barre, PA
August 8 Filene Center at Wolf Trap Vienna, VA
August 10 Pier Six Concert Pavilion Baltimore, MD
August 12 Ntelos Pavilion Portsmouth, VA
August 13 House of Blues Myrtle Beach, SC
August 14 Chastain Park Amphitheatre Atlanta, GA

CLICK HERE for more details at INXS.com

And here's your chance to meet the guys up close and personal... If you're attending one of the remaining concerts you can enter to win a seat on the side of the stage and you'll get to meet the band and receive an autographed set list! Just CLICK HERE to enter.

If you love INXS be sure to check out past posts about the band though I've only been taking pics at the last two concerts meaning this one and the VMWorld concert:

INXS Concert at VMworld 2010
• Backstage with INXS

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