With the 15th anniversary of Michael Hutchence’s death approaching later this month, INXS took to the stage in Perth, Australia, on Sunday night for what appears to be the final time, as Australian media are reporting that drummer Jon Farriss announced during the concert that it would be the band’s last-ever performance.
According to the Syndey Times’ Perth Now site, Farriss took the mic from Irish singer Ciaran Gribbin — who joined INXS last year — during the band’s slot opening for Matchbox 20 and said “I’m getting teary” as be broke the news before the band launched into “Need You Tonight.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reports: “He said they didn’t want to reveal anything ahead of the concert, but it was ‘the last time’ they would perform together. Farriss thanked the audience for their support throughout the years.”
The band’s management has not yet confirmed any split; media reports indicate an official statement of some sort is expected Tuesday. The Australian reports “longtime manager Chris Murphy held a meeting with the band members to confirm their decision this morning and is now heading back to Sydney to issue a statement.”
Since Hutchence’s death on Nov. 22, 1997, INXS has used several lead singers, including reality show winner J.D. Fortune. This fall, the band released a 25th anniversary reissue of its 1987 blockbuster Kick. INXS reportedly had been working on new music with Gribbin.
UPDATE: INXS has now released an official statement confirming the end of the band as a performing entity, although perhaps leaving the door open slightly, but not explicitly, to recording in the future. The statement is posted below along with video of Jon Farriss’ on-stage comments in Perth.
VIDEO: Jon Farriss talks to Perth audience
INXS ….. THE TOURING ENDS ….. THE MUSIC LIVES ON
Perth, Western Australia, November 11: It ended fittingly where it began 35 years ago, in Perth, when INXS drummer Jon Farriss declared to a 15,000+ capacity house on the opening weekend of the brand new Perth Arena and the final night of the Matchbox Twenty / INXS Australian tour that from this point INXS would bring down the curtain as a live touring band. In a fitting homage to the band, Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas joined the band (INXS) and vocalist Ciaran Gribbin on stage and performed INXS’s signature closer, Don’t Change, in the band’s encore.
The remaining band members of INXS, Tim, Andrew and Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Beers issued this statement.
“We understand that this must come as a blow to everybody, but all things must eventually come to an end. We have been performing as a band for 35 years, it’s time to step away from the touring arena.”
“Our music will of course live on and we will always be a part of that.”
“We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the friends and family that have supported us throughout our extensive career. Our lives have been enriched by having you all as a part of the journey.”
INXS forged their reputation as one of the world’s greatest live bands, relentlessly touring the US, Europe, South America, and the Far East constantly throughout the 80’s and early 90’s, fuelled by the success of records such as Listen Like Thieves, Kick, X, and Welcome To Wherever You Are.
That hard earned and hard won live reputation took INXS to the very pinnacle of the live world touring circuit with such memorable performances headlining iconic venues across the world… in the UK [Wembley Stadium 80,000], the US [Texas Stadium 60,000] and Rio De Janeiro [Rock in Rio 120,000].
But with the high, came a bitter and cruel blow… the loss of their charismatic and irreplaceable frontman Michael Hutchence in November 1997.
“It’s been 35 years for INXS as a live touring band and unbelievably it’s been 15 years ago since we lost Michael” said Jon Farriss.
“We lived for each other in the trenches and we loved each other. It was the six of us against the world and then suddenly and inexplicably we were but five. We were lost right at the moment we were on top.”
The band struggled to deal with the enormity of it all and the easy solution was to just call it a day. “We never took a soft option, it was the adversity, the challenge and the struggle that forged us into the live working band we became. And this was as big as it could possibly get when it came to a challenge” said Andrew Farriss, “and in the end we decided for a whole bunch of reasons to march forward. To us there was no other option, families always move forward.”
The band’s manager Chris Murphy said, “They believed unconditionally in each other and they also believed unconditionally in the music. People fade, sometimes way too early… that is life whether we like it or not. To live to 80 plus is a life well lived. To lose Michael so young was a tragedy for all of us. But with this band, their legacy, their music was just so damn good, it was always destined to live beyond all of us.”
The last 3 years has seen a resurgence of INXS with their songs being hammered on radio and a rise in audience numbers with the live show. The song Original Sin, with Rob Thomas on vocals, reached number 1 on the Billboard dance charts.
As Jon Farriss says, “INXS’ touring days could never last forever. We wanted it to end on a high. And it has.”
The band will be making no further comment at this time.
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- INXS’ ‘Kick’ to receive expanded 3CD/1DVD 25th anniversary reissue with ‘unheard tracks’
- INXS taps singer Ciaran Gribbin to replace J.D. Fortune, plans fall tour and new album
- Stream: INXS, ‘Tiny Summer’ — new demo
- INXS announces 25-date North American tour this summer in support of ‘Original Sin’
- INXS releases ‘Rocking the Royals: Live 1985′ digital album; watch the full concert