What an energetic buzz there was at Miami Marketta as the crowd eagerly waited for Jon Stevens to rock the stage. He did not disappoint, opening up the The Noiseworks & INXS Collection tour with the INXS classic ‘Suicide Blonde’. The bar was set high for a hot performance of hits from both his time as lead man for Noiseworks and INXS front man in 2002-3. The energy between the band members was electric. You could feel the love of being on stage performing these songs together radiate all the way to the back of the room.
Jon Stevens let the crowd know straight up they were going to play until the bell tolls which he reminded us was strictly 10pm at Marketta. Embraced by three hot guitars, keyboard and sax and banging drums, Stevens urged the crowd to reach out and touch somebody as they launched into the title track of the Noiseworks album ‘Touch’. If that didn’t bond the audience nothing would. The spark of music evoked nostalgia was well and truly lit as we all sang our hearts out with many even reaching out with affection to touch a fellow musical loving stranger.
The buzz continued as his talented band attacked the INXS hit ‘New Sensation’ with all the hard hitting energy that a good Aussie pub rock band does with special mention to the bring down the house sizzling sax solo. Sandy I believe his name was (the crowd were too loud for me to clearly make out band name introductions) absolutely shredded on guitar on the Noiseworks track ‘Love Somebody’ while Jon reminded us that in this crazy fucked up world you gotta love everyone.
The hits just kept coming between Noiseworks and INXS you can’t go wrong. There are so many amazing songs to choose from with Jon’s vocals on ‘Bitter Tears’ sounding exceptionally good. ‘Miles and Miles’ had Jon reminiscing on stage about getting stoned at Jindabyne and writing that song. He did surrender a post script to confess he doesn’t do that anymore since becoming a Grandpa.
‘Take me Back’ was another crowd pleaser that took me back to their gig at the Village Green Hotel in 1987 when I was an apprentice rock chick. It sounded so good I felt just as young and carefree as I did back then.
What struck me about the night was that there were very few occasions you could see mobile phones being held aloft to capture videos or photographs. The crowd were just far too busy rocking and singing along to think about anything other than getting sweaty and meeting new singing buddies. The INXS track ‘Never Tear us Apart’ naturally evoked a lot of emotion and phone recordings in the crowd. It reinforced the need we all have to form connections that are unbreakable with someone or music. And wow the sax solo on that song again igniting the crowd – we were on fire cue ah ha ‘Devil Inside’.
Finishing up with an encore of ‘Kick’ from INXS and the aptly modified for pleasure ‘Hot Chilli Woman’ to Hot Miami Woman the audience were left wanting more, but sadly it was ten o’clock. If you get a chance go catch him on this tour, it delivers in sweat, swaying, smiles and Jon and his band prove it is and always will be about the music.
Images (c) Simone Gorman-Clark