Today is the 25th anniversary of one of the best live gigs ever, if not THE best, – INXS’ ‘Live Baby Live’ at sold out Wembley Stadium, London (approx. 72,000 fans)!
This concert means a lot to me and it has set the highest bar for the quality of concerts. Ever. Each time I attend a gig, I subconsciously compare it to this concert of INXS. At that time, in 1991, I was waaaay too young, so obviously I didn’t attend the gig but I watch it every single year on this day (July 13) ever since I watched it on VHS (yes, VHS). And you know what, I’ll never get tired of this tradition!
If you haven’t watched the ‘Live Baby Live’ DVD, you really should. Trust me, you won’t regret it! But you should find the DVD with bonus features (there is so much to see, especially if you like / will like INXS frontman Michael Hutchence 😉 )
Every single aspect of the day of the gig was filled with luck: the weather was superb (warm, no wind), so the sound was top notch everywhere at the stadium and perfect for video recording, the concert was sold out, which means INXS were a band powerful enough to easily gather 72,000 fans that day to share a couple of happy hours with them, and the guys of INXS pulled out an AMAZING show! 6 members of the band played like one – they knew exactly when to jam = extend a song (like with ‘Original Sin’ and ‘What You Need’), when to play to Michael’s actions (like during ‘Suicide Blond’ when Hutch teased the crowd first and only after started
singing: “You know what?”… “What what, I said you know what?”… ”This is a song about…” (from me: the song is about Kylie Minogue, whom he dated at the time of writing it) *and Andrew Farriss starts to play harmonica* – mmm, my fave song since childhood), and when to make the crowd jump or excited (making a quite noticeable pause in the middle of ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ – another super fave of mine, written by Michael and Andrew – before Kirk’s sax solo).
These 6 guys on stage weren’t just bandmates; Michael, Andrew, Jon, Kirk, Garry, and Tim were the whole, and they stayed the whole throughout their long career. Other rock bands can only dream about that unity!
Jon, the INXS drummer, was drumming throughout the whole gig with such ease and professionalism that I still have goosebumps watching that crowd jumping to the rhythm he set from the very first song (‘Guns in the Sky’) and, especially, during ‘New Sensation’ – just watch that part – WOW! Every time I watch the concert on DVD, I wish I were there in the 1st row jumping and singing with the crowd!
***P.S. oh, by the way, Jon thanks so much for remaining such a great person, all your birthday wishes on Twitter on my birthday, likes and replies really make my day!***
***… and thanks, Chris Murphy (INXS manager) for your book! I still can’t believe you presented it to me AND signed a personalized message! ***
(if someone missed it, you can read about that story here in the post about Michael Hutchence on his birthday)
Michael worth a special mention. That day he showed the best rock performance ever! He was an image of charisma and a true rock god throughout his life (no wonder somebody said Michael was “the last rock god”) bearing a strong resemblance to the sex appeal of Jim Morisson on and off stage but still never copying anyone and being the one and only Michael Hutchence. He knew for sure how to entertain people, his fans, and how to make them like him from the second they met or seen him, and even more, make them love him from the first sight. There will be no one like Hutch ‘cause he was unique! Just check out some recent and old Kylie Minogue interviews in which she constantly says that she still loves him, after all these years. Now, that’s influence! By the way, on July 13, 1991, Kylie was at Wembley too (even after breaking up with Michael) along with a Danish supermodel Helena Christensen, his then girlfriend, for whom he left Kylie! You can see KM meeting Hutch backstage in the DVD bonus materials.
‘Live Baby Live’ setlist is impressive – 21 songs, and no mediocre one – they all are perfectly picked out and ordered. Great balance between earlier hits and new songs and between fast and slow ones. After hearing (and seeing) ‘Know the Difference‘ (wow, Michael was on fire!), ‘Disappear‘, ‘Need You Tonight‘, ‘Suicide Blonde‘ and ‘Never Tear Us Apart‘ no one will be able to get these songs and INXS out of their heads!
I rate the gig 10 out of 10 for the perfect quality of sound and live performance, awesome co-operation of the band members on stage, great video recording capturing INXS and the crowd from every possible angle (cameras were even moving behind Michael when he jumped off the stage to walk along the 1st row during ‘Wildlife’!), and for overall exciting feeling of presence at the rock concert even watching it all happening on DVD at home – just forgetting for 2 hours who you are, where you are, and becoming a fan at the concert of his/her favourite band – INXS!
You can watch the full concert here: