Few aging rock stars can put on a show as Jon Stevens does and at the Gateway Hotel recently Stevens showed why he was one of Australia’s best and most unique singers. Playing a raft of solo and INXS tracks that covered his full 30 plus year career, Stevens was lively and animated straddling centre stage as the strong sold-out crowd lapped every minute up.
Stevens was a replacement for Michael Hutchence in INXS for a few years and was hands down the best replacement of a few that the remaining band members had used. His voice suited the songs and he was strong mates with most of the guys before even joining, So for his latest round of gigs Stevens, encouraged by his old bandmates decided to play a vast array of the Aussie bands’ hits and the results were telling. While Hutchence is difficult to replace for anyone, the songs of INXS this night came alive and had a vitality that much of INXS music use to have. And let’s face it they are all crowd favourites. Burn For You, Original Sin, What You Need, Need You Tonight and Never Tear Us Apart seemed like they were almost written with Stevens in mind.
The audience members were full of enthusiasm and willing on Stevens and his tight band from the start until the raucous endnotes.
A real treat was had to see a fine singer and true survivor of the Aussie rock scene.
Written by Chris Michaels