The Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ, 8.3.11 – INXS was my very first concert experience during the Kick tour in the summer of 1988. Ziggy Marley opened the show at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Middletown, NY. You never forget your first, and you compare all others. Of course I was just feeling my way around that night, but 23 years and probably 250 bands later I found myself back in bed with the girl who started it. Only this time, she looked different. No bad different, just different.
Michael Hutchence was the computer animation of what a front man should be. And when he passed, who would think that INXS would be living on more than 10 years later. JD Fortune won a contest, on TV, that put him at the front of one of the great bands of the 80s. I watched the show not knowing what to expect, and by the end it was obvious JD was the person to continue the legacy of this band. I think only Hutchence could do it better, but JD Fortune was a great combination of the Hutchence hora and his own unique style to go with it. He wasn’t replicating Hutchence, as that would have failed.
The Wellmont was Kick-ing this night, pun intended. I was very curious as to what the crowd was going to be like. But the crowd embraced JD and let him take them on a great ride. The entire band was obviously on the top of their game, even 25 years, and 2 strong lead singers later.
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