Judge Kent Dixon had a new sensation...turned out to be gas.
Our review of I'm Only Looking: The Best of INXS, Part One, published August 17th, 2004, is also available.
One of the most memorable bands of the 1980s and '90s. One of the weakest live concert DVDs ever.
INXS was one of my favorite bands in the late 80s as I made the transition from high school to university. I took two years off to get my head screwed on right and songs like "New Sensation" and "Need You Tonight" were very much a part of my personal soundtrack during that time.
The band began, as many do, when a group of high school friends decided to pull together to make some music. They played smaller gigs until they were approach by the manager of fellow Aussie band Midnight Oil and began performing as a supporting act. By early 1980, the band had signed a five-record deal and they were on their way. INXS was a pop powerhouse throughout the '80s and much of the '90s, with hit after hit solidifying their rock star status. On July 21st, 1997, INXS performed at the Loreley Festival for the famous German TV series Rockpalast; little did fans know that just four months later, front man Michael Hutchence would be dead from and alcohol and drug-related suicide.
One of the band's final performances with its original line-up, INXS: Mystify features many of the hits that made the band famous, including:
• "Elegantly Wasted"
Bonus Tracks…1984 Rockpalast Performance
I won't sugarcoat this, for a fan of the band from the early days, INXS: Mystify is a huge disappointment. Maybe it's the strong feeling like the band is just humoring the audience and going through the motions or the fact that Hutchence seems either drunk, stoned or both throughout the whole concert. The band strolls on stage as though this were a comeback tour of has-beens, rather than, as the cover art suggests, INXS in top form. For a band that at one time ruled the charts, this is a lackluster performance that is mediocre at best. The fullscreen presentation is incredibly poor, looking more like VHS than DVD, and while DTS, Dolby Surround and Dolby 2.0 mixes are included, none of them deliver to the level one would expect for a live concert release. Yes, this performance was shot in SD, but did it really have to look this bad? One bright point in this release is the six bonus tracks that are included from the bands original performance on Rockpalast in 1984; after the relatively weak main concert feature, it's a real palette cleanser to see the young band performing early hits like "Original Sin" and "I Send a Message."
There's no denying that INXS made their mark on music history and will long be remembered as pop icons that produced some fantastic songs. Fans of the band will likely be disappointed by INXS: Mystify; they certainly deserved better.
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• Bonus Tracks
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