INXS Makes It Official: Band's Touring Days Are Over

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SYDNEY -- The members of INXS have confirmed that they are bringing down the curtain on their 35-year career as a live touring band, after drummer Jon Farriss said Sunday that the band was playing its last gig in Perth, Western Australia.

In a statement issued Tuesday, original band members Tim, Andrew and Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Beers thanked their fans and paid one more tribute to their late frontman Michael Hutchence, saying now it is “time to step away from the touring arena.”

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“INXS’ touring days could never last forever. We wanted it to end on a high. And it has,” Jon Farriss said. “Our music will of course live on, and we will always be a part of that.”

Added the band in its statement: “We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the friends and family that have supported us throughout our extensive career. Our lives have been enriched by having you all as a part of the journey."

That journey included sales of 30 million albums and a well-earned reputation as one of the powerhouses of stadium rock, touring around the world in the 1980s and '90s, playing to sold-out houses of 80,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium and 120,000 at Rockin in Rio. But that was cut short by the death of their “charismatic and irreplaceable” frontman Hutchence 15 years ago.

“It’s been 35 years for INXS as a live touring band, and unbelievably it’s been 15 years ago since we lost Michael,” Jon Farriss said. “We lived for each other in the trenches, and we loved each other. It was the six of us against the world, and then suddenly and inexplicably we were but five. We were lost right at the moment we were on top.”

But Hutchence’s death, ruled by a coroner as suicide, “was as big as it could possibly get when it came to a challenge,” Andrew Farriss said.  “In the end, we decided for a whole bunch of reasons to march forward. To us there was no other option; families always move forward.”

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The band’s manager, Chris Murphy, said that INXS, which reached No.1 on the Billboard dance charts last year with a remake of Original Sin, always “believed unconditionally in each other and unconditionally in the music.”

Their international hits -- including songs like "Need You Tonight," "New Sensation" and "Never Tear Us Apart" -- remain classics of Australian rock.

“People fade, sometimes way too early … that is life, whether we like it or not. To live to 80-plus is a life well lived. To lose Michael so young was a tragedy for all of us. But with this band, their legacy, their music was just so damn good, it was always destined to live beyond all of us,” Murphy said.

The band closed its 35-year career with Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas joining them and vocalist Ciaran Gribbin on stage in Perth on Sunday night to perform their signature closer, "Don’t Change." They had been special guests on Matchbox Twenty’s Australian tour.

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