By Luke Voogt
Noiseworks front man Jon Stevens will bring iconic hits of his original band and classics of former compatriots INXS to Geelong next month.
The 58-year-old singer was excited to hit the road for the first leg of the tour near Dubbo on Saturday, he told the Indy.
“Being an older artist is the best,” the Kiwi expat said last Friday.
“You’re not driven by that ego anymore, you’re driven by sharing a lifetime of experiences and music that meant something, and still does.”
Stevens will play all the hits that made Noiseworks famous, like Take Me Back and Touch, plus INXS classics to get the whole crowd rocking at Gateway Hotel on 3 August.
“People just love hearing that stuff,” he said.
“Times have changed but people really don’t. They’re great songs and they should still be heard live.
“That is all you are going to hear, songs from your youth, and songs you grew up with – iconic songs from both bands.”
Nothing beat crowds singing along, he said.
“When people know every song that you’re playing it’s a great feeling.
“It’s just a big old singalong and you just go, ‘man, it doesn’t get any better’. What else is there?”
Stevens last visited Geelong in 2016 on tour with Daryl Braithwaite, Kate Ceberano and John Paul Young.
“I know, it’s been a while since I’ve played in Geelong,” he said.
“There’s so many places you try to get to and for whatever reason they get left off.”
Jon had just come off the soldout Red Hot Summer Tour, where he and his band played the hits of Noiseworks and INXS, he said.
“You’ve got 10,000 people just going bananas when you are playing those songs,” he says.
“It makes you realise you have to keep playing them. My job is to make sure everyone has the maximum best time possible.”
Stevens moved to Australia in 1981 after recording a successful solo album in New Zealand.
On Melbourne Cup Day, 1982, he “got pissed down at the pub” in Sydney with AC/DC and INXS manager Michael Browning, who introduced him to Stuart Fraser.
He and Fraser would go on to found Noiseworks, which made the top ten on the Australian charts several times.
He also fronted INXS from 2000 to 2003 after the death of the iconic Michael Hutchence in 1997.
“You can’t take over from Michael,” he said.
“But we all knew each other back in the day and we all played with each other. In Australia it’s a small industry and everyone knows everybody.
“Michael was on the last Noiseworks album. It was a very natural fit. I love that band and their songs.”