30 Years Ago Today, INXS Played The Greatest Gig Of Their Lives. Here's Why It Rocked!

We break down Wembley XS

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For many Aussie music fans, they'll be blown away to learn that today, July 13, 2021, marks 30 years since the mighty INXS sold out Wembley Stadium to 70,000+ screaming fans.

That gig - named Summer XS - is arguably INXS' most well known gig and captures a little band from Australia at the top of the music world and at the very top of their game.

If you could bottle up the perfect INXS live gig, one that captured their awesome live chops in a serious way, then you can look no further than the Live Baby Live offering.

70,000 screaming fans in a live environment. It doesn't get much better than this. 


Here are some fun facts about one of the biggest Aussie gigs of all time.

  • Just five years earlier, pretty much to the day, INXS played the same stage to the same amount of fans. Except this time, they were supporting Queen. On that day, Queen fans pelted the band with loaves of bread and tomatoes. Guitarist Tim Farriss copped it particularly, seeing he was standing in Brian May's hallowed spot. Safe to say that five years later, the English fans had turned. 
  • The band's cut from the gig was next to nothing. Their manager at the time, the late CM Murphy, reinvested the band's share into filming and recording the show, employing legendary music director David Mallet (of AC/DC and Bowie fame) to "shoot the sh*t out of the gig." They even commissioned a helicopter to shoot the show from the skies, adding to the sixteen 35 mm cameras that captured the gig on the ground.
  • The bulk of the show made the cut on the live album INXS released later that year, proving that for all the shows they recorded on their X tour, this performance at Wembley was arguably their best on the tour, and maybe of all time?
  • Showing how committed they were at the time, the very next day, the band hit the recording studio to record the single Shining Star, the only studio track on the live album. Maybe they'd chewed up the post-gig party budget too?
  • The late great Michael Hutchence didn't care too much for banter during this famous gig. In fact, he barely speaks at all between songs.
  • When the concert was re-released a few years ago, a long lost track from the show, Lately, appeared from the dead. When the show was first released, the song didn't make the cut. because the filmmakers were allegedly replacing the film in the cameras and this all happened during the performance of Lately. During the film's restoration process for the re-release, the editors found enough footage to revive the song and place it back in the setlist.
  • One of the very few times you will ever see Michael Hutchence brandish a guitar happens at the very end of this gig. As the band walk off stage, Hutchence shimmies over to Kirk Pengilly's resting axe and picks it up, basically dry-humping it against the huge Marshall stack. As you'd expect, it sounded awesome.

As Molly would famously say, do yourself a favour and go find a copy of this epic show to watch tonight to celebrate the 30th anniversary! You won't be disappointed.

We've trawled the archives and found an epic interview, where Michael Hutchence tells the world what made INXS such an epic live act. HINT: it involves a sh*tload of grind.


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13 July 2021

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