NIN/JA Review: Jane's Addiction, Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at Starlight Theatre

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I thought that Jane's Addiction would open up for Nine Inch Nails, with that distinct female voice announcing, Senores y senoras, nosotros tenemos mas influencia con sus hijos que tu tiene,

Instead, the sold-out audience (few, it seemed had left) stuck around after Trent Reznor and his crew exited after their second-on-the-bill, ostensible farewell-to-KC-fans set. On this, the NIN/JA tour, Jane's Addiction boasts the original lineup, including bassist Eric Avery (whose 17 year absence from the band might explain the absence of songs in the set from the 2003 release, Strays).

Around 9:45 p.m., a white curtain with projections of topless dancers lifted to give the audience their first full view of how the band would carry on throughout the duration of the show: Avery, with his head down, nose to the grindstone, bustin' out deep, deep bass riffs; Dave Navarro, shirt undone, torso exposed fully to stage left, staying as far away from as possible; and the Man himself, pompadoured-out with a necktie, gold lame bellbottoms and a pair of maracas.

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Opening with "Three Days," a 10-minute-plus ode to death and regeneration from Ritual De Lo Habitual, Navarro would right away prove his virtuosity with his trademark white Paul Reed Smith guitar and his ability to fully engage the throng of people directly in front of him.

Farrell,

on the other hand, right away reminded the crowd why he's a Frontman of

the Ages, posing atop his monitor with his mic raised, in front of a

sea of purple and green lights with the smoke machine spewing. His

banter began around the time of the fourth song, as he began to refer

to the crowd as "Missouri" or sometimes, "Missoura" and asked if we

knew about farm animals. Laughable or endearing, it was good stuff from

the native New Yorker whose real name is Peretz Bernstein. It also

seemed from where I was sitting that Farrell got into this spoken

interlude because Navarro had appeared to have broken a string.

The eight-minute-long "Then She Did"

felt kind of jammy, but Farrell's echoing vocals mid-set kept the crowd

going better than Trent Reznor had after his first few songs. Most

notably though, it was just really hard to keep your eyes off Farrell.

His shiny, skinny body twirled, swayed, hopped and jumped around like a

marionette, while his voice never failed.

During "Mountain

Song," the crowd was fully engaged. The song sounded virtually the same

as it did when it was recorded 20 years ago. By contrast, "Been

Caught Stealing" was sped up. Farrell's effects pedals came off and the

result was rather flat. I bet even all those dudes are sick of playing

and hearing that song.

Back to the stage banter: after talking

about slitting his throat, Farrell asked the some of the ladies in the

crowd if they wanted to come back stage after the show and said he

would fuck them "all the way to Chicago." The song? "Ted, Just Admit

It." Like the song says, man... sex is violent. Nothing's shocking.

"Ocean

Size" opened with an explosive bang. Avery continued the infectious

bass riffs while  Farrell came to the front

of the stage and promptly slipped and fell. There was an audible thump and

pause in the lyrics, but the song continued. From where I was sitting,

it appeared he resumed singing from the sitting-upright position.

For last song before the encore, "Summertime Rolls," the stage darkened and

Farrell could be heard announcing his own exit: "Perry Farrell is

paralyzed...and he wanted me to tell you to kiss his ass." It was also

during this song which he introduced the band. There was a quick nod to

Avery before he moved onto his huge-haired man behind the beats. He

claimed he "couldn't ask for a better man, better drummer than Stephen

Perkins." I agree. A man of world beats, his polyrhythmic spree

combined with Avery's bass work was a solid backbone for JA's aural

assault throughout the set and the song. With Farrell's wailing vocals,

"Summertime Rolls" is definitely one of their signature songs.

They

could've stopped there or with the extremely tight,

fuckin'-a-we've-been-doin'-this-since- the-'80s encore song, "Stop"

but they brought out the acoustic guitars and steel drums ended with

perennial favorite and the heavily played radio hit, "Jane Says."

That was the only dull moment in an otherwise spectacular show.

Set list:
Three Days
Whores
Ain't No Right
Pigs in Zen
Then She Did
Mountain Song
Had a Dad
Been Caught Stealing
Ted, Just Admit It
Ocean Size
Summertime Rolls

Encore:
Stop
Jane Says
 

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