By James Currie
The house is packed. The stage is set. Pink Floyd is warming the crowd up. The lights drop and the cheers begin. Thunderous bass riff rolls in commanding the audience response to “Whores”. It’s a cold damp late Sunday night in September 2011 and Jane’s Addiction is about to take this second night, sold out crowd back 23 years at the magnificent, vintage nightclub across from Wrigley Field called, the Metro.
In the fall of 1988, a little known Alternative Rock band from L.A rolled through Chicago named Jane’s Addiction. They we’re on their first tour. It also just happens to have been another big night for a local favorite, the Smashing Pumpkins played the same night. Oh what a night that must have been.
This is the first time Jane’s Addiction has played a small club tour in more than 20 years. Only 3 cities were chosen and we’re one, L.A. and NYC the others. And what a treat it was. So much so, that Perry’s wife/dancer Etty, even passed out Halloween treats at one point during the show.
Pink Floyd comes to and end. They troupe out in black. Perry strutted out with his bottle of red wine, a microphone and form fitting tank top. Guitarist Dave Navarro with his axe, leather, tattooed sleeved arms and perfectly quaffed hair. Stephen Perkins jumped behind the drums with a simple black t and shorts while fairly newcomer to the bass guitar, Chris Chaney, in another black t, pants and black vans. Letting you know as a viewer, this is a no frills, back to basics rock show. And they didn’t disappoint.
After starting the show with Whores, they teased the audience with a little Led Zeppelin. A band that Farrell identified as the band they dreamed of being like. Navarro played “Hangman” and Perry followed along. The audience cheered for more and they obliged for a few more bars. This was the tone of the show. A fun, carefree night of music. Low key and for the fans.
Throughout the show, Perry (51) bantered with the audience. Telling stories about the past, what he likes about being back, getting old, teasing Perkins about his hair and stating, “Fucking as many woman as he can”. He tweaked the knobs on his custom made vocal system and commanded the stage side to side.
Navarro and Chaney, like rocks, held the fort on each end while Perkins punished the skins of his kit.
They played the hits for about 75 minutes. Continuing on with “Just Because”, “Ain’t No Right”, “Then She Did,” “Been Caught Stealing”, “Lies”, “Ocean Size”, “3 Days” with a massive solo by Navarro, new track “Irresistible Force” which sounds like it could have been on 1990’s, “Ritual De Lo Habitual” album, before ending with “Idiots Rule” with a guest trumpeter, “Mountain Song” and ending with the always crowd pleasing “Stop”.
Then, the lights went down and the band walked off. The show was over, but the crowd wanted more and Jane’s responded with the ever popular, “Jane’s Says”. They all came back out and lined the front of the stage. Perkins lead the ensemble on the steel drums to the song that put them on many radio stations, pop charts and making them a household Rock band name.
This is how Jane’s Addiction should be seen. In a small, dark, dirty club with low lighting and dirty loud sound system.
Jane’s Addictions new album, “The Great Escape Artist”, is due out October 18th, 2011. In an interview with Artist Direct, Ferrell describing the album’s overall aestheic, “it’s a strange mixture of that post-punk Goth darkness that Jane’s had, with what’s going on today with groups like Muse and Radiohead. As much as I want to appease fans and make old Jane’s fans love me, I just can’t help myself from moving forward.” Following the album’s completion, producer Rich Costey stated, “This was a real Jane’s Addiction record.”
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