04-28-01 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio, CA
Jane's Addiction, Chemical Brothers, More Heat Up Coachella
The Roots, Gang Starr, Iggy Pop also play desert festival.
INDIO, California It was not the Lollapalooza, but it
was definitely some kind of a lollapalooza. And what
better way to top off 13 hours of music, art and freakish
behavior than a classic set of songs from a reunited
Jane's said they were back and the 31,000 fans at
Saturday's second Coachella Valley Music and Arts
Festival wildly embraced the arty rockers after a brutal
100-degree day that could have easily sapped their
"How long has it been?" singer Perry Farrell wondered
before the band launched into the meandering "Three
Days." Dressed like an alien disco phantom, Farrell
strutted onto the stage in a white, bedazzled jumpsuit, a
pimp-style feathered fedora and ghostly face paint. His
outfit blended into a stage set that looked like an
underwater garden of delights.
Crashing across the front of the stage was a set of white waves. While pale
urchin sculptures sprouted in the background, masked phantoms shot
confetti cannons and a trio of white-thonged stripper/nymphs slithered
around Farrell and guitarist Dave Navarro as the band wound its way through the
As strange as the scene was, though, it felt like just
another mirage at a sprawling festival that showered
attendees with everything from robot wars to live house
music and the U.S. debut of enigmatic, intense Icelandic
ambient rockers Sigur Rós.
But at the end of the day, it was all about Jane's. With
original drummer Stephen Perkins along and Porno for
Pyros' Martyn Le Noble filling in for original bassist Eric
Avery, the band performed for only the second time on
their current reunion tour, the follow-up to their 1997
And although they showed signs of rust at times, Jane's
seemed energized while playing such nuggets as the
pummeling "Mountain Song" and "Ocean Size,"
with Navarro's flighty solos seeming to bounce off the
mountains and rows of swaying palm trees surrounding
the polo fields.
In the middle of the band's biggest hit, "Been Caught
Stealing" performed from a satellite stage in the
middle of the crowd Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea
emerged on the main stage to play an extended solo as
the rest of Jane's made their way back in a Mardi
Gras-style procession through the crowd.
The set ended with a chaotic, furious take on "Ted, Just
Admit It," for which Farrell changed into a silver lamé suit
and a bevy of dancers snaked around the stage waving
oversized, spinning pinwheels.
Farrell's face was frozen into a manic grin as he left the
stage, perhaps a combination of his joy at reuniting with
Jane's and watching a day of eclectic music and art unfold
in a style U.S. audiences haven't seen since the demise
of his Lollapalooza festival.
With dozens of world-renowned DJs playing on all five
stages, sets from such rockers as the Dandy Warhols,
punk icon Iggy Pop and rappers the Roots and Gang
Starr, the festival was akin to European events such as
the famed Reading festival, according to Roots drummer
"I'll tell you one thing," said ?uestlove after his group's
improvisation-heavy set. "It was safer than frickin'
Woodstock ['99]. Over in Europe, this is a normal thing ...
there's a festival every two seconds and it's nice to see
this here. It was beautiful. I thought it was going to be
hot and sticky and troublesome, but it was good." The
drummer for the hip-hop group said his highlights were
seeing geek rockers Weezer and live acid jazz/house
collective St. Germain.
Free of the kind of aggro rock acts, sexually aggressive
mosh pits and violence that have marred U.S. festivals
such as Woodstock '99 over the past three years,
Coachella had a peaceful, inclusive vibe that extended
from the all-day Insomniac rave tent to the Outdoor
Theater stage. The latter featured a lineup that ranged
from Canadian live techno/house trio the New Deal to
next-big-thing singer Nikka Costa, whose Janis
Joplin-meets-Teena Marie soul rock wailing was
enhanced by a band that played everything from blues to
R&B, dub and soul.
Underground rapper Mos Def matched Costa's eclecticism
with his hip-hop/rock/funk band Jack Johnson. Featuring
Bad Brains guitarist Dr. Know, former Living Colour
drummer Will Calhoun and bassist Doug Wimbish and
Parliament/Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell, the
band ripped through a set of songs Def aptly described
as "heavy metal for the ghetto."
The grassy midway featured a dizzying array of
diversions: 12 hours of "tech-Mex" DJ sets from the
Mexican Nortec DJ collective, a hip-hop tent that featured
everything from breakdancing to African high-life music,
live mural painting and a junk metal drum circle. One of
the strangest sights was a giant see-saw sound
sculpture on which a keyboardist played improvisational
music piped into the headphones of a festival-goer
suspended in a hammock on the other end.
After DJ Paul Oakenfold brought the crowd to repeated
peaks during his high-energy pre-Jane's set, it was left to
techno stars the Chemical Brothers to deliver them into
the dust-blown, pitch-black night sweaty and satisfied.
The duo, which had flown in from England just for its
Coachella DJ set, used its show-closing spot to debut a
handful of tracks from an album in progress. "It's nice to
have a little holiday for the weekend," said Chemical
Brother Tom Rowlands. "We've been in the studio for a
long time, so it's nice to get out and play, test out some
Partner Ed Simons said one of the reasons the pair
returned after playing the first Coachella in October of
1999 was because of the positive mood of the show.
"It's a very different festival than the ones in America
[we've played] that have all the violent bands," he said.
With its mix of big-name rock bands, DJs and hip-hop,
Rowlands said the pair was eager to support this rare
breed of U.S. gathering.
The Chemicals' amped-up set included a mix of their
favorite techno classics, the new, tentatively titled "It
Began in Africa," and the set-closing, night-capping "here
we go!" anthem "Hey Boy, Hey Girl."
The exhortation was similar to the one Farrell had left the
crowd with before he exited the stage. "Go get 'em kids!"
Gil Kaufman, with additional reporting by Teri vanHorn
From CDnow: allstar News...
Jane's Addiction Delivers Energized Set At Coachella Music Fest
April 30, 2001, 3:10 pm PT
In a long and hot day teaming with headlining
acts, it was clear from the reaction of the
weather-worn crowd that the reborn Jane's
Addiction was the biggest draw of the
second Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival,
held Saturday (April 28) at the 78-acre Empire Polo Field in Indio, Calif.
Singer Perry Farrell was resplendent in a white
suit and matching large-brimmed fedora; large
colorful faux flowers decorated the stage; and
performers on tall stilts moved through the
crowd -- which totalled 32,000-35,000 fans --
all adding a circus-like atmosphere to the
band's 90-minute set.
Playing together for the second time in a week
after a four-year hiatus, Farrell and bandmates
-- guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen
Perkins, and bassist Martyn LeNoble (Porno for
Pyros, the Cult) filling in for original bassist Eric
Avery -- sounded as energized and engaging
"Ain't No Right," "Mountain Song," "Stop," "3
Days," and other favorite tracks from the
band's two Warner Bros. studio albums
dominated the set, while an acoustic portion,
which found Farrell and Navarro performing
atop a riser in the middle of the crowd,
included "Been Caught Stealing" with Flea
guesting on bass.
Returning for an encore, Farrell told the crowd
the Year of Jubilee means "the proclamation is
to party," then he introduced the crowd to
Francis, a freed former slave from Sudan. The
group closed with "Chip Away," from its first
indie album, with Perkins and Navarro playing
large floor drums.
-- Troy J. Augusto
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