The Roxy, West Hollywood, 8/86
(This could possibly be from 8/28...?)
The Players: Perry Farrell, lead vocals; Dave Navarro, guitar; Eric Avery, bass; Steve Perkins, drums.
Material: Driven by pulsating rhythms and a Bonedaddys-inspired psychotic tempo, Jane's Addiction takes its audience into a whirling, drug-induced state of (un)consciousness. Experimenting with wild, head spinning sounds reminiscent of early Pink Floyd, the group refuses to slow down their white-knuckler ride long enough for the squeamish to jump off. Its earth-shaking guitar vibrato, coupled with screaming Steven Tyler-esque vocals, make this incredible foursome sound something like Aerosmith on acid.
Musicianship: Farrell's overpowering lead vocal practically blew the rest of the band's incredibly gifted players off the stage. I'd be downplaying his vocal ability considerably to compare him to rock screamers Tyler and Janis Joplin, because Farrell adds an original and definitely bizarre style of vocal improvisation to the band's sound, that is more similar technically to legit scat jazzers like Ella and Al Jarreau. While Perkins' exhilarating percussion work and Navarro's sizzling guitar vibrato wouldn't make Keith Moon and Hendrix exactly turn in their graves, it just might make 'em sit up and listen.
Performance: You'll see no time-outs for breaks or tuning here- Navarro, Avery, and Perkins simply play their guts out. It's hard to subdue my obvious admiration for Farrell's unabashed onstage talents, so I'll go ahead and rave about him anyway. Yes, he is, by far, one of the most intense and captivating performers I've ever seen. His highly skilled use of an echo box, in addition to the dozens of other magical sounds that he generates onstage, sent his screeching yet strangely melodic vocals through the hearts and souls of everyone present.
Summary: This band is not for everyone; heart victims and pregnant women should view with caution. However, a raw, gutsy sound and a blatant disregard to what sells these days are what make this original ensemble an easy critics' favorite. While local colleges are being bombarded with the foursome on their airwaves, it's a shame these guys don't have an album out to fill up some AOR time. Their set was a blast and I had a great time.
Music Connection, Reviews Clubs, 11/24-12/14/86
[thanks to sonny for sending this in!]
BACK TO THE LIST