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Jane's Addiction is hard to kick

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

By Scott McLennan

Music Review
WORCESTER-- Jane's Addiction launched its
comeback tour in impressive fashion last night at the
Worcester Centrum Centre, proving that some things just
don't go out of style.
In theory, Jane's Addiction has no right to be as good
as it was in concert. Add up the facts: The band released
just two proper albums, the last one 10 years ago; band
members haven't played together since a brief reunion in
1997; and the whole rock 'n' roll landscape has
dramatically changed since Jane's Addiction made its
initial impact.
That said, Jane's Addiction showed what can happen
when a band has a clear vision and simply sticks to it.
In Jane's case, that vision is a narcotic blurring of the
line between elegant and bizarre. Carnal and spiritual
elements collided all night, with singer Perry Farrell
weaving between the roles of salacious carnival huckster
and wide-eyed spiritual seeker.
The Jane's Addiction song catalog is all about the
search for some sort of new, exotic and erotic morality.
And those songs -- impeccably played by the team of
guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and
bass player Martyn LeNoble -- still resonate today
because they never seemed to be written for a specific
time. Jane's Addiction's wild fusion of sound was fresh
when it came out, and it still sounded fresh on the first
night of the band's Jubilee Tour.
Jane's Addiction converted the entire Centrum into its
stage. Platforms rose at mid-arena and another was
perched up in the loge seats. Dancers appeared and
vanished from those spots while the band played on one
of two stages. The main stage was festooned with lights,
giant paper lanterns, flags, netting and a macabre maypole
from which scantily clad women spun. A small stage was
set up at the opposite end of the arena. While in that
scaled-down setting, the band turned in softer but no less
riveting material.
The show opened on the slow groove of “Kettle
Whistle,” which quickly established that Jane's Addiction
was not going to look like any other rock band out there.
Farrell was in a flowing, sheet-like white dress, one that
secretly housed a bevy of dancers that slowly emerged
from the garb as the singer swayed away.
With the visual elements on overload, the band upped
the ante of the music by cranking out “Ocean Size,” “Ain't
No Right” and the epic “Three Days.” Those songs
brought Jane's Addiction through varied terrain of punk,
heavy metal and psychedelia -- and the band handed
those shifts with ease.
After keeping up the momentum with “Stop” and
“Summer Rolls,” the band disappeared from the main
stage and reappeared on the small stage. With Navarro
on acoustic guitar and Perkins behind a marimba, the
band launched into a searing version of its trademark
song, “Jane Says.” The band kept the mood airy with a
reading of “Classic Girl,” then followed with decent dips
into Navarro's and Farrell's respective new solo albums.
Navarro sang the plaintive “Rexall” and Farrell followed
with the beaming “Happy Birthday Jubilee.”
The band returned to the main stage to tackle the
anthemic “'Mountain Song” and darkly twisted “Ted, Just
Admit It.”
The encore consisted of Navarro, Perkins and
LeNoble pounding on drums as Farrell chanted about
seeking peace through spirituality. Yes, the band avoided
its biggest hit, “Been Caught Stealing,” and anyone who
found that disappointing probably missed the point of the
Live opened the concert with a batch of its edgeless
songs, but was easy to forget about once Jane's
Addiction hit the stage.


Main Stage:
1. Kettle Whistle
2. Ocean Size
3. Ain't No Right
4. Three Days
5. Stop
6. Summertime Rolls

Second Stage:
7. Jane Says
8. Classic Girl
9. Hungry (Dave Navarro)
10. Happy Birthday Jubilee (Perry Farrell)

Back At Main Stage:
11. Obvious (instrumental)
12. Mountain Song
13. Ted, Just Admit It
14. Chip Away