Ain't No Right
Then She Did...
Chip Away / Hava Negila
Ted, Just Admit It...
I Would For You
NY.. Both nights were similar but there was a frenzy of beautiful energy, Perry was very, very positive and everyone was in a state of celebration - smiles everywhere in between songs - but once in the song they
were in deep. Flea was going off in the hugest way. After the show on the first night no one left, for 15 minutes people just stood talking and cheering and finally Perry and Dave came back out with big smiles and Perry
says, "We were just headed out the backdoor and we noticed no one had left... the shows over but that doesn't mean we can't make beautiful music for you," and they did Would For You.
This is an article/review from Kerrang magazine, December 6 1997.
THE UNSTOPPABLE SEX MACHINE
When Perry Farrell reformed the most influential US rock band of the past
20 years, we expected something special. Happily, the new JANE'S ADDICTION
show features semi-naked dancers and a lesbian love in..
Words: Don Kaye/Paul Brannigan.
It was inevitable that Jane's Addiction would reunite. In the past 18
months, everyone from Kiss to Motley Crue to Fleetwood Mac have staged a
comeback of some sort, desperately hoping to recapture past glories and
earn vast amounts of money in the process.
The return of Jane's Addiction is different in at least one respect. This
is not a bunch of semi retired 50 year olds trotting out the old hits one
last time. When they broke up in 1991, Jane's Addiction were at the height
of their powers. Within six years, they have become legendary.
Jane's Addiction were an anomaly amidst the big haired LA glam rock scene
of the late 80s. But when their self titled debut album emerged in 1987,
the fusion of frontman/visionary Perry Farrell's helium fuelled vocals and
guitarist Dave Navarro's monster Zeppelin-esque riffs, added to their
bizarre dress code and pseudo-psychedelic imagery, turned heads not only on
the West Coast but across the spectrum of US indie rock and college radio.
The band quickly became flag bearers for the alternative music revolution
that would change the face of the American music business. Over the course
of three years and two more albums-the ground breaking 'Nothing's Shocking'
and the surreal epic 'Ritual de lo Habitual'-they went from being cult
favourites to arena headliners. The video and single for 'Been Caught
Stealing' (from 'Ritual...') were huge hits on US radio and MTV.
In 1991, inspired by a visit to the Reading Festival, Farrell hit upon the
idea of putting together a US touring festival that would feature the cream
of cutting edge music, plus a range of side shows and stalls. This was
Lollapalooza, and that summer Jane's Addiction headlined the inaugural
tour. During the trek, Farrell announced that he'd decided to split the
band at their peak.
They signed off with an electrifying performance at New York's Madison
Square Garden. Farrell and drummer Stephen Perkins moved on to Porno For
Pyros (two albums of variable quality followed). Navarro recovered from
serious drug problems and joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Bassist Eric
Avery disappeared into obscurity.
The Jane's Addiction legacy has overshadowed all of their endeavours. Along
with Nirvana, they have become the most influential rock band of the past
Farrell and Perkins re-united with Navarro-and Chili Peppers bassist
Flea-under the Porno For Pyros banner earlier this year to record a new
song, 'Hard Charger', for the soundtrack to Howard Stern's 'Private Parts'
movie. The success of that track convinced Farrell that the time was right
to re-activate Jane's Addiction: he cheekily termed it as a 'relapse'
rather that a reunion.
Avery has not joined the '97 incarnation, having likened the whole affair
to getting back into bed with an old girlfriend. Flea continues to fill in
for him. The band's month long US tour begins with a two night stint at New
York's Hammerstein Ballroom. Tickets for both shows sold out in four
minutes. A 'warm up' club show in LA two nights prior to the official
opening of the tour received rave reviews on the Internet.
Clearly, neither Farrell's adoring audience nor a new breed of fans too
young to have seen Jane's Addiction first time around are cynical about the
reasons for this 'relapse'. But the man himself once claimed that he would
never go back to the band. So why exactly have Jane's Addiction returned?
"We got together again originally just to do the song for that Howard Stern movie," explains Farrell, "and we had a really good time. The Chili Peppers had a little time on their hands, as did Pornos, so we all hung out and decided to see if doing a couple of new recordings would be fun."
These two new songs-'Kettle Whistle' and 'So What!'-are included on the
'new' Jane's Addiction album, also titled 'Kettle Whistle' (an odds 'n'
sods collection which also features previously unreleased live and demo
material). And yes, they sound great.
"It was a very easy-going situation," Farrell continues, "but we put a lot of time and work into these songs. It's all been very healthy and we're very happy with the results.
"I really have enjoyed my time with Pornos, and I'm sure Dave would tell you the same about his time with the Chilis, and we've gained new musical attitudes. But we both thought it'd be fun to see what we could come up with together now. It was a lot less calculated that people might think."
Curiously, there isn't much press build up in New York for Jane's Addiction's first shows in six years. This has a lot to do with the fact that the band stopped doing any interviews with the US press about a month before the dates. As a result, the papers that do mention the Big Apple dates are either downright hostile ('Time Out In New York' described the band as a 'fraud') or focus their attention on opening act Goldie. ('Village Voice').
Nevertheless, by the time the Brit junglist takes the stage for Thursday
night's show, the Hammerstein Ballroom is rammed. It's also been decorated Farrell style. Red, gold and blue streamers hang from the balconies. Two big bags of coloured balloons hang expectantly from the ceiling. Three strings of lights extend from the stage to the middle of the venue. In addition to the main stage, there are two towers on the left and right of the hall-each with an upper and lower platform-and a smaller stage near the back of the floor which houses an array of acoustic and percussive instruments.
Goldie proceeds to go over like a fart in a Fiat. Even with three people
onstage playing keyboards and samples, plus a woman who sways a lot and
occasionally sings, it's a stupefyingly dull set. A nice idea in theory to
put together a genre-busting bill. In practise, it's painfully apparent
that everyone here in the building came here solely to rock.
Finally, at 10pm, the house lights go down. Spotlights roam the crowd, the
final notes of 'Up The Beach' ring out from the PA, and as the stage
explodes in light, Jane's Addiction detonate 'Ocean Size.' They sound
Navarro's guitar hammers out the song's gargantuan riff, the man himself
swaggering across the stage in a long flowing silver coat. Flea, who's
wearing what looks like coloured pyjamas, leaps merrily around while
Perkins simply pounds the shit out of his drums. Then there's Perry
Farrell: hair spiked and intertwined with carnations, he's a whirlwind of
motion, legs and arms flapping like an excited spider.
A bulldozing 'Ain't No Right' is next, before 'Then She Did' provides the
evening's first mellow moment. All hell breaks loose when a sultry Spanish
brunette comes out to deliver the famous opening line from 'Ritual de lo
Habitual' ("Senors and senoras... Juanes Addiciones!"), and the band launch
into a frenetic 'Stop!'.
By now, Farrell has the crowd eating out of his hand. But they reach levels
of delirium when Navarro and Flea, both now stripped to the waist, begin
'Three Days'. Platforms at the back of the stage magically fill up with
semi naked exotic dancers; two of them performing seductive callisthenics
on a pole, er, erected stage left. When the two ladies take centre stage
and begin writhing around with each other, there's not a loose pair of male
trousers in the house.
The dancers stay on for 'Mountain Song', after which several of them move
to the towers on the venue's floor. Farrell also makes his way through the
crowd, bottle of red wine in hand, and climbs on one of the towers for
It's here-reaching out to the fans in the balcony-that Perry exudes genuine
warmth toward his public, who have been singing the words to every song. As
powerful and charismatic as his bandmates are, this is Farrell's show. His
between song raps might be nonsensical ("I want to take all the love here
tonight and spread it across the whole world"), but he makes a real
connection with his audience.
Next, Farrell goes into the crowd and makes his way to the small stage,
followed by Navarro, Flea and Perkins. Once there, Navarro hits the
familiar lick to 'Jane Says', Perkins providing steel drum accompaniment.
'Classic Girl' and 'Chip Away' follow, then the quartet are shepherded back
to the main stage by King Kong sized bodyguards for set closer 'Ted, Just
Admit It.'It's a rousing finale: there's more dancers, more lights, more
brain-boggling free form musical excursions.
"When you hear what we're doing now, you definitely know that its modern Jane's Addiction," says Farrell later. "The staple of the music is the rhythm, but in between the voice and the drums, anything goes. Because none of us are interested in doing that cliched rock format anymore. We always want to push the envelope; and people who admire the band expect more of us."
But the main set tonight has lasted a mere 11 songs, and the time between
the band going off and the expected encores is getting uncomfortably long.
Twenty minutes go by. Taped music comes over the PA and the house lights
grow brighter, increasing the crowds confusion. A security guard tries and
fails to convince people that the show is over and its time to leave.
Finally, after nearly 30 minutes, with the house lights on, Farrell and
Navarro come out alone. "I was leaving," says Farrell, "but then I saw that no one else was."
Navarro straps on an acoustic guitar, and the duo unveil a tender 'I Would
For You,' the balloons cascading from the rafters. And that is really it:
there's a few glaring omissions (no 'Had A Dad' or 'Been Caught Stealing'),
and the second night is exactly the same as the first, but this is still
one hell of a show.
Brilliant, sexy, passionate and rocking, Jane's Addiction's 'Relapse' tour
is well worth the price of admission. Could it last for more than a month?
"It might stop being fun if we extend it beyond that," Farrell opines. "At the moment it's like a class reunion, and we want to keep it enjoyable for ourselves rather than committing to a lengthy schedule. But after a month on the road, we'll have a better idea how everything is working."
[Gaby is a sweetheart for sending this in for us all to read, don't ya think?]
here for Jam's review of the show
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