excerpted from a Jane's article in Rip magazine, May 1991...
November 9, 1990: The crowd packed into the cozy confines of the New Orleans Music Hall- barnlike
venue whose homey, allwood architecture seems more suited to a square dance than to the ensuing
melee- sweats with anticipation and zeal as the lights go down. Ripping billows of dry-ice fog herald the
arrival of America's most intriguing- hell, outright best- rock n' roll band. The enthralling bass throb and
sublime guitar textures of "Up The Beach" waft over the wall-to-wall throng as Perry Farrell's customary
toast reaffirms the obvious: El Lay's strangest bastard sons, Jane's Addiction, are back.. in style.
What follows is an hour plus set drawn from Jane's Addiction's self titled 1987 Triple X Records debut
and their two Warner Bros. releases, 1988's Grammy nominated Nothing's Shocking and 1990's
staggering, pseudo conceptual, gold-certified masterwork, Ritual de lo Habitual. The balance, timing,
confidence and sheer energy maintained through the show are a far cry from the last leg of 1988's crash
'n' burn Nothing's Shocking tour. (Of which Farrell later admitted that his primary incentive to perform
was the chance for "a great aerobic workout." "I didn't feel like getting right back out there after we had
done the last tour," he explains. "It was hectic the first time through. Psychologically, I wasn't ready to
go back out there.") The first album's rough-hewn standards, "Whores" and "1%", flow seamlessly into
the complementary groove heavy grind of Nothing's Shocking's "Idiots Rule" and Ritual's relentless
"Ain't No Right." The spectacle of 1,500 Cajun country Jane's fans chanting, "I am skin and bones/I am
pointy nose," in PA overpowering unison is itself worth the trip to the bayou.
This tour finds Farrell, guitarist David Navarro, bassist Eric Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins
rebounding from a hiatus hazed in rumor and controversy. But they haven't let rehab clinic stints,
management sackings (the latest, Farrell explains backstage, necessitated by attempts to present
Jane's as a typical metal band) and continual tale of the band's impending dissolution put a damper on
things. Indeed, as the band modulates downward into the sloping rhythms of "Ted, Just Admit It...," this
miasma of hearsay and negativity evaporates in the face of the here and now. After all, to learn the
answer to even one of the questions that constitute the Jane's Addiction mythos would be tantamount to
watching news footage of a UFO landing in Times Square. In other words, it would ultimately mean
flushing their mystique down the toilet.
Gossip aside, the band is at peak performance tonight, exuding a confidence particular to the self
taught. Farrell is, as ever, the center of attention, drawing on a seemingly inexhaustible arsenal of
unsettling body kinetics and snappy banter. The subject of the ever changing "Pigs In Zen" monologue
on this particular evening is Farrell's orgasmic capacity. Alternating between pseudo-vogueing,
quasi-epileptic flurries of unrestrained energy and even the donning of a second guitar for the ten minute
plus tour de force of "Three Days", Farrell keeps his emulators on their toes and firmly in thrall.
A triple encore of "Summertime Rolls", "Been Caught Stealing" and "Stop!" sees Eric A. dragged
offstage by overzealous fans. A vigorous tug-of-war ensues between crew and audience, leaving the
sombre bassist somewhat worse for wear. Farrell's mood upon quitting the stage, however, is absolutely
exuberant. Peter Fluid, burly frontman of support act 24-7 Spyz, offers a high five and winds up roped in
a mock tango, dip and all. All smiles as he settles down in the lavish accommodations of the Music
Hall's spacious backstage-the band couldn't ask for more fitting surroundings than these high ceilings
with their suspended gold-plated angel- Farrell flexes, relaxes and speaks of better yet to come.
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