Sex, Sunset & The Good Ol’ Days – Jane’s Addiction

Written by on August 5, 2010 in August 5, 2010, Live Reviews - Comments Off on Sex, Sunset & The Good Ol’ Days – Jane’s Addiction

The Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles 2nd July 2010

Jane's AddictionLos Angeles ‘Sunset Strip’. The 1.5 miles of Sunset Boulevard between Hollywood and Beverly Hills has been a notorious hunting ground for legendary nightclubs and celebrities, the former stronghold of gambling and illegal alcohol through prohibition has long become synonymous for the sinful glitter world of the Californian metropolis. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that you not only find Hustler Hollywood, the largest adult store in the U.S., but also the rock clubs, which decisively shaped the history of popular music a few decades ago. Hence, the Whisky a Go-Go is not only responsible for helping scantily clad dancers to their name (and cages), but also served rock gods like the Doors or Led Zeppelin as a springboard. A few feet further and right next to the rock star-hangout ‘Rainbow’, resides the equally esteemed ‘Roxy Theatre’, in which Jane’s Addiction recorded their 1987 self-titled debut album live.

After long years of stage absences and everything other than a long-lived reunion, there were only a few opportunities to enjoy a live performance in a long time, especially when the band played one of its sought after secret shows in the City of Angels. Still an exclusive appearance, but no great secrecy, this time they wanted to be out mainly for the fans. Only a few days earlier some tickets on Twitter & Co were won. But for those, who are neither celebrities, nor one of the lucky winners, there was only one choice: to stand in line and hope that the remaining tickets were actually sufficient enough to gain admittance. The most perseverant fans spent up to 16 hours in front of Roxy’s closed doors, which only holds about 400 people.

As adequate to Hollywood, there were also a couple of stars present, so that you could find Billy Corgan, Tom Morello, or Duff McKagan wife Susan Holmes in the clubs VIP longue. Apart from a brief debut at Perry Farrell’s 51st birthday party, it was the first complete set for former Guns N’ Roses bass guitarist, Duff McKagan, to share the stage with the three original members of Jane’s Addiction. As a matter of fact, Jane’s Addiction certainly couldn’t find a better substitute for Eric Avery, as Duff not only acts very harmonized in the band structure, but also embodies the spirit of the band and ‘strip’ like no other.

Jane's AddictionBut first of all the events in chronological order: The curtain opens; against a fascinating backdrop of lights and religious motives, begins a bizarre mix of burlesque and fetish strip shows, in which a red-haired beauty, with pleasure, pierced long needles through her tongue and cheeks. Nothing’s Shocking? Wrong, because she and her no less handsome partner shortly thereafter abruptly hung above the stage – with hooks in the back of one’s own flesh. At the same time, another curtain falls and Jane’s Addiction opens with a brilliant set of hits and earlier song material including “Whores”. Also immediately following, “Ain’t No Right” the dancers swung around between the heads of the rock icons, which had the enthusiasm for this kind of scenery written on their faces. Especially Farrell, poses with this uniquely narcissistic decadence, and muses with a wine bottle in his hand in superb form: “I don’t keep track, I just keep going.” Advancing age and excessive heroin use had paradoxically little harm to the looks of our heroes. Perfectly styled, presents Perry, Dave, Duff and their six-packs, while the simpler Perkins almost seems to explode behind his drum set from playfulness.

The provocative blend of sexuality and religious symbolism created its own unique aesthetics, which pervades the band’s history beginning with the cover of their very first record. The visual appearance with the long-present ladies was staged as perfect as the sound itself: Beneath Navarro’s outstanding guitar work and Farrell’s characteristic reverb-soaked vocals especially the new rhythmic foundation shines. In songs such as “Ted, Just Admit It …” the bass groove stands out particularly strong and clearly states how well McKagan works with Perkins and the rest of the band. Jane’s Addiction, Duff and the ‘Sunset Strip’ are clearly linked inextricable – in such intensity and intimacy one can feel the L.A. spirit of long departed days. In view the Roxy’s impact on the ‘Strip’ and the band, Perry Farrell’s final words at the end of the one-hour show gains a level of exceptional significance: “Tonight felt like the good ol’ days!”

© 2010 Matthias Ziegenhain