Fun Fun Fun Fest: Jane's Addiction
More Guns N’ Roses than Nirvana
By Greg Beets,
12:15PM, Sun. Nov. 8, 2015
Despite their role in kick-starting the Nineties alt-rock revolution, Jane’s Addiction had nothing to do with the anti-rock star aesthetic that delineated the era.
Their unabashed embrace of flash and flesh hewed much truer to to Guns N’ Roses than Nirvana. Just as the former imploded in a morass of excess, Jane’s stepped in with just enough allusions to X and the Velvet Underground to make inroads with the chin-scratchers.
Heard with a quarter-century of hindsight, Saturday’s performance of 1990’s Ritual de lo Habitual succeeded on the virtues of its bombast. Following the album’s Spanish-language introduction, chest-thumping opener “Stop!” slammed the set into gear. Vocalist Perry Farrell was too low in the mix early, but that barely registered next to guitarist Dave Navarro’s perfectly coiffed solos.
“No One’s Leaving” didn’t pack the bottom-ended urgency of the original, but thunderous renditions of “Ain’t No Right” and “Obvious” straightened things out. The bass line went missing on “Been Caught Stealing,” though a headlining set audience was treated to Farrell’s elongated scat-singing in the bridge.
The 10-minute “Three Days” assumed extra emotional heft live. Scantily clad female dancers acted out threesome fantasies as the song unfolded, recalling the gratuitous titillation of an old guard. “Classic Girl” still strikes a sentimental chord, particularly the once forward-looking line, “For us these are the days.”
After playing the album, the band lit into “Mountain Song” with appropriate ferocity before bringing out the steel drum for “Jane Says.” Pseudo-encore “Trip Away” proved slightly anticlimactic, but there’s something to be said for leaving ’em wanting more.