They came. They rocked. They bolted. Jane’s Addiction played for only 48 minutes last night at Los Angeles’ Echoplex, but made every second count as they blazed through an 11-song set jam-packed with classics and fan favorites.
It was the latest push in the band’s assault on the city’s east side clubs, following a gig at tiny Silver Lake haunt El Cid back in November 2008. Fans were alerted only three days prior through the Jane’s Addiction Website, which offered $10 entry to the first 500 people to sign up and sold out within hours. But for the lucky early responders who managed to snag a wristband, news of an upcoming tour with Nine Inch Nails, which Trent Reznor announced on his blog earlier in the day, made the night even more cause for celebration. (Check out photos of Jane’s long and winding career in A Brief History of Jane’s Addiction.) Despite the fact that as recently as August 2008, Perry Farrell compared the likelihood of yet another Jane’s reunion to the proliferation of “commercial space flights,” Jane’s Addiction are indeed back.
And celebrate they did. Before the band even hit the chorus to their first song, “Up the Beach,” one young fan was already crowd surfing his way to the front, cell phone camera in hand. Of course, there was plenty to feast the lens upon (celebrities like Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson and Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie notwithstanding). As always, frontman Perry Farrell came out dressed to impressed, wearing a white jacket with a loud, Zebra-like pattern, while guitarist Dave Navarro opted for his usual bare chest and ready-to-shred muscles. Also playing for the shirts team, the band’s undeniable backbone, bassist Eric Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins, who led the charge on “Whores,” “1 percent,” and “Ain’t No Right,” in quick succession.
Farrell took a short breather mid-way through to address one fan in the front row who had handed him a joint (“Do I look like I need that?” he chided, before adding, “There’s no wrong answer”), then launched into “Mountain Song” with all the rock star swagger he could muster, prompting the first of several bone-crushing crowd surges. Next, Farrell introduced “Been Caught Stealing” with a brief look back at the old days. “When we were all kind of broke and saw something we wanted, we just stole it,” he told the crowd. “Guess what time it is? Time to steal some shit!” Navarro’s guitar hero riffs and stage-side shimmy sent celebritwitters Moore and Ashton straight to their iPhones, while the flamboyant Farrell got his point across: Jane’s is back in all its glory.
“Ted, Just Admit It” followed and the band closed out the set with their go-to crowd pleaser, “Stop.” Fans expecting a long encore — and perhaps an acoustic “Jane Says” — may have been disappointed to only get a two-song return (“Had A Dad” and “Ocean Size”), but the band knows a thing or two about leaving people wanting more, and we have a feeling that was part of the plan.
Exiting the venue, Navarro told Rock Daily he wasn’t quite “prepared” to talk about the future, namely the NIN tour, but seemed content just living in the present. “I had a terrific time tonight,” he said. “It’s always great to play these songs with these three guys. We hit it and quit it and it was a terrific show.”
Full set list:
“Up The Beach”
“Ain’t No Right”
“Been Caught Stealing”
“Ted, Just Admit It”
“Had a Dad”