Jane's Addiction @ Veteran's Memorial Coliseum|10/25/12
I have a confession to make. I've never taken Jane's Addiction all that seriously. I think it's largely due to guitarist and modern-rock caricature Dave Navarro. His dedication to choosing mascara over shirts remains laughable.
But you'd have a hard time convincing the crowd that the 27-year-old alternative band weren't kings, as the packed showgoers roared for an hour-long, greatest hits-style set.
Which isn't to say things went without hiccups. The band took the stage to Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" and launched into "Welcome to the Underground," from the band's latest, The Great Escape Artist. It became clear as the show progressed that frontman (and Lollapalooza maven) Perry Farrell wasn't quite on his A-game, slurring the words to some of the band's most popular songs.
Luckily, the band has that catalog to fall back on.
Nostalgic favorites like "Mountain Song" and "Just Because" followed, and the group made sure to kick the crowd energy up a few notches with "Been Caught Stealing." The crowd cheered as Farrell and Co. took seats onstage, complete with bongo drums and Navarro went acoustic.
Arguably the strangest part of the set came during "Ted, Just Admit It," as vintage BDSM porn clips played on large screens behind the band. I'd be lying if I said my focus didn't shift during the song, as two women in lingerie, perched on a bench atop the stage, pleasured each other in some bizarre act of performance art.
"Splash a Little Water on it" and "Ocean Size" stifled some focus back on the band's theatrics. The band ended, appropriately enough, with "Stop!"
It's tempting to chalk the 13-song set up to the setting -- playing the Arizona State Fair -- but the band's whole tour has felt this rushed, and maybe even a little dismissive of the hardcore fans looking for the deep cuts or b-side jollies. There's something to be said for brevity, but I have to wonder if Jane's Addiction fans felt a little let down. Despite the release of last year's The Great Escape Artist, maybe we should hold out hope that Farrell will consider a Porno for Pyros reunion for next year.
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"Underground" "Mountain Song" "Just Because" "Been Caught Stealing" "Ain't No Right" "Irresistible Force" "Jane Says" "Chip Away" "Whores" "Ted, Just Admit it" "Splash a Little Water on It" "Ocean Size" "Stop!"
Critic's Notebook: Last Night: Jane's Addiction at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum Crowd: Large and diverse Random Notebook Dump: "What's with the crowd security? They're yelling at everyone taking pictures on their cell phones."