Live Review: Jane's Addiction — The Roxy, West Hollywood
Mon, 05 Jul 2010 15:26:35
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There's a certain musical mysticism to the magic that is Jane's Addiction.
It's that same spirit that coursed through Led Zeppelin and David Bowie during their best recordings and performances. It's that ability to lavish hard-hitting riffs and lyrics with a sly sensitivity and sense of humor. It's that spirit which maintains Jane's Addiction's status as legends.
These four Los Angeles rock gods possess a poetic power when they hit the stage that's unwavering and uncanny. At the Roxy this past Friday night as part of Bing's Sunset Strip Summer Concert Series, Jane's Addiction rustled up an utterly epic rock 'n' roll experience for the packed crowd, and it was easily the hottest 70 minutes of summer so far.
Jane's Addiction turned The Roxy into a combination of chic, funky artist's loft and vaudevillian theater. The curtain in front of the band raised as two fetish models were hoisted up on cables Kill Bill-style to swing back and forth as the band played. It was all a part of Jane's Addiction's sultry sonic seduction. The muscular wail of "Whores" was an incendiary intro. Dave Navarro precisely conjured a smooth solo that took flight alongside Perry Farrell's distinct croon. Perry bounced off the speakers, jumped and danced with a palpable energy that could probably be felt miles away at the Hollywood Bowl. His vibe proved uncontainable and his voice sounded better than ever, angelically carrying from The Roxy into outer space.
Duff McKagan's churned out a robust bass line for "Ain't No Right," infusing a powerful foundation while adding his unmistakable flavor. Duff makes the band sound heavier than heaven, and it's nothing short of mindblowing to see him with Perry, Dave and Stephen Perkins. Plus, every bass line (especially that of "Mountain Song") sounds more badass by Duff. Christmas lights lit up the back curtain as Navarro kept ripping and the models kept swinging. It was bizarre, beautiful and brilliant all at the same time.
Navarro remains a true guitar god. He's one of the few players that can build a carnival of sounds with riffs and solos and he did it on "Had a Dad" and "Been Caught Stealin'". He and Perry share that classic singer-guitarist mystique too, fitting the Almost Famous maxim. Navarro tore through a deft solo while his cigarette never moved—that's real talent. Perkins' stomp locked in with McKagan and their rhythms were so tight it sounded like they'd been playing together since the beginning of time, especially on a kinetic "Stop!"
Perkins' calculated bounce gave "Ted, Just Admit It…" a welcome wooziness that was slow and sweet. During "Moutain Song," Navarro's riffs careened around the tribal beats as Perry pristinely belted out strangely uplifting lyrics. "Three Days" illuminated just how perfect this band is. With its Physical Graffiti-esque transcendence, the song took the entire audience on an auditory ride. Navarro especially shined.
A divine rendition of "Jane Says" ignited the evening's biggest sing-a-long. McKagan and Navarro strapped on acoustic guitars as Farrell transfixed the crowd with the song's eternal refrain.
After the track, Farrell asked the crowd an important question. Looking out he said, "Do any of you remember how vibrant the music scene used to be in L.A.?"
Cheers erupted, but instead of launching into some "good ole days" speech, Farrell continued, "I don't keep track, man. I just keep going. Guess what? Tonight felt like the good old days. As a matter of fact motherfuckers, these are the days!"
In fact, Jane's Addiction has never sounded more fiery, and this set was utterly unforgettable. Here's to the new days…
Were you there?