starring Jane’s Addiction
They’re a band. They’re not a band. They’re a band, but just for tonight. Who can keep this bunch straight? After a few years’ hard work and opening for Iggy Pop and The Ramones, Jane’s Addiction tore up the boards on the first Lollapalooza Tour. Shortly thereafter they released an album and broke up. Then someone quit, someone got hooked on horsey and they reformed, and broke up, and… and… eventually they recorded this really cool show in New Orleans. If I forgot a break-up or added one, sorry, I can only do so much research before I write about a band that’s less stable than a transuranic element.
Unlike so many concert videos, this one has decent sound and no tedious interviews with musicians or fans. Jane and the boys (OK, Perry Farrell is this week’s lead singer) fill the stage in this New Orleans gig. He’s dressed in a semi-transparent cape and tight sparkly pants, and looks like the illegitimate love child of Elvis and David Bowie, assuming space aliens can breed with earthlings. They give us a lucky 13 songs in the main set, and two more bonus tracks along with an “NME Featurette” and a photo gallery. “Featurette” sounds so 1959 Doris Day, but that’s what the label says, so there. We get the hits; “Been Caught Stealing” is executed to wondrous applause and “Jane Says” draws a crowd of costumed fans and a steel drum. “Three Days” turns into an extended jam backed by dancers in carbide-tipped bras. Fog swirls, lights stay low, and everything drips with New Orleans humidity and potential. Whatever your opinion of the band, you gotta love their concert footage — it sounds good, it looks good, and you watch it over and over and never think “here’s the part where the bass player makes that dumb joke.” This band may have its internal disputes, but when they’re on stage, they’re on fire.
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