By Greg Cohen
Dave Navarro is bad ass.
Now that’s out of the way, Jane’s Addiction doesn’t just put on a concert, they put on a full show. They have scantily clad dancing girls and women suspended from flesh hooks swinging from the ceiling. It’s quite a production and a lot of show compared to your standard rock concert.
Founded in 1985 by Perry Farrell (vocals), Dave Navarro (guitar), Eric Avery (bass), and Stephen Perkins (drums) the current lineup remarkably includes everyone but Avery, with bass now being played by Chris Chaney.
Though Jane’s Addiction’s most recent album was The Great Escape (2011), the band played songs entirely from its first two albums Nothing’s Shocking (1988) and Ritual de lo Habitual (1990) with the exception of Just Because, which was from Strays (2003). The band played 12 songs in just over an hour and if I left the concert with one complaint, it would have been that the concert was a little short. There was certainly room in the set list to play additional favorites like Pigs in Zen, Standing in the Shower…Thinking, or Then She Did. But that’s a minor complaint in the context of the overall show that Jane’s Addiction put on at the Arizona State Fair on October 29, 2015.
The band was tight – like you’d expect from a band playing together on and off for almost 30 years. Farrell sounded good – a little horse on a couple occasions – but altogether he has retained most of his range and that quality in his voice that was so unique when Jane’s Addiction appeared on the scene in the late ‘80s. In fact, he sounded remarkably similar to the way he sounded on Jane’s Addiction (Triple X), the band’s original 1987 live release. Jane’s Addiction was still high energy with Farrell bouncing around the stage and both Farrell and Navarro moving from the stage to stand on top of the speakers in front of it at various time during their set. (continued below photos).
Photos © 2015 Greg Cohen
Jane’s Addiction has always been known for their provocative shows. Beginning with Just Because, two dancers (One of whom is Farrell’s wife, Etty Lau Farrell, who was a classically trained ballerina) appeared on risers behind the stage dancing seductively with each other. The eventually made their way down to the stage and continued dancing with each other and the band members, ultimately slinking through Farrell’s legs and on their knees on either side of Navarro.
Most importantly, the band sounded familiar and comfortable. It was the Jane’s Addiction you remembered from your youth (if you’re old enough). It was the music you remember, played the way you remember it. It was Jane’s Addiction – just like you wanted them to be now and just like you’ve always wanted to remember them. And that was the general consensus when talking with some longtime fans after the show – the performance was the Jane’s Addiction that they remember and will always want the band to be.
The set list was:
- Stop! – Ritual de lo Habitual
- Ain’t No Right – Ritual de lo Habitual
- Mountain Song – Nothing’s Shocking
- Just Because – Strays
- Had a Dad – Nothing’s Shocking
- Been Caught Stealing – Ritual de lo Habitual
- Three Days – Ritual de lo Habitual
- Up the Beach – Nothing’s Shocking
- Of Course – Ritual de lo Habitual
- Ocean Size – Nothing’s Shocking
- Whores – Jane’s Addiction (Triple X)
- Jane Says – Nothing’s Shocking