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Bumbershoot Review Day 1: Jane's Addiction at the Mainstage

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Jane’s Addiction burst on the music scene in the early 90’s and in many ways have been underrated by rock historians. When people talk about the 90’s alternative music revolution they mention Nirvana, Soundgarden and the Seattle scene in general. The reality is that Los Angeles based Jane’s Addiction had as much to do with that revolution as anything coming out of Seattle.

The band has had several long hiatuses throughout their long career and are back now with a new album, The Great Escape, and a new elaborate stage show. As the KeyArena house light lowered the stage lit up and Pink Floyd blared through the speakers, which did a good job of building up the anticipation for the band. When they finally did come on the stage they were accompanied by two women on a trapeze wearing long white gowns.

Perry Farrell and guitarist Dave Navarro are two iconic rock figures and watching them Saturday night you find yourself wondering what kind of vampires they are. They don’t appear to have aged. Navarro still looks as he did in the 90’s, shirtless with his guitar slung low and striking all the required rock god posses on stage. Farrell was equally as energetic, often running around the stage with a big bottle of wine that he would swig from often.

Farrell often used a vocal effects pedal he had mounted at center stage. He might have tweaked with it too much as the vocals were hard to hear over the band most of the night. Thankfully the crowd stepped up and sang along with the Jane’s classics and the poor mix hardly mattered much.

At one point the show took a GWAR turn as a fellow dressed in white carrying a pouch lurched across the stage. He climbed to a platform where a liniri-clad back up singer taunted him as he threw dolls in the air before climbing a ladder and hanging himself. Bizarre? Of course, but Jane’s Addiction has always been known to weave some art into their act so this should not have been too much of a surprise.

The band ended with the mellow classic ‘Summertime Rolls’ which was the perfect ending for a summer night, even while indoors at KeyArena.