One thing is for certain, Perry Farrell knows how to throw a party. The Lollapalooza founder and Jane’s Addiction frontman brought the enigmatic band to Cleveland, touring behind The Great Escape Artist record. This was definitely not a cash grab nostalgia trip. The stage included an elaborate backdrop, complete with (of course) a sculpture of two nude women. There were elaborate lights, dancers (one of which is Perry’s wife), and video screens. The band took the stage to the strains of Pink Floyd’s “Welcome To The Machine,” and never let up through the 13 song set, beginning with “Underground” from the new record. Without missing a beat, they steamrolled through a brutal version of “Mountain Song.” The setlist was a good mix of songs from Nothing’s Shocking, Ritual De Lo Habitual, and the new record. Material from the original self-titled record was not touched on.
“Three Days” found Farrell and guitarist extraordinaire Dave Navarro being “worshipped” by the dancers, sort of reminiscent of the album cover for Love Gun by Kiss. Navarro absolutely nailed the blistering solo, and made it look effortless. “Jane Says” was a crowd pleaser as always, with the band all taking the front of the stage for an acoustic version. This was followed by an incredible rendition of “Then She Did…” off of Ritual, with Farrell swigging from his ever-present wine bottle, and the solid rhythm section of Stephen Perkins and Chris Chaney completely locked in.
The theatrics of the show overall were very impressive, similar to an Alice Cooper show, with mysterious characters in masks tossing baby dolls around, being hung from the lighting truss, etc. The whole show was beautifully orchestrated, but in a way that still felt loose and spontaneous. One moment that particularly caught my attention was when Navarro walked up to the front of the stage and handed a guitar pick to a kid who looked to be about 14 years old. He was presumably with his parents who immediately hugged him, and the look of sheer joy on the kid’s face was a moment I will not forget for a long time.
The encore consisted of a pummeling rendition of “Stop,” followed by “Summertime Rolls,” which was a perfect choice to close out the beautiful summer evening. Hopefully Jane’s will not wait another 9 years before they come back again to remind us how much of a powerhouse they truly are.
Been Caught Stealing
Ain’t No Right
Then She Did…
Splash A Little Water On It