HOLMDEL, NJ—Our intense and tireless appreciation for one of the greatest bands of the past 20 years, Jane’s Addiction was the motive for attending this event termed the Uproar Festival. Thus, we skipped the many and famous opening acts, arriving just as Jane’s began their set with “Underground” from The Great Escape Artist. The stage set was similar to what had been on display for last year’s tour of that name, with two colossal nude female statues as a backdrop. Perry Farrell pranced around the stage, initially wearing a shiny, almost metallic tailcoat, but soon enough stripped to the waist, showing off his buff, 54-year-old torso.
Crazy, speeded-up monochrome videos, antique B-movies and softcore porn flickered on two small, on stage screens as “Mountain Song” came on. One wonders why these reasonably entertaining videos weren’t on the two giant screens hanging high above the stage. Instead, the latter almost exclusively showed blown up video of Farrell, as the camera followed his every step, with only an occasional shot of Dave Navarro, Jane’s virtuoso guitarist and the instrumental backbone of the band.
“Just Because” followed, from the 2003 album, Strays, which, at the time it came out, served as convincing evidence that Jane’s had revived their creative magic well into the new millennium.
It seemed especially neglectful of the camera crew to fail to zero in on the two beautiful, fetish-attired models—again from The Great Escape Artist tour—who now made their appearance at the rear of the stage. These ladies performed a symmetrical dance routine, sensuously mirroring each other’s moves and gestures as the band went into the notorious “Nothing’s Shocking.” The much overplayed but well liked “Been Caught Stealing” followed.
Then, the magnum opus, the grand and unrivalled pinnacle of ‘90s alternative rock, “Three Days,” was performed in an extended concerto fashion, a monument to the creativity of Farrell and the astonishing virtuosity of Navarro, whose solo performance ever was and still remains a milestone of achievement on the electric guitar.
Perry Farrell reminded New Jersey fans that he was born nearby in Queens, NY, and that his mother was buried here, somewhere in the Garden State. He leaned over frequently to shake hands and kibitz with front row fans, and even shared a bottle of wine with a few. He dedicated “Ocean Size” to the late Rick Rasmussen, a surfer from NJ. A few more songs followed before closing with “Jane Says,” which featured (as always) the unique sound of steel drums. There were no encores, but the band made numerous and sincere bows of deep appreciation to their adoring audience before finally bowing out, having delivered another stellar performance of their unparalleled musical artistry.