Last Night: Jane's Addiction at Bayou Music Center

Jane's may10 1.JPG
Photos by Jody Perry
Jane's Addiction
Bayou Music Center
May 9, 2012

Perry Farrell is a twisted freak. Of course that's intended as a compliment.

Farrell has become one of rock's most successful misfits of the past 25 years, combining an astute business sense with a sincere interest in the any number of alternative subcultures that fuel Jane's sound. The man knows how to sell records, concert tickets and most of all himself.

So of course he would imagine himself as a ringmaster, pulling the puppet strings and making all the clowns dance on cue. That's the theme of Jane's new album The Great Escape Artist, Farrell's love letter to L.A. that's more enthusiastic than Joe Ely's but about as noirish. It's a surprisingly solid Jane's album, better than good but less than great, and I found myself wishing they had played a little more of it Wednesday.

Jane's may 10 2.JPG
What we got at Bayou Music Center instead was a show that took half an hour to ripen, or maybe for Farrell to decide that he was really into it after all. His washboard abs are impressive, and he would make a great bobblehead doll, but it wasn't until about "Ted, Just Admit It" that the show became more than perfunctory and I really started to believe him.

The early part of the set was deafening, but not riveting. The Led Zep thunder of "Mountain Song" is always a headbanger's ball, but the opening run of the new "Underground," "Just Because" and "Been Caught Stealing" tried to trace an arc between Pink Floyd -- the concert opened with a snippet of "Welcome to the Machine" -- the Beastie Boys and Faster Pussycat, but didn't quite click.

Too much volume, not enough groove. Maybe they needed an actual chainsaw onstage to go with the grizzly bear.

Oh well. As the man said, everybody has their own opinion. Personally, I liked the goth moment of the evening, the Cure/Sisters of Mercy-lite new song "Twisted Tales" and hope it sticks around in future tours.

Farrell can be both vulnerable and confrontational. He remarked that the last time Jane's was in Houston was the night Osama bin Laden died, and gave the same speech he gave to last year's Buzzfest audience at The Woodlands -- something along the lines of "I'm glad that motherfucker's dead."

At moments like that, the raging id loosed by the speed-metal riffs of "Ain't No Right" needed no other explanation.


Location Info

Venue

Map

Bayou Music Center

520 Texas Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Music

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14 comments
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Crebeka
Crebeka

I agree with you he got better once he ditched the TelePrompTer. I've seen them 3 times and this was the best, actually. A thing: all Perry's records are love letters to Los Angeles. Right?

guest
guest

i am pretty sure they also played irresistible force last night

Guest
Guest

Money quote:

"As that song entered its home stretch in brawny Metallica mode, the two busty dancers who had been flickering on and offstage (and above it) all evening gave Farrell and Navarro standing lap dances while Perkins and Chaney were left with nothing but their instruments."

Ron
Ron

Great description of the show. I also felt they didn't "get into it" until "Ted Just Admit It". Overall the sound was pretty bad. I think the sound guy at Rudyards or Continental could have done a better job. The opener was G-d awful. My first band at age 14 was better. Seriously I cant explain how bad they are. The singer and the guitarist must be sleeping with Navarro. Speaking of Navarro,he is fkn awesome.  The solos on Ocean Size and Three Days are great to see live. 

I said biiiiittttcccchhhhhh
I said biiiiittttcccchhhhhh

Fuck these guys. Yeah, I liked them 25 years ago, when the first album came out, then they gradually sold out more and more, as early as Nothing Shocking.

Navarro is an average rock guitarist, at best. Any band with more than 50% of its members shirtless on stage deserves to be slapped in the face with my cock.

Mike
Mike

Sorry but Navarro was amazing last night. I was front row and the dude is a rock star to the max. GREAT guitar playing. 

Mike
Mike

Uh, do your research...their new album isn't called "Theatre of the Escapists". It's called "The Great Escape Artist". Geez...

Speedy
Speedy

The tour however is called, "Theatre of the Escapists."

Rocks Off
Rocks Off

Thank you both. I still liked the album.

Joseph Pearson
Joseph Pearson

 Really dude?  The opening band was bad,  The second band ever I can genuinely say was bad live.  Boring band that tried to distract you with the girl singer shaking her butt. "You were born in my head, and I pushed."  What?

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