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Concert Review: Jane’s Addiction At The Echoplex

Written by: Carl Johnson, Special to CC2K


CC2K newcomer Carl Johnson regales us with a review of an exclusive Jane's Addiction concert.

ImageOh, Jane's Addiction, that band fronted by Perry Ferrel, that band from Los Angeles, that band who formed in 1984. That band is finally back and with all the original members.

Yes, even with other reunion shows in the last decade, you know, with people like The Red Hot Chilli Pepper's Flea or Porno for Piros Martyn Lenobel filling in on bass. While those shows were called "Jane's Addiction" shows, last week's show was an actual Jane's Addiction show featuring founding bassist Eric Avery back and shredding on the bass. This was the show long time fans had been waiting for since their 1991 disbandment.

For about two weeks, thanks to Dave Navorro's blog, people all over the world knew that there was to be a show at the tiny Echoplex venue out in the cesspool that is Echo Park. This was to be their third warm up show (the other two being at small mexican resturants La Cita and El Cid).

To avoid waiting in line, to avoid having fans who waited for hours to get in to be turned away, Jane's Addiction decided to start an RSVP list to get into the show. The first 500 people to sign up for their mailing list at their home site were sent confirmations to getting into the show. While This seemed like a good idea, many of the first 500 people were from other parts of the country and even the world. The day of show another post was made to just email your first and last name to an RSVP mailing list and to show up with your ID and that bill with Hamilton on it to get into the show.

I was late on the first round but saw the posting in the early afternoon on Monday and sent out my RSVP at about 2pm. By 6pm I still had not recieved any feedback but decided to head out in the rain and wait in line.

It was 6:30 when I finally got down to the Echoplex. Surprised by the fact that only about 20 people were in line I wondered if people were actually going to show up for the show. The line to this point was many familiar faces from the El Cid line (I was at that show too).

Talking to people in line, many had RSVP'd that day and had got no feedback and were braving it in the cold and drizzeling rain hoping to get the chance to sing along with classics like Stop! or Been Caught Stealing.

At 7:33 I finally got the email that everyone was waiting for, yay for cell phones with internet, and it looked something like this:

Hi There,

You are confirmed on the list for the show TONIGHT. The show is at Echoplex. Remember, no guests please! 18 and up only and tickets are $10.00.

See you at the show,

J.A.

It was over the next hour many others in line got the same message sent to them as well. Infact once inside there were still people getting confirmations at 9pm, 30 minutes after doors opened. I don't know if they were sending the emails out by hand but this was very poor on Jane's Addictions part.

By the 8:30 door opening the line, which just 2 hours prior was a few handfulls of people, wrapped down the street with many eager people in their mid to late 30's. I thought the RSVP list was all a scam but once inside the entrance they asked for your ID and crossed you off the list. Yeah it was a big long list with two people there checking off people.

We were treated to guitarist Josh Klinghoffer's new band Dothacker to open up the gig. The 4 piece band doing only their third show, got the audience warmed up for what would be a great evening. The band was very shoegazey with a swirling wall of noise, the kind that warms the soul like a shot of whiskey. It was a good way to start but we all know what we were waiting for.

The setlist's were taped to the stage and everyone starts pushing trying to take a peak at what would be heard. The list was placed right in front of me. Doing a quick scan I started yelling, "11 songs, they are playing 11 songs!"

I was wrong though, right before the boys all came on stage the 3rd song of the set, Trip, was crossed off the list. Oh well I wasn't going to shout 10 songs to everyone as I was getting ready to start screaming myself.

It was a few minutes after 11 in the evening and the crowd of 30 somethings were finally getting ancey. The smell of weed and the clouds of smoke start to waft through the air and the wait finally ended as Jane's Addiction made their way onto the stage.

The crowd of mainly people in their 30's erupted as the opening notes of "Up the Beach" came pounding through the amps and into everyones ears. That was not the only thing pounding my face at that moment. Someone was already crowdsurfing their way onto the stage to rock out with the man in the black and white jacket, the man with the Mardis Gras beads around his neck, the man pounding a screwdriver, the man by the name of Perry Farrell.

Oh yes – this was the way to get the crowd pumping. A shirtless Dave Navarro, puffing away on a cigarette, and founding bassist Eric Avery, in only his 3rd show back since 1991, and drummer Stephen Perkins would blow through the next set of classics "Whores", "1%" and "Ain't No Right". Not a single radio hit and almost to the mid way of the set.

Perry finally addressed the crowd as someone decided to throw a baggy up on the stage. It could have been a joint, it could have been some coke, but all Perry said was, "Does it look like I need that?" and threw it back into the audience as they busted into the bass intro'd song for everyone to sing along to, "Mountain Song". If that wasn't enough we got another look into the mind of Perry, "You remember when we were young, and we were broke and we saw something we wanted? We would just steal it…" With a smile and an almost giggle, Perry continued, "And you know what time it is? time to steal some shit!"

And with that it broke right into "Been Caught Stealing". Perry had dropped the jacket by this point and eric was sweating through his shirt. Mid way through the song Perry even collapsed to the stage as more people surfed their way onto the stage for a chance to sing along.

The set was ended with everyones favorite song to "hum along" with, "Stop!". Oh yeah, a mosh pit opened up and more and more people pushed their way up to the front. Everyone got to sing the end of the song, but was this the end of the set?

Yes, only 35 or so minutes into the set and everyone was already walking off the stage and into the back room. We would still be treated to two more songs after a brief 3 minute wait. Had a Dad and Ocean Size would end the encore of the 48 minute set. This couldn't be it though, and many didn't want to believe it either. The crowd continued to stay was the house lights remained dimmed. Would we be treated to one more song, that song that had been skipped earlier in the set?

Nope, we were treated to the house lights coming on and a boot out into the cold night.

Even with a short 48 minute set, Jane's Addiction proved that they are ready to go back on the road and bring their sexy rock back to the masses. "Everyone has their own opinion" and I am sure everyone that attended would agree that the show rocked.

Carl also maintains a blog at MySpace!

Author: Carl Johnson, Special to CC2K

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