Friday, September 18, 2009

Janes Addiction - Lollapalooza 03 - St. Helens, OR

How many times have you seen an opening band upstage the headliner? Not toomany, for me, but it has happened and as I watched Audioslave (Chris Cornellof Soundgarden fronting Rage Against the Machine) work the Lollapaloozacrowd into a frenzy, I actually thought for a second that they just mightupstage Jane's Addiction. I've only recently gotten into Audioslave, sotheir music is new to me but Chris Cornell is still at the top of his gameand they were really kicking out an infectious metal groove. The crowd wasgoing insane and since I'd also never seen Rage before I was quickly beingconverted, and getting that cool enlightened feeling of "So this is what allthe fuss is about". My buddy scored us press/photo passes so we get to seemost of the show in front of the front row, where the bouncers are. Andsince this is a general admission show, it was even crazy in that smallhaven, moshers constantly being thrown at us. It's just been so long sinceI'd seen Jane's and I had almost forgotten what makes them the best hardrock band around. Jane's come to shock, dazzle, arouse, and overwhelm youwith an intoxicating cocktail of strippers, lights and freaks. And whilePerry may grind, dance and prance in his black leather pants, you never losesight of one thing: they're the tightest band you've ever seen and they arehere to kick your ass! That's what they did in the L.A. punk clubs in '85and soon had every major label offering them millions of dollars and thealmost unheard of 'Full Artistic Control". Now it's nearly 20 years later,and their music still sounds fresh, vital and still, somehow, ahead of it'stime. As the curtains drop to the foreboding bass line of Up The Beach, DaveNavarro stands shirtless right above me, the ultimate Guitar God, poised tolaunch his power chord assault. Perry, who hasn't graced the stage yet,waits out the opener for Dave to hit the opening riff of Stop to comerunning out, full speed, screaming "Here We Go!" Indeed! Perry is pouredinto a black leather outfit that only he could pull off. Pull it off henearly does, teasing the writhing crowd, and for the first set he neverstops flailing and bouncing off the stainless girder stage, while Navarroand the boys rip through all the gems including Mountain Song, Been CaughtStealin, Ocean Size, and Whores. Then they launch into 3 new ones and theysound just as great as the classics and the crowd freaks just as hard. Aftera while, he stops the show to thank everybody that help put the show on,this is after all the last night of the tour. Then Dave thanks Perry forstarting Lollapalooza and the crowd is screaming so loud that even Perrycan't get a word in. He just smiles and looks in awe at all the mayhem andjoy that he has created. They leave briefly and come back out to the bass ofThree Days. The epic song builds and climbs to Dave taking his most inspiredsolo of the night. With a steel drum rolled out, Jane Says is the perfectgood times clincher. I had never seen them do a cover before, but they'rehaving so much fun, and it's the last night of the tour so why not? Theyclose with Zeppelin's Kashmir and for once, everything is just right in thiscrazy mixed up world.I know this has gone on too long but you know I'm a man obsessed. We walkaway from the show, in a daze and take one last look at the press tent. Lotsof people hanging about, there's a Mexican feast spread out and freemargaritas for the crew and the bands and rumor is Perry might show up.After an hour we had just about given up and I walked over to where a DJ wasjust starting to mix some tunes. I walk up to the table, I'm still the onlyone at that end of the party, and the DJ is none other than Perry Ferrell!I'm usually not one to dance to club music but what else do I do. Perry'sfive feet away, spinning tunes and looking right at me. So I do my white guydance and Perry keeps spinning tunes for me. He keeps looking at me,smiling, just glad someones dancing. He grabs a mic and starts singing alongto the dance beat. I wanted to stop him because I knew this would be the endof my one on one Perry show. Sure enough, once the crew and bands heard hissinging, they all came over and started dancing. I'm dancing with the girlgroup, the Donnas, when he comes out and they all hug him and thank him forhaving them on the tour. I just got in line, pretended I was a Donna andhugged him too. I said "Thank you so much Perry, for all the awesome shows."He said "Awww, no man. Thank you!"Sure hope those pictures turn out.Thanks for listening,Kenny

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