LA rockers Jane’s Addiction made a rare stop at DC’s 930 Club last Friday, December 28th, playing to a sold-out crowd of excited and lucky fans. Massachusetts-based TAB the Band started off the night.
When openers TAB the Band came onstage the club was probably two-thirds full, and the audience was enthusiastic. The band played an upbeat set of their poppy, classic-rock-tinged tunes. The band is made up of brothers Adrian (lead vocals, guitar) and Tony Perry (guitar), Lou Jannetty (guitar, vocals), and Ben Tileston (drums). Their sound is mostly straightforward, catchy rock- sometimes they channel a Kinks vibe, sometimes even a little Led Zeppelin creeps in. Highlights of TAB’s set included the bouncy “She Said No (I Love You)”, and “Bought And Sold,” both off of their third album, Zoo Noises, released in 2010.
Jane’s Addiction took the stage around 10:30, to an ecstatically cheering audience. Though the band grew to fame as vanguards of the “alternative” rock scene, they seemed to embody LA glam rock, at least visually, on Friday night. Frontman Perry Farrell wore skintight purple leather pants (or vinyl, hard to tell…) and he and pretty-boy guitarist Dave Navarro were quickly shirtless, showing off their fit physiques (and Navarro’s impressive tattoo collection). To complete their glam rock extravaganza, as they broke into their opening song, “Underground”, Farrell’s wife (Etty Lau, who Farrell met when she was a dancer for the band on tour in 1997) climbed onto a big platform at the back corner of the stage, wearing underwear and “danced” (read wiggled, posed & gyrated) while they played. I found that element of the show (she left but came back out later, with another woman dancer for a couple other numbers) to be super-cheesy, and unnecessary.
The band sounded super, sonically- Farell’s voice is killer- spot on, even after all these years (the band has been active since the 80s) he still hits all the high notes like they’re nothing. Guitarist Dave Navarro is amazing on guitar, and makes it look effortless, and drummer Stephen Perkins rocked the beat like a beast the whole night. Chris Chaney, who is a more recent addition on bass, held a good groove throughout the set as well. They rocked, jammed and danced their way all around their catalog of psychedelic-glam rock, from their latest effort The Great Escape Artist to the 80’s ground-breaker Nothing’s Shocking.
Half-way into their set the band played “Ted, Just Admit It…”, from the band’s first album. Back out came the dynamic duo of scantily clad ladies, this time with a bondage theme and corsets/pasties. As Perry Farrell sang the lyrics “nothing’s shocking” they rang true- the only thing that would have been shocking would be if they’d all put shirts on. The audience ate the whole show up, though, clearly entertained by the spectacle of it all. They ended their main set after an hour, with the upbeat “Stop”, which had the audience dancing, jumping and singing along.
After making the crowd beckon them with applause for a while the band returned to the stage to a cozy setup- comfy chairs at the front of the stage, where they performed a mostly-acoustic encore. First “Jane Says”, (with steel drums) and then “Chip Away”, featuring Navarro, Perkins & Chaney all on drums. They left their audience cheering for more.
Jane’s Addiction setlist:
2. Mountain Song
3. Just Because
4. Been Caught Stealing
5. Ted, Just Admit It…
6. Ain’t No Right
7. Irresistible Force
8. Up the Beach
10. Three Days
11. Ocean Size