Jane's Addiction, The Duke Spirit - McFarlin Auditorium - 5/10/12

Categories: Last Night

janes.jpg
Mike Brooks
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction, The Duke Spirit
McFarlin Auditorium
Thursday, May 10

Last night's show was definitely a situation where the venue didn't seem right for the band and its audience. Jane's Addiction put on a great 85-minute performance, but McFarlin Auditorium is not a good venue for a rock show, and it's pretty obvious why they don't have concerts of this caliber more often. Why this place -- where alcohol isn't served, the seating arrangements are confusing, and the seats are made for a five-year-old's body -- over others in town?

Frontman Perry Farrell certainly enjoyed the intimate atmosphere. With a bottle of wine in his hand, he invented a nickname ("Donkey Kick"), talked up Deep Ellum and bagged on FTD Flowers. Towards the end, he even befriended a guy named Matt up front, and tried to hook him up with a single lady.

Drummer Stephen Perkins was in his permanent playing position, hunched over his drum stool, pumping out thwacks of tribal hits. Guitarist Dave Navarro made the funky squeals look like warm-up exercises, and bassist Chris Chaney kept the spirit of Eric Avery's basslines alive, even though he's been through the band's revolving door of bassists over the years.

As expected, the over-30 crowd wanted to hear the band's quintessential material from Nothing's Shocking and Ritual De Lo Habitual more than anything else. After opening with "Underground" from last year's The Great Escape Artist, everyone in the venue was on their feet as Chaney played the intro to "Mountain Song." Other highlights included "Ain't No Right," "Classic Girl," "Been Caught Stealing," "Jane Says" and a sprawling version of "Three Days."

Visually, the four-piece was joined on select songs by two females and one male, swaying along in various costumes. Other songs had the band backed by explicit video footage -- the kind that your parents and Tipper Gore never wanted you to ever see. The chilled-out reggae of "Ted, Just Admit It" was accompanied by a montage of old S&M bondage films with plenty of stripteases and spankings.

After finishing their two-song encore with "Stop!," the whole place was quickly deserted and many had a few smokes on the steps outside. Earlier, London quintet The Duke Spirit (not to be confused with Delta Spirit), put on 40 minutes of late-night glam. Worthwhile, yet the set seemed a little long in the tooth after a while.

Personal bias: I've never been a big Jane's fan, and I seemed to have missed their impact by being born in 1979. I've met people born at least three years before me who had a rebirth after seeing the band in the late '80s. I was a Nirvana kid, so that's my excuse.

Random note: Dave Navarro gave Oliver Peck and Elm Street Tattoo a shout-out, because of his appearance on Ink Master.


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7 comments
daniel
daniel

Yeah this review is way off...best venue I've ever seen a show at. Down in the front you were literally a part of the stage, the band interacted with you, it sounded great. My favourite show in a long while.

Fred
Fred

Venue was ok, not great. Great show though.

You mentioned the two females. One is Perry's wife.

Starsfandebbie
Starsfandebbie

LOL - someone who isn't into the band did the review.  Another viewpoint?  They were fantastic.  I agree that the venue sucked, but the band rocked!

Darrylrs
Darrylrs

Backed when Jane's Addiction broke out, they had Iggy Pop OPEN for them in Austin. Iggy came out and gave one of those "oh my gawd" performances that made Perry and crew look foolish. Who has Iggy OPEN???

LAYGO
LAYGO

I hate being lazy & not getting out to shows. I was looking forward to this, but balked at the ticket prices.

Frankstokes
Frankstokes

They had a $10 special sent out via email last week.

mike
mike

Scalpers were getting about half of face value...shoulda gone :)

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