Deep into the first leg of their Theatre Of The Escapists tour, Jane’s Addiction stopped at the Joint in Tulsa’s Hard Rock Casino for a powerful, albeit concise show.
In support of last year’s phenomenal The Great Escape Artist, last night’s gig ended up being more of a greatest hits trek with a few new tracks thrown in to prove the band is proud of their record.
And they have good reason to be proud – all four new songs played at the show: Underground, Twisted Tales, Irresistible Force and Words Right Out Of My Mouth, translate incredibly well in a live setting, fitting in perfectly with the older fan-favorites.
The band started the evening with the aforementioned Underground, a sexy, slinky track driven by a deep bass groove and Perry’s trademark reverb-ed vocals. As Perry alternated between adjusting his microphone’s vocal effects and parading around the stage like a 6-year-old who has inhaled an entire package of Pixy stix (that’s a compliment), it became clear that Jane’s Addiction has aged better than many of their peers.
Perry’s seemingly boundless energy was definitely a show stealer for the majority of the night, but Dave Navarro had no problem hamming it up for the crowd and stealing all of the attention whenever he could. The audience loved it and it’s clear Navarro thrives on the energy; even while strutting around the stage and fooling around with people in the first few rows, he had no trouble hitting his solos and taking time to pose so everyone could take pictures.
The show featured an elaborate stage setup, including giant topless statues, nearly naked dancers (who took turns gyrating and spanking each other throughout the evening), and a great light show. The tour is focused on smaller venues, and Tulsa is one of the smallest on the itinerary – the Joint has 2,700 seats, meaning everyone in the crowd was seeing one of the most intimate Jane’s Addiction shows in recent history.
Musically, even without original bassist Eric Avery, the band is solid. Many people claim that one can’t emulate Avery’s bass playing, but Chris Chaney certainly had no problem holding it down all night, from the signature sounds of Ain’t No Right to the rumble-funk of Been Caught Stealing, this sounds like the Jane’s Addiction that fans know and love.
Midway through the show, parts of the elaborate staging were torn down and the roadies brought out an acoustic guitar, several chairs and a set of steel drums. After a bit of trouble with Perry’s mic during a heartfelt I Would For You, the band took on Jane Says. Stephen Perkins recreated the original track’s vaguely tropical percussion perfectly, providing the proper backing for Perry to lead a few thousand people through one of alternative rock’s greatest songs.
Perkins’ stint on the steel drums was the second time he had stolen the spotlight at the show, as much earlier during Mountain Song, his primal, barreling assault on the kit reminded the crowd just how vital a role the man plays in the band.
The main set ended with a pair of Ritual De Lo Habitual tracks, including Three Days (played in full – 11 minutes long!!) and everyone’s favorite, Stop!
Three Days allowed every member to bask in the spotlight at certain times, but it was really Navarro’s work during the solos that seemed to impact the crowd most. The man still seems to exude rockstar attitude from every pore and the fact that he seems to so effortlessly play his instrument doesn’t hurt.
The encore started with Words Right Out Of My Mouth, one of the heaviest tracks on The Great Escape Artist. As the stage lights pulsated, switching between deep shades of blue and bright flashes of red, Perkins and Chaney locked into an intense rhythm track getting the entire pit to jump up and down.
As the night came to a close, Perry told the crowd that after the show he was going to do something healthy for him – he was going to take a shower and piss all over himself. This was obviously an introduction to Standing In The Shower… Thinking, which I believe made its tour debut in Tulsa. It was a weird track to end the show on, but the crowd was more than happy to have another track from the near 25-year-old Nothing’s Shocking.
Overall the show clocked in at a short 90 minutes with a grand total of 15 songs on the set. Rather short, but the sting of the ticket cost to show length ratio is lessened by the amount of pure energy the band stuffed into the performance.
If you’ve ever wanted to see Jane’s Addiction (or if you have wanted to see them again), now is most certainly the time to do it. With a great album to support and an entertaining stage show, the band is most certainly back, giving fans an intimate chance to remember just how important they were to the world of alternative rock. Get on it.
Setlist: Underground, Mountain Song, Superhero, Been Caught Stealing, Ain’t No Right, Ted Just Admit It…, Twisted Tales, I Would For You, Jane Says, Chip Away, Irresistible Force, Three Days, Stop!
Encore: Words Right Out of My Mouth, Standing in the Shower… Thinking