Saturday, June 6, 2009

NIN|JA 2009: Jane's Addiction PNC Arts Center

Let me tell you something about Jane's Addiction that you may not realize. They are the unequivocal GODS of performance rock and roll without a stitch of absurd makeup, costumes, or gimmicks. They give you a show with little more than the shirts off their backs and a song in their hearts (and sometimes also in their pants). Perry Ferrel is one of the most interesting and enigmatic performers ever to grace the stage. Any aspiring rock outfit should treat themselves to a Jane's Addiction show even if it's just to witness Perry ham it up and make sweet sweet karmic LOVE to the crowd.

It's hard for me to imagine a group that could "follow" Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor gives a piece of his dark and agonized soul with every song belted out. Every drop of anger, sense of betrayal, lost love, or deep seemingly inexplicable pain pours out of his music. The crowd responds to this act of catharsis by doing some of their own. The energy at a Nine Inch Nails show is unparalleled by anything I have ever seen. It's one huge rage fest. That being said, the energy level following a Nine Inch Nails show is... invigorated. It's as if 16,000 people just spent the previous hour and a half having the fight of their lives, and finally got everything that they've been meaning to say out of their system.

Usually after Nine Inch Nails' encore, we all let out a sigh, turn, and leave. Well, not this time. Not with Jane's Addiction in the building. Jane's achieved what I thought no group could ever manage. They followed Nine Inch Nails and held the audience captivated and intrigued. There is only one rational conclusion that I have made about this...

Nine Inch Nails' show is the concert equivalent to a cathartic fight between two lovers, and Jane's Addiction represents the ultimate and PHENOMENAL "make up" sex afterwards.

Take a moment to let that sink in. Take a swig of wine. I know, baby, I know.

Nine Inch Nails left promptly like a storm. After one of the briefest intermissions I have ever witnessed in all my years of concert going, the lights went down, and a filmy curtain lowered to reveal a short film. A small child is having a conversation with a young man. A regretful sentence is mumbled and echoes through the hushed crowd "I never got to see Jane's Addiction before they broke up"... Then the tell-tale voice utters the familiar words, the bass slowly rolls in... Three Days begins. Imagery of shapely topless vixens dance across the translucent backdrop... Then the curtain's raised to reveal Jane's Addiction as they were meant to be, the original lineup- Perry, Dave, Eric, and Steve all together again on stage.

It's all a beautiful blur from this point on. It was an extreme night for me on many levels, this being my inaugural NIN|JA show. My sister Gina and I experienced and battled with high anxiety (having showed up late and missing the beginning of NIN's "Pinion"), extreme elation (seeing how INCREDIBLY close our seats were), love (our sisterly love, my love for Trent, Gina's love for Perry), worry (Gina missing part of 3 days thanks to a t-shirt mishap), sheer panic (somewhere between the entrance and our fifth row seats- Gina lost her car key), Zen like acceptance (the key was gone, let us enjoy the show and worry later), to absolute awe and wonder at the joys of this universe and every creature in it (the key was found and delivered to security)! Pray tell, when have you ever gone to a show where so much has happened in such a short span of time? When have you ever experienced such extreme examples of life? Light and dark?

OH, Perry, you are a divine thin little messenger of the eccentricities of life! We applaud your candor AND your dancing! Dave- my God, could you BE any more handsome? You SO didn't look like a real human! Steve- every time you smiled I felt my mouth follow suit- what a joy to watch you play! Eric-we missed you- and now that I have heard you I see now what Jane's had been
missing all these years...

I am letting out an audible sigh as I write this, the NIN|JA show was THAT GOOD. Jane's Addiction was the perfect pairing with Nine Inch Nails, like a fine wine paired with an exotic chocolate, delicious.

This is worth saying twice: Nine Inch Nails' show is the concert equivalent to a cathartic fight between two lovers, and Jane's Addiction represents the ultimate and PHENOMENAL "make up" sex afterwards. I'm just glad I got to do it two days in a row. Now, excuse me- I think I need a cigarette!

Here's the set list:
Three Days
Ain't No Right
Pigs In Zen
Then She Did...
Up The Beach
Mountain Song
Been Caught Stealing
Ocean Size
Ted, Just Admit It...
Summertime Rolls
Jane Says

1 comment:

  1. NOTE from a friend: about your blog.the clip at the start of JA is from "the river wild"