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March 26, 2012

MUSIC REVIEW: Old favorites, high drama with Jane’s Addiction

LOUISVILLE — Jane’s Addiction put on a show Friday at the Louisville Palace that left their fans buzzing and begging for more.

They opened with “Underground” — a forceful track off their latest release, “The Great Escape Artist,” — followed by “Mountain Song” — a late 1980s fan favorite. While their older songs — “Been Caught Stealing” or “Sex is Violent” — naturally seemed to garner the most audience excitement (I would know, I spent the show seated behind the world’s tallest air guitarist) their new stuff didn’t go ignored.

“Irresistible Force (Met the Immovable Object,)” another new one, was especially well executed and seemed to capture the spirit of the room. The song hadn’t been on all of the bands’ recent set lists, so I feel like Louisville got a bit of a treat there.

Mid-show the band took a brief intermission to move some furniture and gear to the front of the stage to provide for a more intimate mood during a couple of tracks. Guitar hero Dave Navarro sat down in a high back chair and strummed an acoustic during “Jane Says.” The switch only took a minute or so and gave the concert a momentary front porch feel before veering back into big show territory.

The above notwithstanding, the show was a theatrical one for the most part. Trapeze artists swung from perches high above the band early on. A couple of burlesque dancers pranced on and off stage during certain songs. A masked man fake hanged himself.

While the dramaturgy seemed on-theme with the old school circus concept of their tour, dubbed “Theatre of the Escapists,” it also felt tacked on to what was an otherwise powerful performance by the alternative rock pioneers.

For my taste, I would have preferred just a rock show but thinking back on it I’d expect no less from frontman Perry Farrell.

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