Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica appeared to only be half to three quarters full for last night’s Jane’s Addiction concert. But that didn’t stop the band from putting on a terrific 90-minute show. While the theatrics have been scaled down since the arena rock days, the group still employs an ensemble of dancers and costumed actors who provide a circus-like element to the live performance. But that’s not the real draw. Rather, it’s the fact that the band, which features all original members except for bassist Chris Chaney, has real chemistry.
Right from the start, it was clear singer Perry Farrell, who looked like was doing cardio as he squatted and pranced across the stage, was charged up about the show. He vigorously pumped his fist as he sang “Mountain Song” and he screeched exuberantly during “Been Caught Stealing.” Mid-set, he stripped down to a tank top and cracked a joke about being “older,” but he certainly didn’t appear it. While not as buff as guitarist Dave Navarro, who performed shirtless for most of the set, Farrell still looks to be as fit as any athlete. After playing a handful of tunes from last year’s The Great Escape Artist, the band performed an acoustic rendition of its hit “Jane Says” that became a sing-a-long and then plugged in again for the momentous “Ocean Size” before returning to play “Stop” in the encore. While the band isn’t a huge commercial draw anymore, it proved it’s still challenging itself creatively.
Partly because singer Paul Meany plays keyboards rather than guitar, New Orleans-based indie rockers have a unique sound that’s equal parts Ben Folds and Radiohead. That approach didn’t quite translate to the large venue but the group’s 30-minute opening set was still engaging.