Despite the strife between band members (primarily Eric Avery and Perry Farrell, it seems), Jane’s Addiction is a timeless concoction of artists and music, even if some of the songs are overplayed (Jane Says, Classic Girl).
I feel like a bad Jane’s fan, because I only heard of the release of Live Voodoo mere days before its release. In the hopes of redeeming myself, I quickly clicked away on Amazon.com to ensure its arrival on my doorstep.
Now that it’s arrived (after surviving a fall from my mailbox), Perry, Stephen, Dave and Eric haven’t disappointed, as expected. And even better, still, the band performed in New Orleans on Halloween at the Voodoo Fest.
Perry emerges last on stage dressed as a flamboyant superhero here to raise the dead of New Orleans, complete with a black bedazzled lace cape, oversized belt buckle and a shimmering purple one-piece outfit. Dave is sans shirt, no doubt intending to show off his chiseled physique and countless tattoos, Perkins briefly rocks a Jason Voorhees-style hockey mask (and later, a Freddy Krueger mask) and a black wife beater, while Eric Avery dons a simple black T-shirt and baggy pants as if he’s about to retreat for the night.
The band slides into “Up the Beach”, where during the intro Perry sucks down a large swallow of wine straight from the bottle in order to bring “peace to his mind in the summertime.”
The classics, “Mountain Song” and “Ain’t No Right” follow with superb energy, but don’t rival the gritty, chaotic performances of these songs from the band’s early days. But, hey, we all have to age, mature, and transform, right? What you have with Live Voodoo is slightly cabaret more than it is the anarchy of early nineties’ Jane’s Addiction.
During “Three Days,” two exotic Geisha girls appear in white, barely-there dresses with black leather corsets to further entice the audience, as well as Perry Farrell, demonstrated by his loose re-creation of the Ritual de lo Habitual album cover with them. They do keep their clothes on, however.
The band continues with songs primarily from the self-titled live album and Nothing’s Shocking, delivering tight, right-on performances of “Whores,” “Ocean Size,” “Ted, Just Admit It,” and “Summertime Rolls.”
Perry wraps up the show with the tribal laced, “Chip Away,” where Dave and Eric put down their guitars to join Stephen on drums while Perry chants and dances around the stage like he’s possessed by a Native American spirit. The androgynous, overtly sexual Kokopelli, perhaps?
Live Voodoo is a must have for the die-hard Jane’s Addiction fan, as well as for anyone who wants to experience for the first time one of the most influential bands of the nineties.
My one complaint is that the Blu-ray format is too crisp and clean. You’ll want things to be a little dirty and unkempt with a band like Jane’s Addiction, but it’s still worth the time and money for the experience of this classic gathering of sublime artists.
Features in the package include a review by Matt Pinfield, former host of Mtv’s 120 Minutes, live tracks of “1%” and “Ocean Size” in LA, an NME featurette, and a photo gallery. And I guess I do have a second issue, this being with the synopsis. Assuming Pinfield wrote the synopsis on the back, he spelled the word “predominantly” incorrectly.