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alt-rock icons make an explosive return to the UK

May 28th, 2024

It’s been eight years since ‘90s alt-rock pioneers Jane’s Addiction headed across the pond for a run of live shows, and it’s fair to say much has changed in the time since. Their last studio effort arrived over a decade ago, and while frontman Perry Farrell and drummer Stephen Perkins turned their efforts to side project Porno For Pyros, classic bassist Eric Avery had left the lineup and guitarist Dave Navarro has been out of action, battling with long COVID.

So, when finally heading back to these shores with a host of new material on the way and the classic line-up reunited for the first time in 14 years, it’s fair to say that the presenters were looking to make a bang.

Tonight, they launch the show with the atmospheric, eerie opening melody of ‘Then She Did’ — a choice that at first seems unorthodox given the extensive, increasingly dramatic tribal track that they use in the build-up to the set. However, as they extend the song beyond the horizons of the studio recording, it becomes clear: they can sense the pent-up anticipation from the crowd in front of them, and plan to keep us in the palm of their hand before we can fully let loose.

Dave Navarro and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction perform live in 2024. CREDIT: Katja Ogrin/Redferns/Getty Images

From there, the band come into full force and prove yet again how they came to solidify their legacy in the alt-rock scene over 30 years ago. ‘Pigs In Zen’ is broken out for the first time this tour, with Farrell captivating all attention as he spits out each line with pure conviction, and this is only amplified further with the sultry, thundering power of ‘Whores’.

Now back in full swing, fan-favourites including ‘Mountain Song’, ‘Ain’t No Right’ and ‘Been Caught Stealing’ come in thick and fast, and seem to have a new lease of life that push the set to new heights. Not only does Navarro take every chance he gets to showcase a dizzying number of electrifying licks, but Perkins and Avery hold down the rhythm section with enough intensity to put anyone to shame — all while telepathically knowing when to toy with dynamics and take the renditions in sonic new directions.

“I want to make sure I do a good show for y’all tonight… especially because I hear some of you might be drafted soon,” Farrell jokes, making a not-so-subtle jab at the UK’s potential plans to reintroduce mandatory national service. This is a much more tame variant of the comments made against the Conservatives at their surprise opening show in Shepherds Bush just days earlier, and like with that gig, Jane’s use the set at The Roundhouse to showcase some new material.

Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction performs live in 2024.
Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction performs live in 2024. CREDIT: Katja Ogrin/Redferns/Getty Images

This time around, only unreleased track ‘Imminent Redemption’ makes the setlist — a percussive, tribal-inspired belter that is soon to become a classic at their live shows. ‘Ocean Size’ and ‘Three Days’ follow, with the latter becoming a nearly 15-minute-long proggy rendition that transforms an already impressive song into a force of its own.

“This is the last one because I don’t need you to give me a fucking hand to get me to come back out,” Farrell nonchalantly says, confirming there will not be an encore and introducing final track ‘Stop!’. And like that, without any further bells or whistles, the band leave the stage proving that nearly four decades after forming, they’re still a force to be reckoned with.

Jane’s Addiction played:

‘Then She Did’
‘Pigs In Zen’
‘Whores’
‘Been Caught Stealing’
‘Ain’t No Right’
‘Ted, Just Admit It…’
‘Jane Says’
‘Imminent Redemption’
‘Up The Beach’
‘Ocean Size’
‘Mountain Song’
‘Three Days’
‘Stop!’

This content was originally sourced and posted at NME »
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