Jane's Addiction, Chemical Brothers, More Heat Up Coachella

INDIO, California — It was not the Lollapalooza, but it was

definitely some kind of a lollapalooza. And what better way to top off

13 hours of music, art and freakish behavior than a classic set of songs from

a reunited Jane's Addiction?

Jane's said they were back and the 31,000 fans at Saturday's second Coachella Valley

Music and Arts Festival wildly embraced the arty rockers after a brutal

100-degree day that could have easily sapped their energy.

"How long has it been?" singer Perry Farrell wondered before the band

launched into the meandering "Three Days." Dressed like an alien disco

phantom, Farrell strutted onto the stage in a white, bedazzled jumpsuit, a

pimp-style feathered fedora and ghostly face paint. His outfit blended into a

stage set that looked like an underwater garden of delights.

Crashing across the front of the stage was a set of white waves. While pale

sea urchin sculptures sprouted in the background, masked phantoms shot

confetti cannons and a trio of white-thonged stripper/nymphs slithered around

Farrell and guitarist Dave Navarro as the band wound its way through the

12-minute song.

As strange as the scene was, though, it felt like just another mirage at a

sprawling festival that showered attendees with everything from robot wars to

live house music and the U.S. debut of enigmatic, intense Icelandic ambient

rockers Sigur Rós.

But at the end of the day, it was all about Jane's. With original drummer

Stephen Perkins along and Porno for Pyros' Martyn Le Noble filling in for original bassist Eric Avery, the band performed for only the second time on their current reunion

tour, the follow-up to their 1997 "Relapse" tour.

And although they showed signs of rust at times, Jane's seemed energized

while playing such nuggets as the pummeling "Mountain Song" and "Ocean Size,"

with Navarro's flighty solos seeming to bounce off the mountains and rows of

swaying palm trees surrounding the polo fields.

In the middle of the band's biggest hit, "Been Caught Stealing," — performed

from a satellite stage in the middle of the crowd — Red Hot Chili Peppers

bassist Flea emerged on the main stage to play an extended solo as the rest

of Jane's made their way back in a Mardi Gras-style procession through the

crowd.

The set ended with a chaotic, furious take on "Ted, Just Admit It," for which

Farrell changed into a silver lamé suit and a bevy of dancers snaked around

the stage waving oversized, spinning pinwheels.

Farrell's face was frozen into a manic grin as he left the stage, perhaps a

combination of his joy at reuniting with Jane's and watching a day

of eclectic music and art unfold in a style U.S. audiences haven't seen since

the demise of his Lollapalooza festival.

With dozens of world-renowned DJs playing on all five stages, sets from

such rockers as the Dandy Warhols, punk icon Iggy Pop and rappers the Roots

and Gang Starr, the festival was akin to European events such as the famed

Reading festival, according to Roots drummer ?uestlove.

"I'll tell you one thing," said ?uestlove after his group's

improvisation-heavy set. "It was safer than frickin' Woodstock ['99]. Over in

Europe, this is a normal thing ... there's a festival every two seconds and

it's nice to see this here. It was beautiful. I thought it was going to be

hot and sticky and troublesome, but it was good." The drummer for the

hip-hop group said his highlights were seeing geek rockers Weezer and live

acid jazz/house collective St. Germain.

Free of the kind of aggro rock acts, sexually aggressive mosh pits and

violence that have marred U.S. festivals such as Woodstock '99 over the past

three years, Coachella had a peaceful, inclusive vibe that extended from the

all-day Insomniac rave tent to the Outdoor Theater stage. The latter featured

a lineup that ranged from Canadian live techno/house trio the New Deal to

next-big-thing singer Nikka Costa, whose Janis Joplin-meets-Teena Marie soul

rock wailing was enhanced by a band that played everything from blues to R&B,

dub and soul.

Underground rapper Mos Def matched Costa's eclecticism with his

hip-hop/rock/funk band Jack Johnson. Featuring Bad Brains guitarist Dr. Know,

former Living Colour drummer Will Calhoun and bassist Doug Wimbish and

Parliament/Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell, the band ripped through a

set of songs Def aptly described as "heavy metal for the ghetto."

The grassy midway featured a dizzying array of diversions: 12 hours of

"tech-Mex" DJ sets from the Mexican Nortec DJ collective, a hip-hop tent that

featured everything from breakdancing to African high-life music, live mural

painting and a junk metal drum circle. One of the strangest sights was a

giant see-saw sound sculpture on which a keyboardist played improvisational

music piped into the headphones of a festival-goer suspended in a hammock on

the other end.

After DJ Paul Oakenfold brought the crowd to repeated peaks

during his high-energy pre-Jane's set, it was left to techno stars the

Chemical Brothers to deliver them into the dust-blown, pitch-black night

sweaty and satisfied.

The duo, which had flown in from England just for its Coachella DJ set, used

its show-closing spot to debut a handful of tracks from an album in progress. "It's nice to have a little holiday for the weekend,"

said Chemical Brother Tom Rowlands. "We've been in the studio for a long

time, so it's nice to get out and play, test out some new tracks."

Partner Ed Simons said one of the reasons the pair returned after playing the

first Coachella in October of 1999 was because of the positive mood of the

show. "It's a very different festival than the ones in America [we've played]

that have all the violent bands," he said. With its mix of big-name rock

bands, DJs and hip-hop, Rowlands said the pair was eager to support this

rare breed of U.S. gathering.

The Chemicals' amped-up set included a mix of their favorite techno classics, the new,

tentatively titled "It Began in Africa," and the set-closing, night-capping "here we go!" anthem "Hey Boy, Hey Girl."

The exhortation was similar to the one Farrell had left the crowd with before

he exited the stage. "Go get 'em kids!" he shouted.