Jane's Addiction End Tour On High Note

Band goes their separate ways, leaving the door open for possible future projects.

SEATTLE -- If it was a celebration of the end, then it was a celebration

of a new beginning too.

"This feels so sad, it's almost over," an emotional Perry Farrell told almost

11,000 Jane's Addiction fans Monday night in Seattle's Key Arena. "But it feels

good too!" he added about the finale of the "I-Itz M'My Party" reunion tour.

"It's never the end," he added, clutching his microphone and drawing his arms,

folded over his chest.

Many fans were worried that the tour would bring up bad memories of the band's

less-than-amicable break-up in 1991. Whether or not Farrell and guitarist Dave

Navarro could put aside their differences long enough for a 'relapse' tour, as

Farrell called it, was the question at hand.

But after the final show, Navarro seemed upbeat about the future, saying that

the tour blew away any of his preconceptions and adding about Farrell, "We're

looking forward to doing more together."

The small-framed Navarro (without platforms, about 5'7"), who looks like a giant

onstage, came to the band's after-show party at the Key Arena caped in a black

velvet, ankle-length coat and carrying a leather handbag. Only a few people

recognized the usually half-naked guitarist with his shirt on. Leaving quickly

under the guise of night, one can only guess where and when Jane's Addiction

will reappear.

Will replacement bassist Flea stick around? Can we expect some new material

from the band? And how many feather boas actually made it from the beginning of

the tour to the end?

After turning down offers to tour in Europe and Japan in support of their new album, Kettle Whistle, the band is returning home to Los Angeles for the

holidays, according to band publicist Heidi Robinson.

"There are no plans yet for the future, but the door is wide open," she said. Because of

touring and recording conflicts with Navarro and Flea's other band, the Red Hot

Chili Peppers, as well as Farrell and drummer Stephen Perkins' Porno for Pyros,

fans may not see another relapse for more than a year, she added. "The Chili

Peppers are actually due into the studio the end of this week," Robinson said,

adding that Porno for Pyros are due into the studio in the beginning of the new

year, as well.

In the meantime, the band can sit back and remember putting on one of the great

concerts of 1997. The farewell show in Seattle was no different from the other

18 the band put on since October's dress-rehearsal gig in Los Angeles.

The most-talked-about reunion band of 1997, Jane's Addiction came into the city

of grunge like liquid-fuel sprayed on a bonfire. The crowd repeated their

chants of "Jane's! Jane's!" and then the house lights dropped. That familiar

voice: "Senoras y Senores ... " The whoosh of a curtain and the stage lights

went up. There were dozens of lit candles, six-foot silk flowers, Mayan statues

and brightly painted parasols complementing the band's usual

androgynous-but-fashionable presence.

What followed was a rousing, almost two-hour, 11-song set that had fans swarming

toward the stage like bugs toward a streetlight.

Farrell, bedecked in a tight, shiny, blue two-piece mini, pranced from riser to

stage with his hands held high and a set of black-lace wings attached to his

back. His hair stuck out like the bristles of an old broom; weaved spindles of

hair and neon cord shot out of his head. The world was his. Crooning the

opening verses to

"Ocean Size" (RealAudio excerpt), Perry bounced back and forth between

the aptly dressed -- red feather-boa and silver-sequined miniskirt -- Navarro

and the topless, silk sarong'd Flea.

Flea's cadence was ever-steady and his presence intense. He leaned toward the

crowd and shook his bass at his monitor, soothing out the last note. Across the

knuckles on his picking hand was a tattoo of the word "L-O-V-E." He shook his

bleached head in time to the music and laid his tracks down hard against

Perkins' solid drum work.

Farrell clutched his red wine for a quick sip, then reached his hands out to the

crowd and motioned as if he were tracing their features. The crowd applauded

his every movement.

Shaking, contorting, at times grinding his hips into Navarro's face, Farrell was

alight. The playful interaction of the band and the six or so scantily clad

would-be nymphs on stage added to the heightened arousal in the arena.

After a six-song introduction on the main stage, which included "Whores,"

"Trip Away," and an incredibly long and powerful "Three Days," Farrell took to

one of the on-floor scaffolds to sing the slow-building powerhouse, "Summertime

Rolls." A fan climbed up on top of the scaffolding and danced with Perry for a

few minutes during the number before jumping dangerously to the up-stretched

hands of the crowd 15 feet below.

Unfazed, Farrell brought the song to a rollicking head before meeting up

with the rest of the band on the mini-stage in the rear of the arena floor.

Fans in the rear of the arena were treated to an up-close, blistering mini-set

that included a slow bongo intro by Perkins into their most popular song ever,

"Jane Says," a searing "Chip Away" that saw Flea and Navarro bashing the hell

out of more bongos and a fervent "Classic Girl" to complete the interlude.

When the mini-set ended, an exuberant Farrell fell into Flea's outstretched arms

and the two embraced. Farrell's permi-smile broke only for a "thank you" to his

bassist.

The band returned to their main stage and the lights dropped for "Ted,

Just Admit It," a tune dealing with the story of serial killer Ted Bundy, who

made Washington state his own, personal killing-field some 20 years ago. The

band finished the night with a staggering "Nothing's Shocking" that basically

summed up the mood of the whole tour.

The release of the new album and the completion of a successful U.S. tour (San

Diego was the only stop that did not sell-out) have ushered in a new wave of

fans. Many, such as Trent Shaw of Tacoma, Wash., were only eight when the band

released their first, self-titled album 10 years ago. "My older brother used to

be a big Jane's fan," said Shaw, now 18. "I took all his CDs since he's married

and no longer likes them."

But it wasn't all teenagers at the Seattle show; some, such as 35-year-old Sarah

Tice, showed up with their spouses in tow. "We came to see [Jane's Addiction]

because it might be the last chance," Tice said. "My husband and I used to

listen to them years ago, so it brings back some good memories."

Color="#720418">[Thurs., Dec. 11, 1997, 9 a.m. PST]