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