Jane's Addiction at the Pageant, 2/22/12: Review, Photos, Setlist

janes-addiction-review.jpg
Kholood Eid
Perry Farrell connects with a fan.
Jane's Addiction | Black Box Revelation
The Pageant
February 22, 2012

Jane's Addiction remains an undisputed king of the '90s. From its inception in 1985 to the creation of Lollapalooza for its 1991 farewell tour, the band has lent more than its share to the birth of alternative culture, second to only marijuana and Nirvana. Last night, amidst the clouds of smoke, the sight of couples making out and the booze flowing like water, Jane's Addiction gave the sold-out crowd a standout show.

As the night began, Black Box Revelation hit the stage. Shrouded in red and pink stage lights, the Belgian duo kicked off into a handful of bluesy, garage-inspired rock songs. Stuck between the glory of its overseas popularity and the potential of arena rock stardom, BBR seem to still be cutting its teeth, only this time at the feet of a larger American audience. Songs like "Love Licks" and "I Think I Like You" heaved with fervor as rock guitar riffery met John Bonham-like thunder. It's a tough job to open for such a legendary band, but Black Box Revelation soldiered on, matching perfection with passion.

St. Louis has earned the reputation for being a "tough crowd" in certain cases, and this was no exception. Apathy plagued the audience as they fidgeted with ritualistic boredom. Clearly they were here for one thing, and one thing only. Maybe BBR would have a better shot opening for the Black Angels, but this crowd just wasn't there.

In between BBR's exit and the prepping of the stage, a once empty balcony and pit began filling by the minute. A fog of anticipation hovered above, with the stench of sweat, booze and weed becoming more and more prominent. Then there it was. A low hum, a slight rumble. Lights off. The crowd in an uproar. Hitting the stage just shortly after 9:15 p.m., the boys were back in full effect.

Propelling into "Underground," off of 2011's Great Escape Artist, Perry Farrell and company immediately took the reigns of the night with smiles, energy, and most of all enthusiasm. As the lights were drawn to the stage, one couldn't help but notice the elaborate set-up: A stuffed bear, trapeze artists, a giant mold of two nude pin-up girls center stage, video monitors, Black Swan-styled costumes and the longest white gown you'll ever see. As Farrell careened back and forth, he sang "I'll never give up the underground," tipping his hat to the days of counter-cultures passed. Where the current state of contemporary radio rock a.k.a. "alternative rock" is as stale as week-old bread, Jane's Addiction has retained and refined a vibrant, relevant image of the culture it fearlessly created. In the first show on the Theatre of the Escapists Tour, the boys in Jane's Addiction took the St. Louis crowd by storm.

The roar of the audience was quickly stomped out by the low-end rumble of bassist Chris Chaney as he played the opening line to "Mountain Song." Throbbing with downbeat energy, Jane's Addiction launched into the classic, complete with a topless, tatted-up Dave Navarro wielding his guitar, earning the respect of every devil-horned hand in the room.

Just before the third song, Farrell, finally acknowledging the fired-up crowd, simply yelled, "Saint Louis!" and the band continued to fire hit after hit. At this point in Jane's Addiction's career, songs like "Just Because" off of 2003's Strays fit right up there with "Been Caught Stealing," with everyone from the tattooed mom to the pierced teen to the acid freaks headbanging in approval.

In the early '90s, it was Farrell and friends who were responsible for informing the mainstream that a new wave of counter-culture was here to stay. With the creation of Lollapalooza and coining the term "alternative" in reference to the abandoned youth of the MTV generation, it was bands like Jane's Addiction that would leave their mark on generations to come.

As the band slithered into a red-lit version of "Ted, Just Admit It," the stage transformed into a demented circus. Two buxom vixens began performing burlesque, as the band played on, oozing sex. This was the Jane's Addiction that people knew.

Juxtaposing against the previous song, the band began the first lines of "Twisted Tales," another track off its 2011 album. More akin to the likes of Staind or Placebo, the song seemed to leave the audience a bit bewildered. But the stage show carried everyone through. A ringmaster-type character emerged, dressed completely in white. As the man pulled baby dolls out of a bag, a video narrative on abuse played in the background, leading up to a mimicked suicide. The lights dimmed, and the eager crowd was ready to see what was next.

Location Info

Map

The Pageant

6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

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19 comments
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DT
DT

Jane's never played the American. The show that person to which that person referred was later than '88, more like '91, and featured Chili Peppers, Pumpkins and Pearl Jam. I may be mistaken, but I believe JA's first St. Louis appearance was April of '89 at Mississippi Nights... and it was AWESOME!!!

Bsmadrid
Bsmadrid

I left this show saying that without a doubt, this was the BEST concert I have ever been to.  These guys are the real deal and to see them in a place this small was just incredible.  They sound better than ever: tight and having a great time onstage.  It will be hard to beat this concert!!

kbuds
kbuds

"Black Box Revelation soldiered on, matching perfection with passion." Man these guys sucked!  Talk about some whiny ass songs, that sound exactly the same.  Perfection with passion my ass... it sounded like he was holding his nose thru each and every song.  I can't believe Jane's have them on tour with them... 

Wolftrail34
Wolftrail34

They freakin rocked the house, it was fantastic!  I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to see these guys at the Pageant, one of the best places you can possibly see your favorite band...If you were dissappointed by 14 songs or whatever just realize that Perry JUST had double hernia surgery 3 weeks ago, and this was their first show together in years..

Other than the muscle head with the Napoleon complex that tried to start a fight with me, I had an absolute blast..

Bigsled68
Bigsled68

They tour once every 7 or 8 years ( 9 inch nails was co-headlining and limited cities)  and 14 songs is the best they can do ?pretty selfish and disappointing

Calliope
Calliope

In my opinion, this set list is less than stellar. I hope the whole tour isn't like this.

Funksoul '65
Funksoul '65

Saw the Mississippi nights show back in '88... Actually StL's own Buffalo Bob opened for them. NO SHIT!!! Love you guys!!! So glad you're still around and putting out relevant music. Thx for making us the first date on the new tour too.

Jim
Jim

Re: "Overheard" ---- "This is my second time seeing Jane's Addiction. The first time was in 1988 and it was them and the Smashing Pumpkins opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the American Theater. I was 21. Now I'm 45 and ready to take a nap. ...but this is fucking cool. I still like rock n roll."///

The show this person was referring to did not include Jane's Addiction, it was Pearl Jam who performed with RHCP and SP in Dec 91 at the American.

Jane's Addiction played Mississippi Nights in March 88 (with the Buck Pets) and then again in Feb 91 (with Mary's Danish)

bkrodgers
bkrodgers

Damn, I hesitated on getting tickets because I was only a mild fan back in the day...liked them, but never got that into them. I still thought about going, but waffled a bit. Of course, as it turned out, there was little room for hesitation with these tickets, and I've been regretting it since. Sounds like it was a great show!!

Norm Vana
Norm Vana

 thats not why they only played 14 songs i know for a fact it was because of a strict curfew of the venue . cant blame this on on perry or the band

Josh Levi
Josh Levi

I had done some research on this beforehand and noticed the discrepancy.  Had to write what he said though!  Think he had a few during the show!  It was a great time!

Bagofbone5
Bagofbone5

He even has his math wrong if it was in 88 or 91.

Mr. Concert
Mr. Concert

The Pageant has shows that run past 11:00PM all the time, don't blame the venue

With that said, the band played 90 minutes and one of the 14 songs is over 10 minutes long.

In the late 60s it would have been possible to see Miles Davis play for over two hours and he would have done four songs...so what do you measure your enjoyment from, number of songs or time on stage?

Bjmfan94
Bjmfan94

Bright Eyes played @ the Pageant untill 12:45am

Norm Vana
Norm Vana

i know they can play past 11 but with a bigger band with union workers after  the curfew there paid more like double time.. so there watching all aspects of saving money

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