Jane's Addiction - April 24, 1991 - Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY

Date: April 24, 1991
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
Recorded: Audio (audience)
Status: Confirmed
Type: Concert
Lineup: Perry Farrell
Dave Navarro
Stephen Perkins
Eric Avery


Up The Beach
Standing In The Shower... Thinking
Ain't No Right
Three Days
Been Caught Stealing
Had A Dad
Then She Did...
Mountain Song
Of Course
Ocean Size
Jane Says
Chip Away

Show Information:

The Happy Mondays opened.

Thanks go out to 'MadCircle' for the ticket scan, 'sPiKi' for the article scan, and 'henry' for the Melody Maker article.:

Newsday (Melville, NY)
April 26, 1991
Edition: CITY
Page: 76

'Jane's Addiction': A Try at Mainlining
Author: Wayne Robins. STAFF WRITER

JANE'S ADDICTION. Hard rock with a literate edge, from Los Angeles, Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Happy Mondays, from Manchester, England, also appeared.

WHEN DOES "alternative" stop being alternative? When it can fill Madison Square Garden for a concert.

On their first arena tour, the risk-taking Los Angeles band Jane's Addiction staked its claim to mass appeal, attracting nearly 14,000 fans to the sold-out Garden. But they brought some of their club roots with them.

The band had the Garden remove the first seven rows of seats. In their place was a pit so that 200 or so fans could stand, bop and slam dance. But you don't need to be part of the slam-dancing set to appreciate the artistry and power of Jane's Addiction. In fact, as the vision of leader Perry Farrell, Jane's Addiction may be the most cerebral hard rock band since David Bowie's Spiders from Mars.

Farrell's lyrics are like jottings from a diary - they're minimalist short stories, allegorical observations, poetic streams-of-consciousness. But the keen verbal intelligence is always at the service of the music. There's a spiritual force evident in their music - the stage seemed designed like something of a shrine, with Christmas lights, notions, and small icons. But their cornerstone hymn isn't "Amazing Grace": It's Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir."

Onstage and on their two Warner Brothers albums, "Nothing's Shocking" and "Ritual de lo Habitual," there's a constant battle between release and restraint that gives the music a rich, dramatic tension. The modal, hypnotic, yet viscerally compelling guitar playing of Dave Navarro had a relentless pull. Navarro's forceful, unpredictable chordings created an aura of danger: It made Farrell seem like he was struggling against an undertow.

Bass player Eric A played thick, cannon-like volleys, the way Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones did on "19th Nervous Breakdown," while drummer Stephen Perkins made his kit evoke the sound of rolling thunder.

The performance was an exhilarating mix of trance-like moments and barrages of energy. "Stop!" offered a prime example of the Jane's Addiction dynamic, as the band reveled in the contrast between patches of unbridled energy and segments of fierce control: It was like watching a professional stunt driver hurtle down a mountain road.

"No One's Leaving" offered quick snapshots about an interracial relationship, while "Been Caught Stealing" might be subtitled "Confessions of a Well-Adjusted Kleptomaniac." If there's a bottom line to Jane's Addiction, it might be in the song "Ain't No Right," in which Farrell sang: "Ain't no wrong, ain't no right - only pleasure and pain."

FARRELL HAS AN IMPLICIT political agenda that never quite got articulated. He wondered how New Yorkers could possibly stand living "next door" to Washington, D.C. "What crummy neighbors," he said. (Actually, he used a stronger word than "crummy.") "You're happy about that?" No, Perry, we're not, and we won't rest until the nation's capital is moved to Butte, Mont.

Sometimes Farrell's shamanism seemed to go over people's heads. "Is everybody bored?" he asked. When the crowd gave the predictable rock audience "no" for a response, Farrell stopped them. "I don't mean right now, I mean in your life, man!" Well, possibly, but with Jane's Addiction around, life's a little less boring.

Happy Mondays, avatars of the Manchester, England, dance rock scene, played a short, lively opening set featuring seductive tunes like "Kinky Afro." Bouncy, sensual grooves dominated their set - they came across as a kind of acid house version of the Grateful Dead.

The Record (New Jersey)
April 26, 1991
Edition: All Editions
Page: 13

Author: By Barbara Jaeger, Record Music Critic; The Record

It wasn't so long ago that lead vocalist Perry Farrell said he couldn't see Jane's Addiction as an arena-rock band.

Farrell, however, proved short-sighted. On Wednesday evening, the alternative band moved into the big time with a near-sellout show at Madison Square Garden. And the California-based quartet made the leap from clubs and theaters with flair and finesse.

One side of the stage resembled an altar, draped in red cloth and adorned with candles. Scattered around the stage were statues and vases filled with flowers. Strings of multicolored lights hung from above, and thick smoke spewed from behind.

But while the setting was more elaborate than fans would expect, the music remained the same.

There's a definite heavy-metal edge to Jane's Addiction's music. Meaty guitar riffs supplied by Dave Navarro, the pile-driver rhythms of drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Eric A, and Farrell's shrill vocals were pushed through a sound system cranked to the max.

What separates Jane's Addiction from rock's metal mavens, however, is the incorporation of progressive art-rock, punk, and jazz into songs such as "Stop," "Of Course," "Standing in the Shower . . . Thinking," and "Ain't No Right. " Artfully arranged with quick and often complex tempo changes, these tunes proved hypnotic and made it darn near impossible to stand still.

And when it comes to subject matter, Jane's Addiction is light years removed from its hard-headed brethren.

Instead of writing paeans to male teenage fantasies and lust, Farrell writes songs about love, brotherhood, and freedom of choice.

Admittedly, some of the band's messages are a tad unconventional, and even controversial. The lushly arranged "Three Days" is about a menage a trois, while "Ain't No Right" states "Ain't no wrong now, ain't no right/Only pleasure and pain. "

"Three Days," an art-rocker that runs for over 10 minutes, was enhanced by the three-dimensional bas-relief of Farrell and two women naked in bed that was unveiled at the stage's rear. The same artwork, done by Farrell, adorns the group's latest album, "Ritual de lo Habitual. "

A violinist joined the group for a couple of songs, including "Of Course," with its strains of gypsy-inspired music.

It was one of the simply arranged songs, however, that proved how habit-forming Jane's Addiction could become. For "Jane Says," Perkins stepped from behind his drum set and came center stage to play bongos and a steel drum, while Navarro strapped on an acoustic guitar. The delicate instrumentation proved the perfect counterpoint for Farrell's heartfelt vocals.

HAPPY MONDAYS/JANE'S ADDICTION, Madison Square Garden, New York
Melody Maker, May 11th 1991
by Simon Reynolds

It must have seemed an inspired notion to pair these unabashed champions of drug culture, but inside sources tell me that it's turned out to be a marriage made in hell. Happy Mondays stroll casually onstage half an hour late (a misdemeanour for which Jane's Addiction's manager exacts hefty financial revenge), Ryder exhaling huge clouds of wacky tobaccy, Bez loping back and forth across the stage like a Gumby, his face contorted by a stark staring grimace of brain-blitzed glee. I expected a culture clash, bemused and derisive silence from the arena horde, but, happily, droves of college radio Manc wannabees have turned up. Having studiously learnt their raver moves from seeing the Mondays videos on MTV's "alternative" show 120 Minutes, these kids bob and lurch in feigned E-blasted gormlessness, but rather touchingly get it ever so slightly wrong.

The Mondays' sound is a slick shambles, an immaculate hotch-potch that sounds remarkably close to the records, suggesting – knock me down with a feather – a substantial reliance on tapes. But who cares, when they sound this good? "Loose Fit" is a magnificent mirage, its golden riff shimmering forebodingly over sultry, low riding rhythms. A new song is in the same Seventies vein; synths that spume and froth as obscenely as World Of Twist's Moog ejaculations, bubbling swamp-funk pulsations, boogie guitar. It's like the primordial soup from which terrestrial life emerged. Then, like William Hurt in Altered States, the Mondays regress still further, beyond the protozoan to the sub-atomic "white light" state of pre-consciousness, with 'Wrote For Luck': a raga-house mantra for a state of mindlessness, like 'Sister Ray' crossed with 'I Feel Love'. The band exit one by one, as the beat slows down in sync with a strobe, and isolated pockets of jeers and boos are drowned out by a thoroughly merited ovation.

Jane's Addiction are another twist to the rock/dance collusion, but their thing is fission/fusion rather than the Mondays' pilfered pick 'n' mix, hacking freneticism rather than groovy brain-death. The sheer funk of Jane's Addiction's sound is startling. Perry Farrell jerks and spasms like he's the human fuse wire in Patti Smith's equation "art + electricity = rock 'n' roll". His helium-high peal of petulance careens across Navarro's cascades like a surfer riding the Mother Of All Waves. One side of Jane's Addiction is all about back-to-nature primitivism (the rhythm section is as tumultuously tribal as Bow Wow Wow, my absolute favourite group of 1981), but they have an equally powerful drive to revolt against nature, weird out. Where Happy Mondays are degenerate, Janes Addiction are decadent – a sublime fusion of excess and elegance, not a wallow in stupefaction. Although Farrell gives us the pagan blessing "good sex", and declares that "God is in your scrotum," most of the songs aren't about carnality but transcendence; the refusal of limits and the aspiration to god-head (the grandeur-lust of 'Wish I Was Ocean Size'). This self-aggrandisement/self-annihilation complex is the thread that connects rock shamanism with Farrell's other great releases, heroin and surfing.

Ironically, Farrell looks set to spurn the real power that's now his for the grasping. The fervour of the 14,000-strong coalition of subcultures here tonight underlines the impression that Jane's Addiction have become the focus for the disparate disaffected. The group's upcoming Lollapalooza tour of the USA, a kind of mobile rock festival, looks set to resurrect the idea of counter culture. Farrell could actually turn the twenty something generation's "those were the days" defeatism into "these are the days" pride. But apparently he's already decided to end Jane's Addiction. If he does, it'll be an act of sheer willfulness comparable with Big Black's premature hari-kiri, except that so much more is at stake. I hope he changes his mind, but I'll admire the heroic perversity if he does pull the plug.