Jane's Addiction - May 11, 1991 - James A. Rhodes Arena, Akron, OH

Date: May 11, 1991
Location: James A. Rhodes Arena, Akron, OH
Recorded: No known recording
Status: Confirmed
Type: Concert
Lineup: Perry Farrell
Dave Navarro
Stephen Perkins
Eric Avery

Show Information:

Rollins Band opened.

Thanks go to Kevin for the tour date article, Mike for the ticket, Scene Magazine, and itinerary scans, the poster picture and the following articles:

Akron Beacon Journal (OH)
May 12, 1991

Author: MARK FARIS, Beacon Journal staff writer

You don't have to hear Jane's Addiction, necessarily, to get a pretty good idea of how it sounds.

All you have to do is take a gander at the band's album covers. They do a fine job, especially that second one, Nothing's Shocking -- the one with the sculpture of the naked babes joined at the hip, enveloped in flames. That one. Yep, one look and you know right away we're not talking white gloves and party manners here.

More like spiked gauntlets and voodoo freakouts, actually -- the latter also being a fairly apt description of a Jane's Addiction road show -- like the one SaturDAY, in James A. Rhodes Arena.

Boy the ex-Guv (the building's namesake) would've loved this one.

But not necessarily in the same way as the 4,000 or so who showed up.

They really loved it.

And why not?

This four-man band from La La Land gets after it big time, whipping hot-licks rhythm into neo-psychedelic punk that embraces (maybe strangles is better) everything from slashing, Zeppelin-style rock 'n' roll to South-of-the-border boogie.

They couldn't have picked a better front man for it, either, than Perry Farrell.

Like a snake in shades, the gaunt, gangly lead singer cut the smoky haze with a banshee wail and venomous malevolence that evoked a sense of impending whoopee, and maybe even a little contempt, as he stuck his jaw into the crowd and turned loose the good stuff.

Moving in a spastic jitterbug, his head bobbing like a nervous chicken's, the man made it clear from the start that this was no pop show as he leaned into material from the aforementioned LP and its current follow-up, Ritual de lo Habitual. (Wait'll you get a load of that cover.)

The music -- like Perry and his partners Stephen Perkins (drums), David Navarro (guitar) and Eric Avery (bass) -- is a rancorous presence that can, at once, elate and deflate with high-concept artsiness and low-down funk.

In other words, a great way to welcome Mother's Day.

The Rollins Band opened festivities with an hour of warped power and fury that ... it was like something Jim Morrison might've dreamed after a bad party.

More interesting -- and oddly appropriate -- was the spectacle of stage side spectators being passed overhead toward the spotlight only to be repelled repeatedly by security guards -- a procedure that continued right into Jane's Addiction's set

What a struggle.

Akron Beacon Journal (OH)
May 10, 1991
Author: KIRA L. BILLIK, Associated Press

Perry Farrell doesn't want his lyrics to be over analyzed. He's adamant about it. In fact, if the hyper kinetic singer of Jane's Addiction were to have a motto, it would be: 'That's for me to know and you to find out.'

Farrell's evasiveness about the exact subject matter of his material can be exasperating. But whether he is that way because he is trying to maintain artistic integrity or is just trying to be enigmatic is a mystery.

'I write down what gets me off,' he said. 'There's very little rational thought. I don't want to come off sounding like a fool or a simpleton, but I don't think that hard on purpose.

"I simply just do it. I jot it down and then, if it's good, it's good, and if it's not, I try and fix it. Most of it is subconscious, but I don't want you to think I don't think -- maybe I'm more impulsive than I am intellectual.'

He also doesn't like discussing the band's album covers, which have caused controversy from the beginning.

The cover art on the 1988 LP Nothing's Shocking features two nude, life-size sculptures, joined at the waist, of singer Perry Farrell's girlfriend, Casey. A banal look is painted on their faces and their heads are aflame. Farrell created the sculpture.

Eight of the nation's major record distribution chains refused to carry the album. Later that year, all but two agreed to distribute the record.

Jane's Addiction's second release, Ritual de lo Habitual, caused a similar furor.

The cover art depicts a fetish made up of sculptures of Farrell, Casey and their late friend, Xiola, all nude, lying on a bed surrounded by various objects, including Tarot cards, burning candles and photographs.

Again, distributors said they would not put out the album as it was, so Farrell created an alternative -- a plain white cover with a lengthy dissertation on freedom of speech. Some record stores carry the original, some carry the white-covered version.

Farrell's reasons for his album covers are simple: He likes nudity. 'It's just something that I enjoy looking at, basically. I don't think it's very controversial.'

Ritual is a bit more low-key musically than its predecessor, but its subjects are as biting as ever. The erotic Three Days is Farrell's discourse on the three natures of sexuality human beings are capable of -- bisexuality, homosexuality and heterosexuality.

Farrell is always looking to expand his understanding of the human condition. He praises women in Classic Girl and empathizes the pain an interracial couple can face in No One's Leaving.

In the liner notes on the white-covered Ritual, he even writes: 'I used to wish sometimes that I was a woman. ... Their giving of love is fearless.'

'If I had been born female,' he said, 'I would feel a little bit like I was starting from somewhat of a disadvantage. Although, on the other side of the coin, there's no one more powerful than a woman. A beautiful woman can just rip a man's heart out.'

Farrell has a striking eye for detail and specifics in his lyrics. In Of Course, he tells of his big brother holding onto his hands and 'making me slap my own face.' He sings: 'He was trying to teach me something.'

Farrell, guitarist David Navarro, bassist Eric Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins released their first self-titled album in 1987 on the independent XXX label.

Jane's Addiction -- appearing Saturday, at the University of Akron's Rhodes Arena -- doesn't look back on its work and try to better it. Instead, each album, even each song, is completely unto itself.

'I don't go and interpret that it (a song) needs more of this or that,' Farrell said. 'Every song's an original thing. I don't try to change things up for change's sake, because I think that might defeat the purpose of the song.'

Memo: Cover Story / Perry Farrell doesn't want to over analyze his lyrics, and he definitely doesn't want to talk about his album covers. / Details - Jane's Addiction / Where: Rhodes Arena, University of Akron, 373 Carroll St. / When: 8 p.m. Saturday / Cost: $20 / Information: 972-6849