July 27, 2016 Jane’s Addiction Cast Spell On Coney Island, NY 7-15-16 w/ Dinosaur Jr. & Nothing
Back in 1991, the extremely diverse music festival known as Lollapalooza was launched by Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band. Now celebrating the festival’s 25th anniversary, it vaguely bares any resemblance to the early days. Nonetheless, Farrell did launch something special for the Alternative music world that cannot be denied. That being said, Jane’s Addiction, reunited for good since 2001, have plenty to celebrate in 2016. For one, the 25th anniversary of the aforementioned Lollapalooza, and two, the 25th anniversary of 1990’s critically acclaimed album, Ritual De Lo Habitual. Debuting the latest run, the Sterling Spoon Anniversary tour, Alternative Rock giant Jane’s Addiction kicks off the US leg on Friday, July 15th, at the new Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk down in Brooklyn, New York. Alongside Jane’s Addiction was Nothing and direct support, Dinosaur Jr., ready to rock the crowd in their own unique ways. With a buzz surrounding the venue, much like the carnival atmosphere outside its walls, opening night of the brief six-date tour was set to be nothing short of an overwhelming success.
Kicking things off was the Indie Dream Pop band by the name of Nothing. Relatively new next to the other bands featured on the tour, Nothing began in 2011 and are currently touring with the members Domenic Palermo (vocals/guitar), Brandon Setta (guitar), Kyle Kimball (drummer), and Nick Bassett (bass). Signed to Relapse Records, they released the album Guilty of Everything in 2014 and, as of May 2016, released Tired of Tomorrow.
Enthusiastically accepting the warm welcome, Nothing thanked Brooklyn and opened with the dreamy “Fever Queen,” following with “Vertigo Flowers,” “Chloroform,” “July the Fourth,” and “Eaten by Worms.” Once again addressing the crowd, Nothing thanked the audience before playing through “Get Well,” “A.C.D (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder),” “Bent Nail,” “B&E,” an awesome cover of The Cure’s “How Beautiful You Are,” as well as a short cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.” Finishing up with the song “Curse of the Sun,” Nothing left to gracious applause for the trippy riffs, psychedelic vocals, and soothing bass lines they blessed the audience with. For a new band on the rise, Nothing is very finely-tuned live, and an experience of pure lucid dreaming in action on stage.
In between the performances, as per usual intermission, concert goers mingling, laughed, and drank together joyfully. Balloons glided slowly through the slight breeze on the hot summer night, with lights dimming unnoticed by a majority of the audience. Then, almost ninja-like, Dinosaur Jr. appeared on stage to set up, and as soon as everyone noticed, they bursts into hollers and applause. A band that built their name independently, Rock outfit Dinosaur Jr. originally formed up in Massachusetts back in 1984. Attaining major success with their fifth official studio album in 1993, Where You Been, Dinosaur Jr. has a long history leading them to present day. Considered a key component in the 1990’s Alternative Rock movement, Dinosaur Jr. is recognized for their staple sound, which is inherently their own brand of Noise Rock. Now, with the current lineup of Founders J Mascis on vocals, Lou Barlow on bass, and Murph on drums, Dinosaur Jr. return to the road in 2016 to tour and support their forthcoming album, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not.
Gracefully taking in the applause, Dinosaur Jr. began with “The Lung” to get the concert bumping with its dirty Grunge sound and wild bass. Over the crowd noise, Mascis thanked all and introduced the Classic Rock inspired new song “Goin Down.” Continuing with more modern cuts, “Back to Your Heart” came before Alt-Rock awesomeness “Pieces,” and new upbeat song “Tiny.” Spicy, and full of life, they went into older hit “Feel the Pain,” which was met with thunderous applause and had many on their feet.
The band, very focused on their performance, thanked the crowd again and continued with Groove Rock song “Start Choppin,” followed by “Freak Scene,” and finished up their set with a cover of The Cure’s famous song, “Just Like Heaven.” As Dinosaur Jr. left the stage, they shouted out to supporting band Nothing and headliner Jane’s Addiction for having them out. Overall, Dinosaur Jr. has not lost their touch and left the audience radiating exuberance in anticipation of the main act. As for their new album, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not hits stores August 5th, and from the sampling at Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, it is sure to keep with the band’s same style and edge as they have always offered.
With an intermission that seemed infinite due to the electric energy pulsing in the venue, everyone present lost it as soon as the lights dropped into a smoky purple for the entrance of Jane’s Addiction. The audience, egged on by the still empty stage, called out to the band as cheers and whistles cut sharply through the air. Farrell and Guitarist Dave Navarro walked out first, followed closely by Drummer Stephen Perkins and Bassist Chris Chaney. Assuming their positions on stage, the band launched into “Stop!,” which was accompanied by sexy, scantily-clad backup dancers to entertain the crowd. Next, “No One’s Leaving” had the whole venue singing along word for word, dancing along with the showgirls on stage. While playing third song on the set list, Farrell seized one of the smiley balloons lofting through the air over the stage, holding it closely to his face and smiling mischievously as he sang through “Ain’t No Right” before “Obvious.”
Still holding the balloon, Farrell asked the crowd, “Are you ready for a ride?,” to which he received deafening cheers. Then, with a wild guitar riff from Navarro, the band launched into their iconic “Been Caught Stealin,” and then played straight into “Three Days.” At this point, the adoring audience was lost in the music as Jane’s Addiction spearheaded through “Then She did…” and “Of Course.” Ever the gracious and amusing frontman, Farrell regaled the fans with a childhood that started with him as an adolescent in a cute sailor suit on a Coney Island ride, and ended with his sister covered in his vomit. Always entertaining, he took a swig from his liquor bottle as his sensual dancers flowed across the stage and dance around him and Navarro rocked into “Classic Girl,” only taking a break for an enticing strip tease on stage.
Putting down the empty bottle, Farrell declared, “We love you New York!” before a heartfelt and touching moment to address the unity of musicians, and talks about Joe Perry’s unfortunate and frightening collapse on stage just a week shy of their performance. As a show of support and solidarity, the band “plays the song Perry couldn’t finish,” rocking the venue with the late David Bowie’s own “Rebel Rebel” backed by an overwhelming support by the fans. Following their kind show of love for a kindred spirit, Farrell challenges the crowd to a hot dog eating contest while his bandmates laugh quietly at his antics. In the midst of it all, Chaney took charge on leading the band into famous “Mountain Song” accompanied by Navarro’s unwavering guitar.
With the powerful performance energizing and enthralling the crowd, Jane’s Addiction kept it coming with fan-favorite “Ted, Just Admit It…” that featured the dancers dangling dangerously from gripping metal chains, and ended off with critically acclaimed hit “Jane Says” to the absolute joy of their fans. Taking a moment to relish in the adrenaline rush of the moment, the band and dancers each took their bows and exited the stage, thanking the crowd for all their love.
Overall, the first concert of the tour can be called a supreme success. With showmanship done in the unique style of Jane’s Addiction, and the help of awesome openers Nothing and Dinosaur Jr., the show was exactly like a blast from the Grunge era, hitting with the force of a well-placed punch in a smoky bar where these songs still thrive. With alternating bands on the line up, including the famous Living Colour, the Sterling Spoon Anniversary Tour can only get better each time, if that is humanly possible.Photo credit: Stephanie Pearl Photography