Jane's Addiction - Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas - May 9-10, 2014
Perry Farrell showing the love at the Brooklyn Bowl Jane's Addiction concert. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas
Usually when you hear that there's going to be a concert at a bowling alley, the tendency is to either feel sorry for the band or understand that you are a member of a cult following. However, when that band is Jane's Addiction, and when that bowling alley is the new Las Vegas venue Brooklyn Bowl, it's different. In fact, if you had gone to The Linq, stood in line under the marquee, ascended the lobby escalator, and proceeded along the pathway to the 600-person capacity performance area, the fact that half of the building is a bowling alley would have escaped notice.
The earliest new and old fans grabbed up all of the choice sideline positions on each of the three nights of shows in honor of the 25th anniversary Nothing's Shocking, the band's landmark debut. The rest of the healthy crowd had to struggle with obstructed view sideline positions or join the massive group of bodies on the main floor; judging from the smiles in that crowd, no one seemed to be too concerned about the sardine-can-effect. This was probably because everyone knew that this was a special occasion--a legendary band's rare performance of a historic album in an intimate space. Add to that the general party attitude that people assume when they're in Las Vegas, and you have the atmosphere of the experience. Fortunately, we were in the crowd for the second two shows.
Dave Navarro could probably have been sleepwalking through the songs that he's been playing for over 25 years, and he still would have killed all of his solos; however, the nuanced jams that he performed during many of their standards showed that his playing is as impressive as ever. Stephen Perkins laid down the familiar beats with his charming flourishes, and emerged from behind his drum kit for both "Jane Says" and the encore, "Chip Away." Chris Chaney, who has essentially been the band's bassist since 2002, handled all of original bassist Eric Avery's parts with ease and seemed to be having a great time rocking the Brooklyn Bowl. Balancing out the affable vibes of the rhythm section and the stoic rock star demeanor of Navarro was singer / ringleader Perry Farrell.
Dave Navarro throttled his solos during the Las Vegas Jane's Addiction shows. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Farrell comes from the P.T. Barnum school of entertainment. Typically, his shows (with Jane's or with any of his numerous projects) possess a carnivalesque vibe. Throughout each of the evenings, he fed his adoring fans with nonstop banter, nicely choreographed use of the stage, a frenetic light show, sexy girls (some of which were suspended by hooks through their flesh...yes, that's right), and, of course, his vocals. Even though his gestures and stances while singing are very picturesque, he probably could have mimed many of his songs as the audience sang most of the material with him. Regardless, his energized performances were fueled by the positivity that he radiated through his commentary on life and through the good time that he was very clearly having onstage with his amazing band mates.