With "Jane Says," Jane's Addiction Wrote "Modern Rock's 'Free Bird'" (Or So Says Their Bio)
Back in 1991, Perry Farrell created the Lollapalooza Festival as a farewell tour for his then six-year-old band, Jane's Addiction, populating that year's outing with--besides Jane's--Nine Inch Nails, Ice-T & Body Count, Butthole Surfers, Rollins Band, Violent Femmes, and Rage Against the Machine, among others.
Thus, we have Farrell to thank--or to excoriate--for giving rise to the "Alternative Nation" and the musical journey that's travelled from Rage Against the Machine to Florence + the Machine. While Jane's did break up following that landmark tour (despite the fact that "Been Caught Stealing" and "Stop!" became hits), in the years since 1997 the group has been an on and off proposition. Interesting side projects notwithstanding, the "strong" creative personalities and addictions were enough to derail the Jane's train for some years.
Circa now, however, they're an "on" proposition. REALLY on. The bands' 2011 show at Irving Plaza saw shirtless and healthy Dave Navarro and Perry Farrell (ages 45 and 53 respectively) looking hard and rocking harder. (Sorry!) They're both showmen at the top of their crafts (guitar and vocals, respectively) and the well-earned and understandable egos that were once fueled and ruined by drugs now seem to fuel the onstage power and chemistry. With always reliable, earthy, hard-hitting drummer Stephen Perkins anchoring the Mick and Keith of the alternative set, Jane's are as good as, if not better than, they were in the late '80s, when they ruled the hipster clubs of their native L.A. along with up and comers like the Chili Peppers (who Navarro would later join) and Guns N' Roses (who wanted Navarro to join).