Review, Jane’s Addiction/Henry Rollins Band
27 November 1990
When Jane’s Addiction played in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago, they only performed eight songs, citing lack of enthusiasm on the part of the audience for the short set. Well, Perry and friends didn’t need to worry about the enthusiasm of the sold-out crowd at the Cleveland Agora Tuesday night.
The show began at 8:15, with Henry Rollins Band as the opening act. Rollins, formerly of Black Flag, and the rest of the band performed a tight, 45-minute set, consisting of mostly new songs with a few Black Flag songs thrown in for good measure. There was a high level of intensity throughout the set. Rollins was like a rattlesnake, coiled to strike as he rocked back and forth on the stage. He did lunge at one of the several stage divers as he was stalking across the stage. Near the end of the set, Rollins finally asked politely that the audience stay off the stage. The crowd’s enthusiasm was not dampened by the announcement, however; and the slam pit at the front of the stage kept the security guards busy all night long.
At 9:30, under the smoky haze of red and purple lights, Jane’s Addiction kicked into high gear. They performed several songs from their three albums, including “Whores” and “1%,” “Up the Beach,” “Obvious” and “Then She did…” Perry Farrell’s vocals were somewhat fuzzy during the first few songs, but that was quickly fixed by the sound men. There were a few other technical glitches during the show; however, they were due more to overzealous fans that to the band or the crew.
At one point, a stage diver (yes, they reappeared) took the mic with him as he leapt back into the crowd. This caused the show to stop momentarily while the crew retrieved the mic. Of course, once the mic was returned, the band responded to the crew with “Thank You Boys.” The crowd obviously consisted of many fans as they sang along to “Standing in the Shower, Thinking” “Been Caught Stealing” “Ain’t No Right” and “Stop,” among others.
The lighting and stage set complemented the music of the band. Colored Christmas lights were strewn along the back of the stage. Along the sides, flowers and icons were overflowing from the shelves, which gave the whole stage the look of a shrine.
In all, aside from the distractions of a few overzealous fans, Jane’s Addiction delivered a very high-energy show.
Here’s a video from a different night of the same tour: