Friday, July 10, 2009

The End...Kinda...Sorta...

Jane's Addiction
Nine Inch Nails
Street Sweeper Social Club
Santa Barbara County Bowl
May 2009

NIN/JA tour…
Looks like this the end?! Trent seems to be in a place to put things to rest, intimating on his website that this might be the last go round for Nine Inch Nails. Or this update from Bonnaroo...
Or this...

If that’s the case, he’s chosen the high road, rolling out on a summer tour, playing support for Jane’s Addiction’s latest comeback tour, (wherein they finally wrestle original bassist Eric Avery back into the fold). It’s payback for Jane’s carving out a slot for the then rookie band on the very first Lollapalooza tour. Sherman, set the wayback machine for 1991!

Coming off the last high gloss, super produced spectacle of a tour, it’s back to basics for NIN, and it shows. Trent’s relaxed to the point of buoyancy, as he trots the old warhorses on the track on more time, but with renewed vigor, and it really looks like the guy, (for once), is enjoying himself.
Trent proves to be the host with the most, assembling a fine lineup for a summer tour, then backing himself to the middle slot…Came in right after they hit the stage, unfortunately missing Street Sweeper Social Club, the new project from Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) and Boots Riley (The Coup).

Nine Inch Nails was a song or two into their set when we arrived, and from the get go it was on…Trent tore through the songs, very relaxed and unfussy, on a stripped down stage. Freed from the expectations of a big ticket tour, he appeared much more relaxed than last fall at the Forum, but no less in command.

The set was geared to the standards, with an evocative instrumental from ‘The Fragile’ thrown in as a curveball, and closing, of course, with ‘Hurt’ transforming the bowl into a sea of cell phones & cams…I miss lighters…If that was it, it was a hell of a way to go out…

Leery is the first word that comes to mind whenever I’m in the position to clock a ‘reunion’ gig. All doubts were swept away from the first notes, however, when Jane’s Addiction hit the stage. As individuals, they’ve ascended to almost cartoon character levels, (some more than others), but when the first languid notes of “Three Days” oozed out of the speakers, all doubts were vanquished…With Eric Avery back on board to complete the 'classic' lineup, they stuck heavily to "Nothing's Shocking" and "Ritual...", bring the songs back to life, and more often than not transcending the studio versions...Perry's rambles for the most part were upbeat, and didn't detract from the pacing...They closed the night with everyone up front for an acoustic version of "Jane Says", and everyone drifted down the hill in a happy haze...Don't know if they'll keep it together long enough to record anything new, but this was a wonderful snapshot of a moment in time, when Jane's Addiction showed they still had it...

1 comment:

  1. Sob. No fair.

    I was just purging my CD's and tapes the other night (nesting) and found all my old NIN stuff. Including my ticket to David Bowie/NIN at the Palladium. And now I feel SO OLD.

    Sigh. This baby will be worth it. I'll just keep repeating that.