My taste in music is not exactly all over the place. I like rock, hard rock. Sure, I can listen to a country tune or two or dabble in some Mozart but if the bass is bumping and the guitarists are having seizures on the strings, I’m good to go. So when the owner of this site asked if I would do a few music blu-rays as a change of pace, I was worried and excited at the same time. Music in Blu-ray is an amazing experience but if I didn’t like the music, not so much. But I was still eager when I opened the first one: Jane’s Addiction: Live Voodoo.
It’s Halloween. The night of October 31st, 2009. The place is the Voodoo Experience (also called Voodoo fest) in New Orleans. On the previous night, such acts as the Silversun Pickups and Eminem took the stage. The headline act for tonight is Kiss but there is one other band that needs to take the stage. Their name is Jane’s Addiction. The band lineup is a little surprising but the sound is simply electric.
The band consists of Stephen Perkins on drums, Eric Avery on bass, Dave Navarro on lead guitar and Perry Farrell supplying the vocals. Surprising because this is the original lineup for the band. The band has broken up a lot over the years and sported quite a few different members. They only recently got back together in 2008 and had been out on tour with Nine Inch Nails or off playing smaller venues where they felt more at home. But when they had a chance to play in the middle of City Park at the Voodoo fest, well they took that challenge head on.
They played thirteen different songs, including favorites such as Mountain Song, Been Caught Stealing, Stop! and Jane Says. “Jane Says” was a daring tune to perform as there were a few dozen fans on stage to help them with the performance. Harder songs such as Ted, Just Admit It wailed on as two scantily clad dancers performed in the background. Chip Away also bears mention as Perkins, Avery and Navarro all handle the percussion simultaneously as Farrell belts out the lyrics.
The crowd was electric and with every song, the music got louder and the crowd broke into a fever pitch. The venue was alive. This would be considered by many to be one of the greatest performances ever by Jane’s Addiction. For one night, the band was completely united and it looked like they were the number one band on the planet of New Orleans. But what did this music lover think of the performance?
Very solid. To be honest, I am not a Jane’s Addiction fan. I mostly dismissed them in the early 90’s when my some of my early college roommates would play them incessantly. This was my first time in probably a decade of really listening to their music. Sometimes you need that period of time to appreciate the same music in a new light. College was awesome and terrible for my music growth. I was able to listen to a ton of music (new and old) that I hadn’t heard before. The problem is that people tended to play it over and over again like a bad record. I still can’t stand Rush.
Back on the subject of this concert. I liked it. A lot. Navarro and Avery are nothing short of awesome. They make magic on their instruments and provide some really driving numbers. Perkins is also an awesome drummer and seemingly has a ball when he is working the sticks like something out of a movie. He also apparently likes wearing various scary movie villain masks as well. But there was something that was bothering me that I couldn’t put my finger on at first.
It was the guy jumping around in a Dracula costume providing the vocals. You had three hard rocking dudes on guitars and percussion and one dude who looked like a cross between the Count from Sesame Street and Freddie Mercury. Furthermore, half of his words were intelligible and he had a bottle of wine in his hand from the very first song. When he actually stopped and slowed down his speech, he clearly was in the land of Perry Farrell, population one. He is what always bugged me about Jane’s Addiction and here it was very evident that nothing had changed.
The video is in 1.78:1 widescreen presentation in 1080i resolution. Prior to this concert showing up on Blu-Ray, it was believed that there was no footage of this concert. Thankfully, that was not the case and Eagle Vision did their best to clean it up. It does have issues and since it is at night, a lot of the songs are quite dark. The problem is with the dark, a lot of the detail we are used to in this format is lost. The color is good and the vibrancy does show up from time to time (especially when they shift to the drummer for some reason). It is very watchable, just don’t expect a stellar transfer.
For the audio portion, we get a 5.1 English DTS-HD track(also included are mixes for Dolby Digital 5.1 and LPCM Stereo 2.0). The audio is magnificent and is of reference quality. Seriously, let me say that again, it is simply amazing and loud. This is not a track that needs to be turned up to eleven unless you don’t care for your neighbors at all. Bass thumps, guitars wail and the lead singer sounds like he always does, high pitched and drunk. But seriously, this is what a concert disc is all about. No subtitles are included.
- 1% 3:50: This was performed in Los Angeles in 2008. A pretty decent song, it actually can only be found on disc outside of this performance in their A Cabinet of Curiosities boxset.
- Ocean Size 5:25: Another extra performance, this looks like it was a rather intimate showing and the bassist sports an awesome Speed Racer guitar.
- NME Featurette 3:44: A tiny behind the concert featurette about the band. They talk about how they like to play little clubs rather than huge stadiums of people. (which is rather ironic since the Voodoo festival is a large concert). Navarro talks about the chaos of small groups and how that is where Jane’s Addiction excels in their music making.
- Photo Gallery 1:52: Rather dull photo gallery with only 23 pictures. What’s worse is that you can move freely from picture to picture either.
Shortly after this concert, Eric Avery left the band again. This time it looks for good. He was subsequently replaced by Duff McKagan on bass and Jane’s Addiction is looking to record new music. This concert serves as probably the last recorded performance of the original four members.
It’s a flurry of thirteen songs with decent video and amazing audio. There aren’t many extras but I certainly recommend this to any Jane’s Addiction or hard rock fan. As long as you can stomach Perry’s vocals. I never cared for them to begin with but here I was more trying to steal looks at his extremely hot wife , Etty(which was one of the dancers) and ignore the vampire in his cape and costume.
Up the Beach
Ain’t No Right
Then She Did…
Been Caught Stealing
Ted, Just Admit It