http://janesaddiction.org/tour/tour_det ... tourID=404
POP WEEKEND Love and Rockets in Orbit at UC Irvine
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: ROBERT HILBURN
Date: Dec 7, 1987
Start Page: 1
Section: Calendar; 6; Entertainment Desk
Text Word Count: 572
You can start getting the Forum marquee ready.
Love and Rockets and Jane's Addiction-the headliner and opening acts, respectively, Saturday night at UC Irvine's Bren Events Center-are both headed for the big time. The question is which will make it to the arena level first.
Love and Rockets has a commanding head start. The British trio's latest album, "Earth-Sun-Moon," is the reigning favorite on college and alternative-minded rock radio stations, while Jane's Addiction is still mostly a local favorite whose first LP for a major label won't be released until spring.
Still, don't take Jane's Addiction lightly-on any level. This is a frequently electrifying band, asserting a sort of dark Led Zeppelin force-the kind of seductive, almost unnerving musical spell that is at the heart of true heavy metal music, not the tedious, cartoonish bombast of the many bands associated with the genre these days.
Besides the strong tow of the music itself, Addiction has a compelling front man in Perry Farrell, who appears so committed to a renegade rock spirit that he gives off the illusion that almost anything can happen on stage. It's an anxious, unsettling approach that recalls such other classic rock radicals as Iggy Pop and Jim Morrison.
The latter reference was especially appropriate when Farrell performed at least one entire song with his genitalia in clear view through a wide opening in his bicycle-type spandex pants. Though he eventually slipped on some briefs, Farrell's manner was so nonchalant that many in the audience must have wondered if this brazen gesture was part of the act.
(A campus policeman said during intermission that the band's road manager had assured officers that Farrell's pants had merely ripped, so no action was taken against him.)
After intermission, Love and Rockets arrived on stage amid a barrage of smoke, strobe lights and other psychedelic-era relics that seemed to delight the mostly college-age crowd, but distracted from the underlying talent and artistic promise of the band.
The consistent strength of Love and Rockets-through both last year's "Express" album and in the new "Earth-Sun-Moon" LP-is the dazzling sense of rhythm achieved by guitarist Daniel Ash, bassist David J. and drummer Kevin Haskins. The weakness in pre-"Earth-Sun-Moon" material-which was featured in the concert-is vague, cosmic lyrics that often make the group seem shipwrecked in a harbor of inconsequence.
As the band raced through such rhythmically invigorating but thematically shallow tunes as "Kundalini Express" and "Yin and Yang the Flower Pot Man," it was inviting to picture how enticing Love and Rockets might sound with better songs. The irony is the band does have superior songs, lots of them in the new album-crisp, concise, flavorful numbers that deal convincingly with concrete matters of self-identity and personal ideals.
If the band concentrated on the older tunes because they figured fans might not be familiar with songs from the just-released album, it was a bad sign. A group on the verge of a creative breakthrough should be bursting to play its new songs, regardless of audience reaction. If the band stuck with the older material because it doesn't recognize the vast superiority of the new material, an even deeper problem may be involved. Whatever, Love and Rockets has the potential to be a major band-artistically and commercially. We should know about their fiber and future when they return to Southern California in March.