http://janesaddiction.org/tour/tour_det ... tourID=369
POP MUSIC REVIEW Jane's Addiction Could Prove Habit-Forming
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: STEVE HOCHMAN
Date: Jan 2, 1989
Start Page: 4
Section: Calendar; 6; Entertainment Desk
Text Word Count: 640
Perry Farrell, the lead singer of Jane's Addiction, is nothing if not audacious.
Early in the band's New Year's Eve performance at the old Embassy Hotel Auditorium, Farrell expressed his pride in being back home in Los Angeles for the Addiction's first major local appearance since the release last summer of the group's Warner Bros. debut album "Nothing's Shocking."
"This is the best place to be," he told the audience. "We've got the Lakers, the Dodgers . . . and Jane's Addiction."
But then, why not talk big if you can back it up? And for 80 minutes Saturday night, the young quartet did just that.
OK, so maybe the band doesn't yet belong on that roster of champions, but it made a strong case that it has a place in Los Angeles' legacy of brash and arresting rock acts.
That point was made strongly later in the show when the group put its own harsh, dreamy "Summertime Rolls" at the end of a medley of the Doors' "L.A. Woman," the Germs' "Lexicon Devil" and X's "Nausea"-all definitive songs by definitive L.A. bands.
And with that, Farrell and crew didn't just kick off a new year, but perhaps also a new era in L.A. rock, with Jane's Addiction at the forefront. The reasons that may be true were plentiful at the Embassy.
First and foremost is Farrell himself. On stage he's as singular and striking a figure as Stooges-era Iggy Pop and Johnny Rotten, though without the self-destructive bent of the former or the sneering condescension of the latter.
Though hobbled by a cast on one leg (for torn ligaments suffered during a concert a few weeks ago), Farrell leaped and hopped around the stage, his green (yes, green) dreadlocks flying, dramatising the very personal nature of his songs of youthful anguish and confusion. Most remarkably, there's no sense of posturing or calculation in his persona, a point that underscored the be-yourself core of his lyrics, echoing such past characters as David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and Tim Curry's "Rocky Horror" role.
"Bask in the moment," Farrell told the crowd with an innocent sincerity that added a particularly personable dimension to his performance. "You are warm and exciting. Enjoy this. This is the best."
Not to be overlooked after Farrell, however, is the band itself: The wall of sound built by guitarist David Navarro, bassist Eric A. and drummer Stephen Perkins is every bit as integral to Jane's Addiction's precocious status as Farrell's words and presence. This band doesn't just have songs drawn from Angeleno Angst, it sounds like it-an aspect emphasized by the faded glory of the Embassy Auditorium.
Navarro in particular is an amazing musician-a potential guitar hero, though (like Farrell) with none of the posturing and posing that often goes with the territory. At the Embassy he forged a sound closer to the classic, thunderous heavy metal of Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath than the opaque sound of the album, but with no less originality and character. And it certainly wasn't conventional metal-no band led by Farrell could ever do conventional anything.
Unfortunately, it could be the very qualities of Jane's Addiction that could hinder its exposure. Not readily definable like the Aerosmith-influenced hard rock of Guns N' Roses, Jane's music seems an unlikely candidate for the mass success Guns has had, especially on radio. Nor does the group's approach have the broad, aggressive (though thoughtful) appeal of Metallica, a band that made its name without radio.
On the other hand, there's so much in Jane's Addiction that could strike a resonant chord among disaffected youth (i.e. just about every American teen) that it's not unreasonable to hope that this could become not just a great L.A. band, but recognized as a great band, period.
Another show that we didn't need further confirmation for but what a sweet review.