Concert Reviews

Last Night: Jane's Addiction and Nine Inch Nails at Fiddler's Green

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Not a bad way to go out, all in all. Reznor and company went out on a high note, delivering a solid set of nearly twenty songs that spanned Reznor's two decades of making music under the NIN moniker. Halfway through the quartet's set, NIN got the pit stirring on the hard-hitting "Burn" (from the Natural Born Killers soundtrack) and followed it up with the equally propulsive "Gave Up" from 1992's Broken.

NIN wasted little time between songs; Reznor said they were trying to fit as many songs as they could in the time they were allotted, which was roughly an hour and forty-five minutes. The group knocked out "Dead Souls" and "The Day The World Went Away" before darkness fully set in and the act went through "Hurt," with the crowd singing along, lighters in hand.

Although NIN closed its set with a full-throttle take on "Head Like Hole," it still wasn't a match for Jane's Addiction's vigorous set. Jane's Addiction's opening song "Three Days" was all it took to pretty much forget NIN's set. The song began slow and lilting, but a few minutes into it, drummer Stephen Perkins started hammering out thundering tribal rhythms on the toms, while Dave Navarro dug in on the guitar, delivering some blistering riffs.

But while Perkins, Navarro and original bassist Eric Avery were in the trenches turning out one stellar cut after another, frontman Perry Farrell was easily the focal point of the group. Sporting skin-tight pants, a glossy black jacket and a scarf, the lanky singer lit up the stage, shaking maracas off his ass on "Three Days," and slowly, gracefully waving his arms like a Swan Lake reject on "Then She Did..."

Farrell's pipes are still very much intact, as he showed on the explosive takes on "Ain't No Right" and "Been Caught Stealing," which got a few gals so riled up they threw their bras on the stage. While there might've been some eye candy down in the pit, during "Ted, Just Admit It," scenes from Natural Born Killers (like the one where Juliette Lewis dances in the diner) and Bettie Page were projected on the white screen above the band. The scenes worked perfectly with Ferrell singing the phrases "nothing's shocking" and "sex is violent."

After closing the set with a righteous take "Ocean Size," the band came back for the dreamy "Summertime Rolls." Just before launching into a supercharged take on "Stop," Farrell told the crowd, " We will never die. We will never stop." The outfit closed its set with the drum-machine propelled "Jane Says," with Perkins on steel drums and bongos, and Navarro and Avery on acoustic guitars. 
Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias:
Having been a Jane's Addiction fan for two decades, I don't know how the hell I made it this long before actually seeing the band live.
Random Detail: A clip from the film The River Wild was show just before Jane's Addiction took the stage.
By the Way: The two bands were both on the first Lollapalooza tour in 1991. While Jane's Addiction broke up for the first time after the tour, it also pushed NIN further into the spotlight. 
Nine Inch Nails
Set List - Fiddler's Green

March of the Pigs
Something I Can Never Have
Gave Up
The Way Out Is Through
Mr. Self Destruct
Dead Souls
The Day The World Went Away
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole

Jane's Addiction
Set List - Fiddler's Green

Three Days
Ain't No Right
Pigs in Zen
Then She Did...
Mountain Song
Had a Dad
Ted, Just Admit It
Been Caught Stealing
Ocean Size
Summertime Rolls
Jane Says

Photos continue on the next page.
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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon