Jane’s Addiction – Palace Theater – 3.2.12

Jane says I’m done with Sergio.

                              -Jane’s Addiction

Heather says I may be too old for shows.

                               -Heather T.

When I bought my tickets for the Jane’s Addiction concert at the Palace, I was excited for two reasons. First, it was a great birthday present for my friend who is a big Jane’s Addiction fan and I like to make people happy. Second, we had what I thought would be ideal seats – third row and slightly to the left of the stage where our two sets made up the entire row. I thought having our own little row would be nice and allow us to not be bothered by anyone else. Being a fairly short person (about 5’1”), I also hoped that only having two mini-rows in front of us lessened the chances that I wouldn’t be able to see.

Man was I wrong.

What I didn’t count on was that when the show started, a LOT of people who had seats further back would swarm the stage to get closer to the band. So even standing, there went my clear view of the stage. It wouldn’t have been so bad if people had stuck to the wide aisles that surrounded our seats. But people were pushing into our mini-aisle to get a better view, giving us very little room to ourselves. They also assumed that our aisle was really a shortcut and people were using it as a thoroughfare to get to their friends in the other aisle. I spent most of the night dodging the flailing arms and bodies of other people. It was very much like my experience in general admission seating or lawn tickets at SPAC, which would have been fine if that was what I paid for. But my expectations were a little different with the seats I selected for this show. When I was front row in the pit at Metallica a few years ago, I fully expected to be pushed and crowded and jostled around. I knew what I was getting into. I did not anticipate a similar experience with actual seats. I’ve been at other concerts where people have attempted to sneak to the front, but they’ve been shooed away by security. That didn’t seem to be a priority for the staff at this show. And all of this chaos did take away from my overall enjoyment.

I realize this little diatribe makes me sound like an old lady. And maybe that is why it is time for me to stop going to concerts. Maybe this is just how it is now and I’m the problem. At the very least, I’ll no longer shell out the cash for the most expensive seats, as the experience did not match the ticket price. We probably would have had a better time a little further back and in the middle where the only people we would have to deal with were the other people in our row. We may have actually had more room in other seats as people emptied out to gather in the front.

None of this is to detract from the performance that Jane’s Addiction gave, which was loud and full of energy – and a little bizarre. I wasn’t a huge JA fan before the show – I knew their hits, but not much else – and I left the show wanting to check more of their stuff out. So they totally did their job on that front. Dave Navarro was amazing on guitar and though Perry Farrell’s voice was a little raspy by the end of the show, he clearly gave his all and was an enthusiastic front man. He seemed a lot younger than 51 as he danced his way across the stage. The energy level remained high throughout and the more die-hard fans were having a wonderful time rocking out. The show featured many non sequiturs in the form of short films and bits of performance art. On more than one occasion I turned to my friend and said “I have absolutely no idea what is going on right now.” When a baby doll is hanging from the ceiling in a noose and a man is pretending to slit his own wrists and throat, you just kind of go with it. The tour was billed “Theater for the Escapists” and they lived up to that. The opening act, a Belgian duo called Black Box Revelation, were also enjoyable. I’ll check them out as well.

So Jane’s Addiction: B+; overall concert experience B-.

Set list

1) Underground

2) Just Because

3) Mountain Song

4) Been Caught Stealing

5) Ain’t No Right

6) Ted, Just Admit it

7) Broken People

8) I Would For You

9) Jane Says

10) Chip Away

11) End to the Lies

12) Three Days

13) Stop!

ENCORE

Words Right out of My Mouth

Ocean Size

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