7:35 p.m. Saturday
Since Jane's Addiction's first famous breakup in 1991, fans of the legendary art-metal group have anxiously awaited anything shocking. A string of opportunistic greatest hits and rarities packages have consistently included no surprises for original fans, only live and demo versions of the same slim two-and-a-half album catalog, plus the small handful of cover songs they used to play. Ditto for the band's reunion shows with Flea playing bass.
Jane's Addiction's one attempt at a new album, 2003's Strays, served only to cheapen its legacy — almost as much as guitarist Dave Navarro's forays into reality TV. To understand what Jane's Addiction has become since its most creative and dangerous days, one needn't look much further than Strays' cover. While other Jane's albums offered up sexual voodoo imagery that got it banned from mainstream stores, Strays featured a stylish photo of the band in rock-star garb. Whereas older videos couldn't be played on MTV during daylight hours, the clip for Strays' "Just Because" (a serviceable but too slick imitation of their old sound) looks suspiciously like Van Hagar's "Poundcake" video.
Some attributed the band's creative flaccidity to the absence of original bassist Eric Avery. Jane's songs were mostly built around Avery's simple but iconic bass riffs. But up until recently, Avery refused to participate in anything Jane's-related. "If I have to paint houses," he told Filter magazine in 2005, "I'll do that before being a 50-year-old version of me trying to recapture something from my youth. I have other jobs that I do for a paycheck." With Avery finally back in the fold, Jane's entered the studio with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor. But interband squabbling negated the release of any new material by the original line-up so that, in the end, the Reznor sessions begat only re-recorded versions of old favorites "Whores" and "Chip Away." Though Jane's Addiction garnered high marks for recent greatest-hits performances, their Voodoo show will likely include nothing shocking. — Michael Patrick Welch