Monday, June 8, 2009

Live Review - NIN/JA @ Jones Beach

What will go down as a nostalgic and emotional night for some, the circle of life of rock bands has made its round. With the co headlining venture of the original Lollapalooza lineup from 1991, the newly reunited Jane's Addiction (with original bassist Eric Avery) and the final bow for Nine Inch Nails, history and nostalgia were at the forefront to a perfect night. The crowd at Jones Beach in New York could not have asked for a better night and the near sold out crowd were ecstatic for one of the summers most anticipated tours.
Of the two headliners, going on first was Nine Inch Nails. A much more stripped down stage set up from when I have seen them in the past (2006's With Teeth tour and 2008's Lights in the Sky tour at Lollapalooza), surrounded by walls of strobe lights and instruments, Trent Reznor and Co fire stormed a set of deep cuts and hits. From the moment they came on stage Nine Inch Nails brought an intensity unlike I have ever seen. The crowd, whose movements were restricted due to seats, still managed to have a great time tearing the amphitheater apart. The crowd didn't hear much from Reznor in between songs, except for a "thank you," here and there. Yet, three quarters into the set Reznor explained "I want to cut all the bullshit and cram as much music as I can in with such little time, thanks for all the support through the years." He accomplished his goal with a 90 minute, 20 plus song set that even included covers like Gary Numan's "Metal," and David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans," a song Reznor both co wrote and produced with Bowie in the mid 90's. Nine Inch Nails are truly one of those unforgettable live bands, and it is unfortunate Trent is waving goodbye to his fans but the legacy of such a powerful band will live on in memory.
After a pulse pounding slam from NIN, I pity any band to go on after them. Jane's Addiction, who I have seen twice before, in 2001 on their second reunion and then in 2003 headlining Lollapalooza, are either hit or miss and I was curious what to expect. In 2001 they were just on fire and truly amazing, in 2003 not so much. Last night they hit the mark. Opening with a montage of film clips and frolicking on stage, the legendary LA quartet took the stage like kings. Perrey Farrell dressed as a biker that Sascha Baron Coen's Bruno would love, the flamboyant front man graced the stage like the rock royalty that he is. Guitarist Dave Navarro, one of my all time favorites, never disappoints and drummer Steven Perkins looked like he was having the time of his life. Yet most of the focus on the evening came from bassist Eric Avery, who has not been with the band since 1991. 18 long years have passed and the hatchet has been buried, with his heavy bass playing and the vibrations going through each audience member, he made his presence known and made everyone realize why they missed him. I don't think I could ever seen Jane's Addiction in any other setting but Jones Beach, they are the essential summer band and with a majority of their songs about nature and the ocean, having the floating stage and the moon creating such an ambiance that this is the only way to kick off the summer!
Opening the show was Tom Morrello's new band Street Sweeper Social Club. I was very excited and curious to see what Morrello would have in store with this new act. I have seen each of Morrello's bands but the nightwatchmen and loved them all. Street Sweeper Social Club fronted by Boots Riley, were a disappointment. Morrello is the only thing to watch on that stage and he is backing a generic rap / rock band that just kept making me think of Limp Bizkit. An awful band with the guitarist being the only talented one. Even the band's cover of MIA's "Paper Planes," could not be saved. A disappointment, but with NIN and Jane's the reason for the ticket, the night will be remembered. A night of one band waving goodbye and another saying hello again.

Nine Inch Nails Jones Beach 6/7/09 Setlist:
The Beginning Of The End
March Of The Pigs
The Line Begins To Blur
The Big Come Down
Head Down
Gave Up
I'm Afraid of Americans
Banged And Blown Through
The Downward Spiral
Mr. Self Destruct
The Day The World Went Away
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like A Hole

Jane’s Addiction Jones Beach 6/7/09 Setlist:
Three Days
Ain’t No Right
Pigs in Zen
Then She Did…
Mountain Song
Had a Dad
Been Caught Stealing
Ted, Just Admit it…
Ocean Size
Nothing Shocking
Summertime Rolls
Jane Says