Jane's Addiction

Live in NYC

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Alternative gods Jane's Addiction broke up and re-formed multiple times following their late-'80s/early-'90s heyday, riding the genius of their early albums into respectable updates on the sound for 2003's Strays and 2011's The Great Escape Artist. Live in NYC is another concert document capturing the band in their always visceral live show, this time performing a N.Y.C. gig in support of The Great Escape Artist in July of 2011. Not surprisingly, the set list is packed mostly with material from their first three albums, with the band playing roughly half the songs from 1990's Ritual de lo Habitual, several tunes from Nothing's Shocking, and opening the show with an unexpected rendition of "Whores" from their self-titled 1987 album. The two later tunes that sneak into the set -- "Just Because" and "Irresistible Force (Met the Immovable Object)" -- feel natural, easily the best inclusions on a set consisting mostly of crowd favorites. Perhaps the band's master statement, the epic "Three Days" is a standout here, reaching toward the same dizzying moments of blind euphoria as the original, and "Ocean Size" also comes close to the electricity and screaming bliss of its recorded version from decades past. Though the band has kept a fairly strong grip on the magic that they summoned in their youth, the years still show on some songs. While musically sound throughout, with wild and inventive guitar work from Dave Navarro, vocalist Perry Farrell's yelping, unhinged voice sounds breathless and raspy, straining for the primitive howl and higher range of yesterday. This isn't quite enough to detract from the complete feeling of the set, but for a band where multi-tracked vocals are central to most of the songs, Farrell's shortcomings in the live setting are especially noticeable. He makes up for it with some of the more unfiltered between-song banter of any of the group's official live recordings, going to show that the spirit of uninhibited exploration of life's possibilities is still alive and well in modern-day Jane's Addiction. By the time the band trots out the obligatory encore of "Jane Says," easily one of their most popular tunes, you get the feeling they're anxious to wrap up the set and move on to the next party. Farrell hangs back, his vocals fading below the audience singing along, obnoxious steel drum accompaniment, and the sound of confetti and balloons being launched out into the crowd. Live in NYC documents an off-the-cuff celebration. The feeling is that of a one-of-a-kind band running through the moments that made them famous, and while inessential listening, it's joyous and powerful all the same.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
blue highlight denotes track pick