Monday, September 20, 2010

Jane's Addiction Live Voodoo DVD: A Review

I was pretty excited when I saw an ad for a new Jane's Addiction live concert DVD.  The only other official Jane's DVD was from the first 'reunion' tour back in 1997 with Flea on bass, and it's difficult for me to watch without the presence of original bassist Eric Avery.  

Jane's Addiction Live Voodoo is a 13-song set with the original lineup of Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Eric Avery and Stephen Perkins, filmed on Halloween Night 2009 at the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans.

I don't want to spoil everything for you, so here are my favorite moments from the show.

Whores - Jane's fans know this track from the debut Triple X album.  This live version sounds monstrous with Dave Navarro's guitar solos veering away from the original take back in 1987.  'Whores' was only ever released on the live debut album, until a free version produced by Trent Reznor appeared on a promotional CD for the Jane's / Nine Inch Nails Tour in 2009.

Then She Did - For me, Eric Avery was always the star of Jane's Addiction and his slightly overdriven bass parts sound are clearly audible and incredibly intricate and melodic.  The album version is breathtaking - the Live Voodoo version is powerful and stays true to the original.

Been Caught Stealing - Everyone knows this song, and while it may not be my favorite track from Jane's, this version is pretty grand.  Eric's growling bass line sounds enormous during the breakdown.  Jane's was known for having a lot of inner band turmoil, sometimes erupting into fights on stage, so it was nice to see a smile on Eric Avery's face as he looks over at Stephen Perkins who is suddenly wearing a rubber Halloween mask.

Ted, Just Admit It - So fierce in its slinky groove.  The low tom drums made my entire house vibrate.  Two dancers rock sideways in a rocking chair, simulating the infamous album cover from back in 1988.  During the solo, Dave busts out some tapping skills.

Jane Says - Tons of costumed people dance around the band.  Perkins is on steel drum and Eric and Dave both play acoustic guitar.  Nothing could ever beat the version on Nothing's Shocking, but the band does a really nice job bringing it to life in a more light-hearted manner.

Overall, this a really nice production.  The sound quality is excellent, especially the clarity of Eric's bass and Stephen's drums.

One of the best things about Live Voodoo is the bonus content - 2 live performances from back in the Fall of 2008 at very small clubs in Los Angeles.  One of my favorite Jane's tracks - 1% - is filmed at El Cid.  The show is intimate and stripped down, no dancers, just Christmas lights hanging from the stage.  Perry looks good dressed down, in comparison to the cape and blue-sparkled jumpsuit he wears in the New Orleans concert.  This is the Jane's Addiction of my youth.  Would love this entire show to be released.   The second song is 'Ocean Size' filmed at La Cita.  Perry's vocals sound strong and the footage makes you feel like you're packed in with the 100+ fans.  

Also included is a featurette from the NME Magazine Awards Show in April 2008 where Jane's Addiction were given the Godlike Genius Award.  There is some live footage mixed into the short interviews with Navarro, Farrell, Perkins and Avery.  

An 8 page booklet, with liner notes written by former MTV VJ/Host Matt Pinfield, is included inside the case.

A Blu-ray edition is available here

Complete Set List:

Additional Songs:

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