It was a crazy Thursday evening as I fought rush hour traffic to get to Jane’s Addiction’s show at the Hollywood Palladium. With support from Damnage and L.A. Witch, I was determined to get there on time because I knew it would be well worth it to cover these amazing bands.
Jane’s spent the fall of 2022 touring with Smashing Pumpkins as part of their Spirits on Fire tour and then scheduled a handful of their own headlining dates, before embarking on a tour of South America, in which they will play three Lollapalooza shows. They have promised new music is on the way, plus 2023 is the 35th anniversary of the band’s debut album, “Nothing’s Shocking.”
First to the stage was Damnage, a phenomenal group of accomplished musicians whose resumes include Lady Gaga, Bad Bunny, Young Thug, and Knives. If Jimmy Hendrix reincarnated as a bass player, he would be Johnny Goood. This guy is all over the place and has mad skills with bass lines that make your head swim.
Tim Stewart is a multi-talented artist – singer, songwriter, and producer. Drummer Will Useman provides the heartbeat for the band and also has incredible design skills. This band obviously has a huge LA fanbase because the crowd was giving them all the love! I was extremely impressed by their performance and highly recommend you check them out.
L.A. Witch, the all-female three piece, was up next and I was pleasantly surprised by the combination of talent and beauty. Formed in 2011 and labeled as alternative garage rock, L.A. Witch has a sound all their own – a kind of bluesy, folk rock with a splash of surf guitar that reminded me of The Cramps. Their song “Sexorexia,” “Fire Starter,” “Get Lost,” and “Icycle” drew a huge response and it’s no wonder they have such a huge following.
It was a pretty quick turnover from L.A. Witch to Jane’s Addiction and the Palladium was packed! The sold-out show proved fans were eager to see the reunited Jane’s. The Pumpkins’ tour brought the return of original bass player Eric Avery after more than a decade. Unfortunately, guitarist Dave Navarro is still out due to long COVID issues, but Josh Klinghoffer (formerly Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam) has been filling it nicely. Avery and Klinghoffer are of course joined by front-man Perry Farrell and drummer Stephen Perkins.
Jane’s began with a very long version of “Up the Beach” and Farrell proved he remains the engaging showman.
There was a scaffolding behind the drum platform and when “Whores” began, three scantily-clad women wearing white, Vegas-showgirl costumes ascended the scaffolding and began gyrating.
At one point, Farrell – wearing a blue jumpsuit with the word UNITY on the back – went up the scaffolding as well and danced with the ladies (one of which is his wife).
Between “Had a Dad” and “Ain’t No Right,” Farrell talked about Rozz Williams of Christian Death and their days of hanging out on the streets of L.A., and their drug use. Sadly, Williams chose to end his life on April 1st, 1998, making 2023 the 25-year anniversary of his passing. As Farrell spoke, colorful monochromatic visuals of shapes and things were shown behind him.
During “Ocean Size,” Klinghoffer got more warmed up and seemed to lay back and spring forward! I’m always amazed at how some guitar players can move so dramatically and play so well at the same time. Farrell called upon everyone to raise their glass and toast the spirits and angels, who he says, have to buy tickets just like everyone else.
After every song, the sold-out crowd would go wild. They took us through “Then She Did,” “Obvious,” “Ted, Just Admit It,” “Chip Away,” “Kettle Whistle,” and “1%” Plus other monster hit, “Three Days,”
When the bassline of “Mountain Song” took over the Palladium, the crowd went nuts. You haven’t experienced life until you see “Been Caught Stealing” performed live! All the while Jane’s dancers would appear, disappear for a bit, then reappear. The crowd loved the visual sonic candy.
After “Been Caught Stealing,” with a very big smile, Farrell thanked the crowd and said, “We love you!” The crowd went wild, and after a brief moment away from the stage, the band returned for an encore. They did one of their new songs, “True Love,” followed by two mega hits, “Jane Says” and “Stop.”
What an awesome show from an iconic band! After their South America dates, they will once again join Smashing Pumpkins, this time in Australia.