Concert Review: Jane's Addiction Live at Aragon Ballroom - A Lollapalooza Afterparty (Saturday, 8/4/12 in Chicago)

Concert Review:  Jane's Addiction Live at Aragon Ballroom - A Lollapalooza Afterparty (Saturday, 8/4/12 in Chicago)
Photo by Barry Brecheisen

A stormy day downtown at Lollapalooza was capped off with a steamy night Saturday in Uptown as Jane’s Addiction, Franz Ferdinand, Skream & Benga, DJ Mom Jeans (AKA Danny Masterson) and Ume took the stage for a Lollapalooza afterparty at the Aragon Ballroom…

As Lollapalooza figurehead, it was inevitable that Perry Farrell would pop up somewhere onstage over the weekend.  But it was a pleasant surprise when it was announced that it would in fact be with his Jane’s bandmates and amidst the ornate surroundings of the Aragon Ballroom in a special Lollapalooza aftershow. 

This is the second time that I’ve seen Jane’s Addiction on tour in support of last October’s The Great Escape Artist.  And the band was great when I saw them last September at Metro.  But this show was better. 

 Jane's Addiction - The Great Escape Artist

Over the course of eighty minutes Saturday night, Jane’s Addiction delivered a set doused in the characteristic mixture of debauchery and rock that only they are capable of producing.

The crowd, no doubt tired after a long day of music and storm dodging downtown at Lollapalooza, was nevertheless outstanding.  Hot and sweaty upstairs at the always humid Aragon, the beer was flowing at a ridiculous rate which no doubt helped concertgoers shed any inhibitions as they sang, screamed and swayed in intoxicated fashion during each song. 

September’s Metro crowd was kind of boring.  That happens when you get a huge band like Jane’s at a small club like Metro.  Plus that show was on a Sunday night.  This crowd, on the other hand, was ready to party.  Actually, I should say they were ready to keep partying, so credit the band for keeping ticket prices low for this show (only $15).  I think it got actual fans in the door.

Photo of Perry Farrell and Chris Chaney of Jane's Addiction by Barry Brecheisen (Lollapalooza Afterparty at Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, 8/4/12)
Photo by Barry Brecheisen

Opening with “Underground,” the show got off to a great start turning the crowd into a jumping, sweaty mess with “Mountain Song” second in the set. 

The band followed with “Just Because” before taking a quick break for Farrell to recognize the fact that Chicago’s own Smashing Pumpkins opened for Jane’s at the Aragon in 1997 (as well as at Metro in 1988).  Farrell also gave a shout out to Arny Granat of Jam Productions.  The animated frontman then put up the horns in recognition of Ozzy Osbourne’s performance Friday at Lollapalooza with heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath.

Farrell apologized to Granat for stealing from Aragon back in the day, a nice segue as the band launched into one of their biggest hits in “Been Caught Stealing.” 

But the highlight of the show for me actually came from The Great Escape Artist.  Chris Chaney’s bassline reverberated throughout the Aragon kickstarting “Twisted Tales.”  “Let’s get twisted!” declared Farrell, bottle of wine in hand.  It was a request the crowd had no problem complying with.

Perry Farrell - Photo by Barry Brecheisen (Aragon Ballroom, Lollapalooza Afterparty, 8/4/12 in Chicago)
Photo by Barry Brecheisen

The band brought Porno for Pyros guitarist Peter DiStefano out for a version of that band’s “Cursed Female.”  In typically twisted fashion, Farrell referred to DiStefano as one of his best friends, going so far as to tell a story about the time he allegedly stabbed someone for Farrell.  “That’s what friends do for friends!” said Perry.  And I’d suggest you not argue.

Navarro got the encore rolling with his best solo of the night capping an amazing version of “Stop.”  The band really drew the song out breathing new life into the alt classic.  “Summertime Rolls” proved a fitting end to the evening as America’s finest summer festival rocked and rolled into it’s final day. 

Dave Navarro - Photo by Barry Brecheisen (Lollapalooza Afterparty at Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, 8/4/12)
Photo by Barry Brecheisen

Long one of alternative music’s more influential artists, a band that literally helped define the genre in the late eighties, it’s fitting to see Jane’s Addiction remain associated with one of America’s most cutting edge music festivals. 

Dubstep duo Skream & Benga, as well as DJ Mom Jeans (AKA Danny Masterson), spun DJ sets from the Aragon balcony.  Ume and Franz Ferdinand also performed.

“I’m already looking forward to next year!” said Farrell.  Me too.


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  • Reading your review makes me sad I couldn't stay for the whole show. I had to sneak in and out to shoot the first 3, before it was back to work for the hectic pace of Lolla Weekend!!

  • In reply to Bare1000:

    Yeah, that was a looooong weekend. But yes, Jane's was great. You woulda dug it.

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