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Jane’s Addiction – Live in NYC

Again, after many years eschewing the live album, Jane’s Addiction – who have only released five proper records in thirty years – return with their third full length live release in four years (after 2009’s Live Voodoo DVD, and 2011’s Live From Vive Latino which came with special editions of the most recent album), this time, a 2012 concert from New York City.

Sure, the music is amazing, transcendental, a combination of aspirational, Zen visionary preaching and a deeply broken form of post-metal rock, but sometime between 1991 and 2003, Jane’s Addiction stopped being artists who rocked, and became rockers who sometimes did art : here though, the set is taken from a 2012 tour called the Theatre Of Escapists – a better title for the record than the prosaically dull – ‘Live Insert Name of City’, but only one song, ‘Irresistible Force’, comes from the album : here, Jane’s are a nostalgia act, bestrewn to 22 year old glories, always looking down and back, not up or forward to the future.

Almost all of the night is given to old material; only 2 songs are less than 20 years old, and lots of this record is also represented by the same line-up on ‘The Great Escape Artist’s deluxe edition live bonus CD: making this record a sort of exercise in redundancy, even if this line-up has not been represented with a live DVD before – only four songs are not on the ‘Vive Latino’ CD. In the meantime, ‘Whores,’ ‘Ain’t No Right’, ‘Ted’, ‘Three Days’, ‘Mountain Song’, ‘Been Caught Stealing’, ‘Ocean Size’ and ‘Jane Says’ make their fourth live appearances (including the exhaustive A Cabinet of Curiosities box set which has a 1990 live show). But if you like Jane’s Addiction, then you could, and should, love this ; as a record of one night of, a reminder, a glimpse of their immense power as a live act that still stand in the top ten bands – out of over a thousand – I have ever seen.

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