Hundreds joined Jane's Addiction in a little escapism on Saturday.
At the Orpheum Theater, about 1,800 people rocked out with the alt-rock band during the Omaha stop on its Theatre of the Escapists tour.
Theatricality is a big part of the band's tour with a big set that looked like a naughtier version of “Moulin Rouge,” a light show so bright that sunglasses couldn't have hurt, a pair of nude statues similar to the band's “Nothing's Shocking” album cover and a trio of dancers that included two female burlesque performers.
Dancers floated near the ceiling, paraded around the stage and moved provocatively around band members while the “Been Caught Stealing” band's energetic performance ignited an audience that felt like a pile of fireworks just waiting for a spark.
Lead singer Perry Farrell, dressed in gray slacks and a black coat with tails, was all energy and ear-to-ear smiles. Throughout the show, he danced around like a jester holding court.
“Good evening, Omaha,” Farrell said. “We went walking around here today. You got a cool spot.”
The band started the show with “Underground” from last year's album, “The Great Escape Artist,” and then moved right into “Mountain Song.”
Many fans knew Jane's Addiction's songs just off the opening notes and would immediately begin to cheer and then sing along with Farrell.
One major problem for me was a sound issue: I had a lot of trouble picking out Farrell's voice from the rest of the music. It may have been because of its high pitch, the amount of delay on his vocals or the sheer volume of the concert, but I could only pick out certain words during most songs (with the exception of “Jane Says,” which sounded perfect).
I thought the problem would improve by the end of the show, but nothing helped, not even popping in a pair of ear plugs.
Other fans either knew the songs by heart or just didn't have my problem as they sang along with nearly every word.
The band's short, 70-minute set was full of fan favorites such as “Three Days” as well as the band's biggest hits, “Been Caught Stealing” and “Jane Says.” The latter felt like a living room singalong with most the band seated and almost everyone in the audience shouting the words at the band.
“Jane Says” was followed by “Chip Away,” which had opening band Big Black Delta and all of Jane's Addiction, with the exception of Farrell, playing in a drum circle.
Big Black Delta warmed up the crowd with a set full of industrial electro music. Bandleader Jonathan Bates triggered melodies from his laptop, sang and occasionally played bass while two drummers knocked out the beat to each side. The band seemed strange at first, but its electro-metal grew on me.
Saturday's crowd was in the mood to have a good time. The fans stood the whole concert, and many moshed in front of the stage. Many had to be pushed back into their seats by the theater's ushers, and others went wild with their air guitars.
Farrell, who danced around the stage like a version of Mick Jagger with even more swagger, fed off the audience and was quick to hand out high-fives while he sang and occasionally took swigs from a wine bottle.
Jane's Addiction as a group delivered a wall of sonics, and guitarist Dave Navarro shredded on his black Paul Reed Smith guitar so often that he seemed to be showing off.
At the end of the band's short show, Farrell promised a summertime song and the band delved into the slow jam “Summertime Rolls.” At the end, he led the audience in one last singalong of “Me and my girlfriend/don't wear no clothes” before he, Navarro and the rest of the band (and the dancers, too) took a bow.
“Omaha! Thank you so much. It was a pleasure hangin' with you in this beautiful, beautiful theater,” Farrell said. “We won't forget you. ... Thank you and good night.”
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