Jane's Addiction preaches to a new generation at The Fillmore - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Jane’s Addiction | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

The lobby area outside the main house doors at the Philly Fillmore last night sounded like someone raided the old 90s mix-tape drawer. The Beasties and Rage, Blind Melon, Harvey Danger, The Cranberries — this DJ knew the audience he was there to warm: the early birds of the throng of 2500 Jane’s Addiction, Dinosaur Jr. and Living Colour fans waiting patiently to sprint to the front row, jockeying for position against the stage before the lights dim.

Corey Glover and co. emerged, weaving themselves among an abundance of stage equipment set against a panel of amplifier stacks, and launched into a set of their trademark pioneering funk metal. Glover is engaging, in a vest and tie, lifting his cap every so often to expose his bright green hair. As guitarist Vernon Reid laid into his traditional thick distortion, Glover paced between verses of the band’s characteristic sociopolitical commentary, highlighted last night most notably by their cover of Notorious BIG’s “Who Shot Ya?,” offered against the current context of the latest wave of police abuse of lethal force. After a modest but explicit attempt to ignite a mosh pit, the singer hurled himself up over the barricade, charging into the crowd and chased by his security detail who seem not to have anticipated the play.

Living Colour | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Living Colour | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Throughout Living Colour’s set, seven-year-old Mason Simon of Maple Shade flailed wildly on his air drums at his fourth major rock and roll show, perched atop his father Billy’s shoulders, his hearing responsibly protected by a hardy set of royal blue plastic-shelled earmuffs. The aspirations don’t go unnoticed, as drummer Will Calhoun offered him a set of his sticks before leaving the stage.

No shortage of Dinosaur Jr. fans hailed J. Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph, who tore no-fanfare through their 11-song set, including their cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”

Dinosaur Jr. | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Dinosaur Jr. | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Then the crowd waited, and the lights went out, and Jane’s Addiction took the stage to play their seminal 1990 record Ritual De Lo Habitual in its entirety.

An encore of a few songs drawn mostly from Nothing’s Shocking featured the only one they played all night that was any newer than 1990: their single “Just Because” from 2003’s Strays. Sure, maybe they’re a little older now, maybe a little bit sluggish on the drum kit, and Perry Farrell might’ve been a bit hoarse, even if he and Dave Navarro seem to be somehow aging in place. But they’re still bringing the pomp and pageantry, all the flare and the flamboyance. They’re still bringing the dancers, and they’ve added body-mods into the mix too, hurtling two girls through the air over the stage suspended by their back piercings as Farrell sang “naked and disfigured.. nothing’s shocking…”

“Ladies and gentlemen,” they declared en español at the beginning of album-opener “Stop!,” “we have more influence over your children than you do.” Twenty-six years on now, those children have children, and Jane’s Addiction have themselves a new generation of fans. Toward the end of their set, Navarro reached down toward Mason Simon, still drumming along and making friends in the front row, to add a guitar pick to his small-but-growing collection of rock memorabilia souvenirs from the evening.

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