Saturday, 1 August 2009

Live Review: Nine Inch Nails & Jane’s Addiction, O2 Arena, London, 15/07/2009

Arriving at the O2 late I find my seat just as a stage sized Kevin Bacon introduces Jane’s Addiction. (like this)

With no new material the reformed Jane’s Addiction are all about the hits and the characters.

The hits, they are all there, starting with the epic Three Days, before the dirty Whores and mind expanding Ocean Size. The real highlight comes mid-set when the huge Mountain Song is followed by the radio friendly Been Caught Stealing and the violent Ted, Just Admit It....

The characters are lively as ever: Perry Farrell prances around shaking his ‘maracas’ over every inch of the stage. Dave Navarro shirtless (of course) and posing (of course) as he shreds away on the guitar, Eric Avery rumbles out some massive baselines and drummer Stephen Perkins was at his thumping best in one of his last shows before succumbing to the arm infection that caused the cancellation of the band’s Australian tour.

Jane’s Addiction close out their set with Stop! before returning for the acoustic guitar, steel drum laden Jane Says.

I have just enough time to get an over-priced beer and bad hotdog before Nine Inch Nails wander onto the stage - with the house lights still on and stage fully lit up, what looks like a last minute sound check quickly becomes the opening song Now I’m Nothing. It is not until the starting crash of Terrible Lie that the lights go off, plunging the band into their more familiar darkness.

This is the bands Wave Goodbye tour, and tonight their last ever UK headline show. Predictably the set list focuses more on the band’s 20 year legacy than promoting their latest releases. That said, 1,000,000 from last year’s free download album The Slip proves as powerful as anything else in the amped up first half of the set.

Hersey, March of The Pigs, The Becoming, I’m Afraid Of Americans - the hard rock tracks kept coming for well over an hour of rock, punk, metal and industrial noise, until a welcome break is provided in the form of the more delicate La Mer and The Fragile.

The volume is turned back up and second half of the show kicks off again, Non-Entity, The Big Come Down, Wish and Survivalism prove popular but the biggest cheer of the night comes when the band is joined on stage by Gary Numan.

Numan, an early Nine Inch Nails influence and more recently guest star on The Might Boosh, sings Metal (which was covered by NIN on the Things Falling Apart EP) before a roof raising version of Cars.

The Hand That Feeds and Head Like A Hole close the main set before the band return to the stage to play Hurt for the last time on UK soil, with everyone in the 20,000 seat stadium singing along and waving goodbye.

Metal (w/ Gary Numan):

The Fragile:

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