Smashing Pumpkins By Todd McFliker November 2, 2022 On October 8, Jane’s Addiction took Hollywood’s Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino by storm with a short but dynamic 11-song set. Currently sharing a bill with the Smashing Pumpkins on the 32-date Spirits on Fire Tour, Jane’s Addiction has always put on spectacular concerts, from the first Lollapalooza in 1991 to touring 10 years later with Flea and sharing a bill with Trent Reznor at NINJA in 2009. Led by singer and radiant mastermind Perry Farrell, they have served as a voice of their generation. Last month, Jane’s Addiction blessed middle-aged spectators with timeless cuts off Nothing’s Shocking and Ritual De Lo Habitual. The band’s original bass player Eric Avery is now joining drummer Stephen Perkins and the crew after a 12-year hiatus. But for the first time in 37 years, distinguished guitarist Dave Navarro was not present due to an ongoing battle with Covid. Troy Van Leeuwen of Queens of the Stone Age successfully filled the void. “I wish I could have waited longer for Dave,” Perry told Rolling Stone’s Andy Greene in September. “Maybe he will call me in a week and say, ‘I’m good to go.’ And what could happen is, he could just slide right next to Troy.” Roughly 6,800 well-behaved viewers were ecstatic to see the rock stars in Hard Rock’s newest amphitheater. The familiar cover of Nothing’s Shocking, a pair of female conjoined twins naked with fire shooting from the heads, appeared on the giant backdrop. Kicking off their hour long set with “Up the Beach,” the energetic Perry danced around the stage with lush reverb. The 63-year-old from Miami Beach wore a sleeveless black studded denim top to show off the tattoo of a mosquito on his arm. By the time we heard “Whores,” pink spotlights lit up three exotic dancers on a platform above the drum kit. Dressed for a fetish party, the vixens appeared to be putting on a striptease as they cradled a rocking horse. Perry pointed out a friend and said “It’s good to be home Ken. Still alive I see. Are we going to argue over politics or are we going to fuckin’ rock tonight?” Rather than lecture, Perry sang “1%” about the elite gang known as the government. I haven’t heard the tune off their self-titled 1987 release live since the early Nineties. The frontman discussed his childhood in Miami’s Haulover Beach. “We used to roam these streets on skateboard,” he explained. “I learned to surf in Haulover.” Following an aggressive “Aint No Right,” the room rejoiced in the multilayered “Three Days” about death and rebirth. Even if Van Leeuwen was missing Navarro’s shirtless flamboyance, he still nailed the extraordinary solos. Audience members heard Farrell’s tale of hopping on a bus with a surfboard and art supplies and heading to Los Angeles. “That’s when I started Jane’s Addiction,” he said. For the first time, the entire venue stood up to sing along with the popular radio hit “Jane Says,” before the MTV tour de force “Been Caught Stealing.” As the energetic vocalist jiggled his thin frame all over his platform, thousands sang the criminal’s familiar lyrics in unison and trippy visuals slowly melting onscreen in the background. Hundreds, if not thousands, of smartphones lit up to capture the experience. The room exploded with a passionate and bass-heavy “Mountain Song.” Perry then convinced us that “sex is violent” while Troy’s screaming guitar raged with fury in the evening’s highlight, “Ted, Just Admit It….” During a masterful presentation of the fast-paced and hard-hitting “Stop,” the man reached out and made direct contact with some of the fortunate viewers swaying together up front. With two hands, Perry blew the crowd a giant kiss. Beams of light shot out from under the drums during the riff-driven “Ocean Size.” The artist took giant steps around his stage as he sang about the water’s tranquility. Perkins pounded away, while Avery continually hopped up and down on both feet like he was jumping an invisible rope. Concluding their South Florida appearance, the ensemble lined up and bowed to all of their loyal followers in the room. Of course, die-hard fans were upset that the short set-list did not include some of their favorite cuts, like “Summertime Rolls,” “Then She Did” or “Of Course.” A number of followers were also upset to hear the same set-list each night. Regardless, the colorful material still retains the raw emotion and the energy from decades earlier. The Spirits on Fire Tour will wind down in Los Angeles on November 19. Obviously, what comes next for Jane’s Addiction will depend on Navarro’s strength. Perhaps fans will get to hear new material in 2023, as well as a special 35th anniversary edition of Nothing’s Shocking. No matter what happens, thank you boys for a memorable night of classics in South Florida. Following Jane’s Addiction, the Smashing Pumpkins took the stage. In front of an enormous butterfly animated on their backdrop, singer Billy Corgan and guitarist James Iha delivered old school classics, like “Today,” “Cherub Rock,” “Disarm,” “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and an acoustic version of “Tonight, Tonight.” There was also a charming Talking Heads cover, “Once in a Lifetime.” We even got a sneak preview “Beguiled” and “Harmageddon” from the Pumpkins’ upcoming release Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts. Along with a superb set-list, the group from Chicago consistently interacted with the ticketholders. Without question, it was the best Smashing Pumpkins performance I’ve seen in the past 25 years. Share It!