“Live Voodoo” [Blu-ray] by Jane’s Addiction

Artist: Jane’s Addiction
Title: “Live Voodoo” (Blu-ray)
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 8/31/2010
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Released simultaneously as the standard DVD format comes the Blu-ray edition of Jane’s Addictions “Live Voodoo”. The content is exactly the same as with the standard but looks and sounds a whole lot better by being delivered in higher quality. Check out my views about this release below.

My exposure to the music of Jane’s Addiction goes way back to a self-titled live album that a buddy of mine had, and while it was not something I was currently listening to in terms of genre style, there was something intoxicating about the bands manner of delivery. I would find myself following their growth as a band and kept on doing so through their debut release of “Nothing’s Shocking” up until their sophomore effort “Ritual de lo Habitual” before I was finding myself needing copious doses of Metal once again. For many fans these were the bands best examples of work and they would part ways for the first time in 1991. Despite my enjoying their material quite a bit back then I never got to catch the band performing live which made their first ever DVD release “Live Voodoo” something very interesting to sit back and enjoy. The concert presented was filmed in 2009 and delivers the bands original lineup in action with their ultra-enigmatic lead singer Perry Farrell, guitar blazer Dave Navarro, bassist Eric Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins. A legacy fan could not have asked for anything more, but will totally appreciate the fact about how the film gives you songs focused on their first two studio albums. Considering where I come from in terms of this bands impact to my own tastes, I was very fine with that.

The performance is from beginning to end “electric” and something that keeps your attention without offering a moment of thinking you need to stop and get something to drink or to go to the bathroom. This is especially the case if you had never seen them in action before outside of small live clips that are to be found on YouTube.com. To say that Farrell is in superb vocal form is an understatement as his register does not show signs of being worn or not the same as we find on the albums during this show. How many singers can say that to their fans? The guitars of Navarro are crisp and raw and really showcase what a great player he actually is as well. Having followed more of the shredders over the course of my music interests, it was great to watch someone like Dave just focusing on the overall groove of the material. The rhythm section of Avery and Perkins is a solid foundation for the other two musicians to work off of and they do justice to their historic early numbers again and again. While I had enjoyed these focused on years, it is safe to say that this particular film will be a great introduction to what Jane’s Addiction is all about as they deliver their formative years in a modern setting. For me the larger appeal was in the bands debut album stuff since that resonated louder in my own musical psyche. It was interesting and still possessed a certain amount of heaviness. The second album stuff is good as well, but at this time the band had begun to dominate the radio waves and cover band circuit so I got tired of these tunes faster. There is nothing worse than hearing a lame band butcher “Been Caught Stealing” or “Stop!”. The crowd shots are not as frequent as to become annoying and damn were there a lot of people in the crowd. According to the press release for the film, there were at least 100,000 people in attendance for this gig. The sonic production of the recording is great as well, and every note is clear and all images easily viewed without squinting or rubbing ones eyes. Nice work to the team that captured this for posterity. A booklet comes with the release which is always a pleasant surprise and this one begins with the band origin story in terms of how the members met and how they came to choose their name. The narrative is written by Matt Pinfield and moves through some of the bands earliest history only to close out with words about this particular performance on Halloween night of 2009 in New Orleans. I would have to say this is a great DVD to add to your collection even if you are not the bands biggest supporter. It’s historically important in some sense and shows how a leader in the Alternative Metal and Rock movement of the late eighties and nineties still has power behind the punch in today’s music scene. In a sense it proves that the band still has what it takes and has earned every amount of respect they have been given. Jane’s Addiction is currently preparing new material for release but original bassist Eric Avery has left the lineup and been replaced by former Guns ‘N Roses member Duff McKagan.

Bonus Features: “1%” (live), “Ocean Size” (live); NME Featurette; Photo Gallery

*** There’s not much to speak of in terms of bonus features based on there only being four segments to enjoy. They begin with two additional live tracks that appear to be recorded in a small club setting and while I really enjoyed them, I felt that a few more tunes could have been presented from this obviously very special performance. Maybe in the future we shall see a larger portion of it included on a new DVD but for this time around we only get those two songs. The songs were recorded in October of 2008 and hence predate the show presented on the main portion of the DVD. A brief NME Featurette speaks to the band members while interlacing live concert footage and it’s pretty much the guys all speaking praise about performing again with the original lineup of the group. There is not much “depth” or secrets revealed in this segment so if you are looking for that kind of content it will not serve your needs at all. The bonus inclusions close out with a photo gallery and these few shots capture the band in action and are quite nice as well. I think what needs to happen with these DVD’s is the ability to save them onto ones computer or smart phone as screen savers.

If you own the PS3 gaming system or a Blu-ray player then you might want to opt for this version instead of the standard one, but with the higher price and no real content difference you might want to wait for a sale for such expenditure. Either way this was a great DVD to watch.

Track Listing:

1. Up The Beach
2. Mountain Song
3. Aint No Right
4. Three Days
5. Whores
6. Then She Said
7. Been Caught Stealing
8. Ocean Size
9. Ted, Just Admit It
10. Summertime Rolls
11. Stop!
12. Jane Says
13. Chip Away

Official Website: http://www.janesaddiction.com

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