When Jane’s Addiction fans are rocking out joyfully Wednesday to favorites such as “Jane Says” and “Stop!” at the Idaho Botanical Garden (6:30 p.m., $40, Ticketfly), they need to pause, hold their beers to the sky and toast the guy who made the fun happen.
Perry Farrell’s cousin.
If it wasn’t for this brave man, Jane’s Addiction might be performing its entire last album, 2011’s “The Great Escape Artist,” instead.
That was the initial idea for the tour, Farrell says.
“Originally, I wanted to not do any old Jane’s material,” the 53-year-old singer admits in a phone interview. “But it’s funny, I was driving to see Roger Waters do ‘The Wall’ with my cousin, and I was just throwing the idea at my cousin.
“And you know, he’s a good cousin — he tells the truth,” Farrell says fondly. “He says, ‘You know Perry, I don’t think that’s a great idea. As much as you love this new record and think that the songs are incredible, I think your fans would get really bummed out at you if you don’t play the old stuff.’”
Well ... duh!
“It was kind of a funny moment,” Farrell says, “like, my cousin really kind of talking sense to me as far as producing the show. Because he’s not in the entertainment business.”
Maybe he should be?
Jane’s Addiction’s fourth studio album is a solid, if polished, outing. But the group’s first two ferocious studio efforts, “Nothing’s Shocking” (1988) and “Ritual De Lo Habitual” (1990) are bonafide alternative-rock classics. They helped define a genre, much like Farrell helped create the concept of the traveling rock music festival with his Lollapalooza tour in 1991 — a trek he originally conceived as a swan song for Jane’s.
More than two decades and a couple of breakups later, the Los Angeles band is still trucking with original members Farrell, Dave Navarro (guitar) and Stephen Perkins (drums). Only Eric Avery (bass) has been replaced.
Reviews of recent concerts have been glowing; the band still oozes energy and shamanistic creativity. But part of the positive reception, undoubtedly, comes from the fan-friendly setlist.
When Jane’s Addiction does sprinkle in new material, they trick fans into paying attention to it.
“We have additional production — we have theatrics,” Farrell says. “We think of what we can do to theatrically raise the bar. So people really take to the new songs, because they’re not just hearing something, but they’re seeing something. It would be like going to a play.
“But I’m very proud of the history of Jane’s Addiction,” he adds, “and what we’ve accomplished, and the songs.”
To fans in their 30s and 40s, songs such as “Summertime Rolls” and “Been Caught Stealing” are the soundtrack to the summer they got their driver’s license, or to their sophomore year in college. Performing them live establishes a connection between band and fan that is special whether the show is indoors or out, at a festival or at a club, Farrell says.
“I always say as long as the room is filled with people that love you — it can be 10 people, five people, 100,000 people,” he says. “Each one has a different beauty to it, and you just have to appreciate what it is. I’ll go to a party sometimes and pick up an acoustic guitar and there will be 10, 12 people there, and it can be fun.”
THE REVOLUTION CONTINUES
If you missed my coverage of the grand opening of the new Revolution Center concert venue at Glenwood and Chinden, here’s the Cliffs Notes version: The sound was solid. Joe Walsh looked like he was having a blast. And, yes, it was slightly surreal watching 1,800 folks sing and sway to “In the City” ... in Garden City.
The party continues Tuesday with Michael Franti & Spearhead and Ziggy Marley. Marley is slated to hit the stage around 7 p.m. (after opener Ethan Tucker, who starts at 6). Franti will hit the stage around 9. Tickets are $39.50/$59.50 VIP at Ticketfly.
TONIGHT IN ‘THE OTHER STUDIO’
Hear more of my Farrell interview, plus new music from Taylor Swift, The Darkness and discussion of the Revolution Center. “The Other Studio” airs from 9 to 10 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.
COMING IN SCENE MAGAZINE FRIDAY
Æ The Barley Bros. Traveling Beer Show leaves Boise and lands in Meridian.
Æ “Noises Off,” the ultimate British farce, opens at Idaho Shakespeare Festival.
Æ Why Bonnie Raitt, who will play Sept. 1 at the Idaho Botanical Garden, went seven years between albums.
Email: mdeeds@ idahostatesman.com. Twitter: @IDS_Deeds