“The Rave? Oh, you’ll have a blast at that dump.” That’s how the teenage girl working the front desk at our hotel sold the legendary Milwaukee venue to Rabbits Black. But she said the word “dump” with such . . . I don’t want to say affection . . . more of a fond recollection of stories she could never share. Well, after spending a night at The Rave with Jane’s Addiction and Black Box Revelation, it’s safe to say we now know what she meant. Check out the full experience after the jump.

The Rave itself is divided into six different venues on various floors, but the main stage on the top floor – The Eagles Ballroom – was incendiary last Saturday night.

Black Box Revelation kickstarted the night with one raucous, incredibly catchy dose of R&R. From the first chord it was clear that the Belgian duo of Jan Paternoster (guitar/vocals) and Dries Van Dijck (drums) were intent on converting as many J.A. fans as possible to their stripped-down style. Their sound, simple and gritty, immediately filled up the old oval ballroom. Touring on their latest album My Perception, released in Europe in 2011 and in the U.S. shortly, Black Box Revelation showed a packed Milwaukee house why they headline around the world. Jan’s raspy vocals and catchy guitar licks echoed through the venue as the band played crowd favorites such as “I Think I Like You”, “High on a Wire,” and “My Perception.” No stage show, no glitz, no glammer, just old-fashioned axe-and-skins rock and roll. If you haven’t seen them yet, get on it!

While this was Black Box Revelation’s last tour date opening for Jane’s Addiction, they will be returning to America for another tour starting in June. Look for Rabbits Black’s interview with Jan and Dries coming soon.

Check out the video for “My Perception” here:

 

Then came Jane’s Addiction, replete with full J.A. theatrics, as they wound up the first leg of their “Theatre of the Escapists” tour. J.A.’s lineup featured original members Perry Farrell (vocals), Dave Navarro (guitar), and Stephen Perkins (drums), along with part-time bassist Chris Chaney. Opening with “Underground” off their new album The Great Escape Artist (which a certain Rabbitsblack editor picked as his 2011 Album of the Year), J.A. played up their “grand theatre” theme, and Farrell proved from the very first note that he still has the voice to electrify a crowd.

Farrell (WHO TURNS 53 TODAY [ya, wha!!!]) and Navarro roamed the stage, bare-chested, like two kids trying to make a name for themselves in the early ’90s LA club scene. Farrell, from running up the scaffolding to engage the female dancers on elevated swings, to writhing alonside Navarro during “Ted, Just Admit It,” demonstrated why he’s still one of the most unique and captivating frontmen in the business. I don’t really know whether Farrell and Navarro actually get along these days, but they sure know how to play up the chemistry with their fans. After playing through almost all of The Great Escape Artist, and classic J.A. hits such as “Jane Says”, “Mountain Song”, and “Three Days”, the band finished with “Words Right Out of My Mouth” and a racous version of “Ocean Size” for their encore.

While this show was originally scheduled as the last date of their U.S. tour, J.A. fans need not worry. The band recently announced an expansion of their “Theatre of the Escapists” tour starting in May (no California dates (yet); Texas road-trip anyone?).

Check out the video for “Underground” here:

Jane’s Addiction Set List:

  1. Underground
  2. Mountain Song
  3. Just Because
  4. Been Caught Stealing
  5. Ain’t No Right
  6. Ted, Just Admit It…
  7. Twisted Tales
  8. Classic Girl
  9. Jane Says
  10. Chip Away
  11. End to the Lies
  12. Three Days
  13. Stop!

Encore:

  1. Words Right Out of My Mouth
  2. Ocean Size

Thanks again to The Rave for a great night of music, and to Jan and Dries of Black Box Revelation for one hell of a show.

All photos were taken by The Rave and are credited to The Rave:

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