I feel so fancy when I go to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to see a show. Out on the town, just me and my sexy… notepad.
Last Friday brought out a good bunch of predominantly thirty-something rockers looking for a good time. Jane’s Addiction would have to be truly horrible if they were going to fail to give these people a good show – these people were pumped and ready to go, including myself and an Old Friend (let’s call him Jimbo) who by some weird, cosmic design purchased a single ticket right beside me. Right on. The two of us, the young couple beside us (forgot your names, sorry kids!) and the two sets of couples behind us quickly became a one-night, ragtag concert family, sharing high-fives, “Woo”s, Southern Comfort and various other party favours (and probably some strep throat, for good measure) while some easy-to-bond-over Pink Floyd played over the speakers.
Jane’s Addiction kicked off with “Irresistible Force”, which was quickly to become the theme of my… well, actually Jimbo’s night. Talk about foreshadowing. More on that soon. “Irresistible Force” was pretty damn perfect to kick things off, introducing us to the always entertaining Perry Farrell and Vampire-Super-Slut-Rockstar-Prototype Dave Navarro. If you detect some jealousy in there, you’re quite perceptive. I can see Dave Navarro eventually having one name only, like Cher or Madonna. Maybe “Hollywood” or “L.A.” Anyway, they were all in fine form as they delivered “Force”, one of the singles from their 2011 album, The Great Escape Artist. I really dig the new stuff, by the way, so this sent me soaring right off the bat.
“Mountain Song”, “Been Caught Stealing”, “Jane Says”… how could this not have been a good show? But that doesn’t give enough credit to the band. They came out, nailed their poses, and threw out crowd-pleaser after crowd-pleaser while fat clouds of smoke wafted at their feet and a remarkable lightshow lit up the scene. The backdrop was impressive in itself, what with its larger-than-life nude statues of mystical twins overseeing the sweaty, carnal rock show unfolding beneath them.
Jane’s Addiction has always been sexy – music-wise, image-wise, imagery-wise, all of it. If there’s one thing I must fault them for, it’s for being cochlear-teases. The songs felt so short, there were no codas or extended jams. It’s like all they had time for was to drag us backstage for a quick bathroom shag, instead of letting us into the back of the bus, having their way with us all night, and dropping us off at a waffle house in Seattle on Saturday morning. We would’ve gladly done it. Instead, we had to take what we could get, accept the kiss on the forehead, clean ourselves up and exit the bathroom, somewhat glowing but still unfulfilled. Alas.
Alright. This is where the night went off the rails. We’re about seven or eight songs deep when Jimbo turns to me, says “Fuck it!” with a big smile – a smile I’ve seen one too many times – and leaves the row. “Why is he leaving, he’s having a great time, the show’s not even… oh, wait, no, he’s going down the aisle. Now he’s jogging,” I thought, or quite possibly said aloud (things get fuzzy around here).
I’ve seen this before. Jimbo has a tendency to do this. The night’s going well, everybody – Jimbo included – is having a blast, but nope, that’s not enough. Jimbo has to raise the stakes. It rarely ends well.
I quickly followed after him hoping to intercept him before he did anything too stupid. Too late. His jog turned into a full bore run as he did his damnedest to climb up the steps on the left side of the stage. He actually almost made it, but one of the superhuman cyborgs they had working this gig managed to stop him. Jimbo conceded defeat, hands up in his classic “You got me! Sorry, man, I had to do it,” pose. The only thing this pose really means is that he’s about to give it another shot. Sure enough, as soon as there’s three feet between him and the guard, he guns it for the right side and (quite pathetically) tries to fool the guard with some half-assed, “I wish I had played football” sidestepping.
“Why don’t they tackle him, already?” is all I could think. Because as soon as he had a few feet of give, Jimbo now runs up the aisle, hops on a handrail and tries to climb into the back balcony section. Clearly, security’s onto him by now and they easily pull him down as a few fans cheered “Let him stay! Wooo!”
Jimbo has a moment of clarity (perhaps the last of the night), looks down and sees he’s missing a shoe. He looks around and it’s behind the guard. “My shoe, man!” to which the guard quickly replied, “Fuck your shoe!” This convinced Jimbo, for some reason, as he nodded in agreement, straightened his coat and hobbled off, one-shoed, out of breath, and jacked on adrenaline. The guards weren’t letting him walk away solo though; they followed him right to the door. At least they learned their lesson by the end.
So here I am, the show’s not even over yet, and Jimbo gets kicked out. Granted, I guess I could have stayed, but… it’s Jimbo, man! I can’t let him just go off, I physically can’t. So I get outside and, surprise surprise, there’s no sign of him. He was gone. Been caught rushing, now vanished.
I ended up running into him by another stroke of universal humour outside my apartment many hours later, at which point he filled me in on the rest of his night. Well, he wasn’t dead, so it couldn’t have been that bad.
Jimbo is many things, but he is not a liar. The following did happen. Now coatless, limping, and with a different pair of shoes (!), he explains :
“Yeah, I dunno, man, it just hit me. I had to rush the stage. I knew I was gonna get kicked out, that’s why I grabbed my coat. I almost made it too… ah well, whatever. Good show though, eh? Anyway, yeah, I got outside, went across that parking lot across the street, freaked some people out, and just kinda started wandering. I asked a couple people if I could buy their shoes, and like, the third person had an extra pair of shoes. Pure luck. Five bucks! They’re too big but I needed shoes. So I buy the shoes, ditch the guy, because it seems like he thinks we’re friends now and is following me. I make it to Granville and start heading to the Moose, which I eventually find with the help of some people, even though I’ve been there many times. I get there, it’s packed and they’re not letting anybody in, but I loiter at the front and chat up the guys and they eventually take pity on me. I was pretty sure I was belligerent drunk by then, but I must have still been in funny-charming mode, so that’s good. I hit the bar, find some girls that are out of my league and start talking. I buy some Jägr-bombs, as suggested by Short Girl, and things are going OK. Except I spread myself too thin, like I always do, y’know? It wasn’t enough that I was talking to them, I start talking to about three other women, some dig it, some don’t, whatever. I go to the bathroom. Some Skater-Boy walks in as I’m finishing up. I tell him to get the fuck out. He does. We eyeball-fight as I cross him. Punk. I pay my tab and grab a last drink and go sit with Blonde Girl and Friend, girls I was actually making some headway with, at least I think so, and then poof – I book it. Why? I don’t know! I take off. Just when things are going well, I have to throw a grenade in there. Stupid. I guess I went down Granville, grabbed the bus on Pender… can’t remember which one… I end up missing my stop because this guy in front of me is going off on a “I hate white people” tirade and I’m just fascinated by this. His buddy’s trying to calm him down, but it’s just not happening. I eventually figure out that I need to get off this thing, I ding the bell, walk by these guys and “accidentally” bump the nice guy. This pisses off the angry guy big time. But I need to get off the bus, right, so I’m outside, and I keep opening the door as it’s trying to close, telling buddy to come say that shit over here. Why? Because I’m an [expletive]. Gladly, he and his buddy doesn’t get off. Now I’m… somewhere… I think it was East 45th or something. I wait around for a while, thinking a bus will magically come even though there are no bus stops going the other way. In the process, a friendly and visibly experienced Lady of the Night that’s looking for a date chats me up and asks if I’d like a [service]. I tell her “I don’t have any money, but thanks.” That’s what I say! I don’t just say “No thanks!” Good thing I didn’t have any money, right? Man. At this point, it dawns on me that I have a phone and I can call a cab. So I do that, cab picks me up, and here I am. Yeah, and I lost my [expletive] coat along the way somewhere, [expletive]. Goddamn Jane’s Addiction, man… So how was your night?”
Jimbo said he’s gonna kick tomorrow.