Since Strays, the humdrum new album by the reformed Jane's Addiction, inadvertently emphasizes how much alternative rock has transformed itself over the past decade (and how irrelevant holdovers from the form's premier era sound today), it makes a sad sort of sense that Perry Farrell's newly revived secondary project should offer thrills just as predictably pedestrian. Jane's Addiction's headlining spot was inevitable, but Farrell's selection of Audioslave, Incubus and the Donnas as main-stage support--three acts whose occasional stylistic daring is pretty much negated by a strict adherence to neoclassical form--indicates how little the impresario's idea of change has changed since the tour's last incarnation. The inclusion of Jurassic 5 and the Distillers signifies a baby step in the right direction (at least demographically speaking), but it's not much from a guy who once introduced the Violent Femmes to Body Count. As for Queens of the Stone Age's presence, I can't blame Farrell for not resisting the temptation to bring them along, even if the context will probably sap them of their singularity--it's one more band of dudes with guitars, you know? On the second stage, the historical domain of younger, edgier talent, Brit-rock dopes the Music, New York dolts the Mooney Suzuki and Hollywood hunks 30 Seconds to Mars will be on hand to further depress the hopeful, leaving Philadelphia's Burning Brides to bat cleanup, a responsibility for which their fun but lightweight fuzz-rock is definitely not cut out. What would Fishbone think?
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