Jane’s Addiction, TV On The Radio, Father John Misty, Bleachers @ Rock The Shores 7/19/2015

My day 2 of Rock The Shores started with Bleachers, who acted like they were born to be on stage. From a Fleetwood Mac cover to some teen beat pop and a good dollop of party-time rock and roll, the boys from New Jersey gave everyone a crash course in arena rock.

Next up was one of 2015’s hottest acts – Father John Misty (real name Joshua Tillman). He wowed the crowd immediately by kicking off with the fan favourite, “I Love You, Honeybear”. His music is definitely something different – a kind of lethargic, hipster take on old school crooning. Yacht rock, I guess, but something more (or less?) than that. Is he having us on? Maybe, but we don’t care because the music is very good, despite its slickness. When the crowd cheered at one point, he commented, “Oh, shut up. That’s enough of that”, and thereby played right into their disillusioned but fun-loving hands. I was 2015 captured in a single moment. Memorable.

If you think TV On The Radio are just too artsy and cerebral to win over a festival rock crowd then this performance would have set you straight on that score. Despite their post-rock leanings, TOTR music on Sunday evening was celebratory and foot-stomping. Lead vocalist Tunde Adebimpe is one of the more enigmatic performers you’re likely to see. Although clearly impassioned by the music as he vigorously strode around the stage, he seemed to be in a world of his own, communicating with himself. It was a marvel to witness, but it was merely a focal point to the richly textured music that the band cranked out.

Perry Farrell is plainly and simply just as weird as he ever was. If anything, even more so. Tall, gaunt and angular, he has the looks and charisma of the quintessential rock star. No ordinary rock star, mind you. There is a strange, far away, look in his eyes, as if he’s seen into another dimension (and maybe he has). The smile is too wide and gleaming to be real. It’s artifice, but the lure is genuine. You want to follow him into that odd alternate universe of his. Almost as compelling is the striking figure of one of rock’s most recognizable guitarists, Dave Navaro. As good as his rock pose is (and it’s damn good), the sounds that he delivered were that much better as he lead the sonic charge through Jane’s Addiction’s high-powered, metal edged alternative rock. It was a knock-you-back-on-your-heels delivery. The show came to shattering climax, which started with a double shot from ‘Ritual de lo habitual’, “Been Caught Stealing” and “Three Days”, follower by the closing number that featured two flailing women suspended from ropes. You just can’t top that.