Early this week, Salt Lakers have the opportunity to see all manner of pioneering rock and rollers, from the epic art-rock of Jane's Addiction to the steel-guitar slickness of Bonnie Raitt and soulful sounds of Mavis Staples.
JANE'S ADDICTION, SALTAIR, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., $40 day of show
Being a fan of Jane's Addiction is a bit of a conundrum in 2012. Nothing's Shocking is still one of my all-time favorite records, and the opportunity to hear Perry Farrell et al perform "Mountain Song" or "Had a Dad" is always welcome. one of my fondest high school memories is seeing the band on the Nothing's Shocking tour at the old Utah State Fair Park arena. At the same time, the music that the band has sporadically released since has never lived up to that release (and yes, I'm including the hit follow-up Ritual de lo Habitual, a so-so album with a few great songs, especially compared to its grounding, Shocking predecessor). And the occasion tours inevitably feel like cash-grabs, even when Jane's Addiction has new tunes to perform, which is the case this time around as the band is ostensibly on the road in support of its latest release, 2011's The Great Escape Artist.
BONNIE RAITT/MAVIS STAPLES, RED BUTTE GARDEN, Tuesday-Wednesday, 7 p.m., $63
Not a lot needs to be said about why this double-bill is worth checking out; there’s a reason Red Butte Garden booked two nights for this double-shot of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. In Raitt, you have a slide-guitar killer who consistently releases collections of rock-solid blues and pop-rock, including this year’s Slipstream. And in Staples, you have one of the signature voices of American soul and gospel music, a familiar face since her days with the Staples Singers who has released a string of killer albums the past few years, particularly You Are Not Alone in 2010. Don’t get to these shows late, and don’t plan on leaving early. Tickets are still available as of August 26, but both will most likely sell out.