Oxegen 09 - Jane's Addiction
O2 Stage, Sunday 12th July, 9.00pm
Describe in a tweet: Festivals were made for this kind of thing.
What happened: Where before the ground had been a slightly difficult, muddy mess, after an early evening downpour, most of the festival site now resembles a disgusting, sinking bog, or perhaps the location of some intense trench warfare. So rather than the brisk trot it had previously taken for ATL to get from the IMRO stage to the O2 stage, it is now a voyage of personal self-discovery, where your humble narrator was forced to draw on previously untapped reservoirs of strength and courage. Eventually, slightly later than expected, ATL found it's little world being rocked by Jane's Addiction.
Jane's always made epic music, the kind of sound that conveys standing on the edge of a cliff-face and trying to swallow up the entire Pacific Ocean, and the rain and mud of Oxegen are no obstacle for them. Indeed, the way he struts about the stage, sitting on the edge, climbing atop objects...you'd think this was just Perry Farrell's massive back porch, and we'd all being invited to a barbecue. Over the course of some IMMENSE sounding rock, Farrell speaks with an appaling Irish accent, urges people to go topless (and bottomless), drinks whiskey, jumps about, gets hit by a bra, and generally behaves like an absolute rock legend. Farrell and guitarist Dave Navarro make a great double-act, providing moments of theatrical hilarity, and then kicking into some of the finest alternative rock ever made.
When the finish the set with 'Jane Says', all strummed acoustic guitars and steel drums, Oxegen is probably the happiest place in the world, every single person having been taken to their happy place.
The clouds part, the setting sun streams through the sky, and the revelry takes on a euphoric tone, beaming smiles and wonderment all around. People run about in the mud, and it seems the most perfect end to the festival we could have hoped for.
But the O2 stage wasn't finished with us just yet...
This is a high: 'Ocean Size' sounded bigger than the biggest thing you could ever imagine. In fact, it was even bigger than that.
This is a low: One particularly euphoric revel went for a swim in the mud, losing his phone in the process. Nae luck to him.
Oxegen rating: 8.5/10