Requiem for a venue: 10 Jannus Landing concerts we'll never forget
It’s been a summer to forget at Jannus Landing. Ever since John C. “Jack” Bodziak was charged in May with owing the state more than $200,000 in back taxes, concerts have been fleeing Jannus Landing — some to the Ritz Ybor, some to the State Theatre, others to Bourbon Street. In fact, Friday’s concert by Insane Clown Posse will be the final show at the courtyard for the foreseeable future. (Tickets are $25-$28. Click here for details.)
It’s an inglorious end for a beloved entertainment destination. Through controversies over noise, alcohol, ownership and tax revenues, Jannus Landing has been a vital cog in Tampa Bay’s music scene for close to 30 years — and a major reason for the resurgence of downtown St. Pete as a late-night destination. And it always managed to bring in some top-notch artists.
Jannus Landing’s future may be unclear. But in honor of Friday’s landmark show, here are 10 memorable Jannus concerts over the years:
Jane’s Addiction (Nov. 21, 1987)
Technically, Jane’s Addiction was opening for Love and Rockets. But those who were there swear Perry Farrell and company blew the headliners of the stage. (Although if you really wanted to see the band get wild, you should have been at the band’s 1989 gig at the old Masquerade in Ybor City, when, legend has it, Ferrell got busy with a female fan right on the stage.)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (Dec. 4, 1987)
Before they packed arenas with anthems like Under the Bridge and Scar Tissue, the Chili Peppers were an untamed, untethered crew of half-naked funk-loving roughnecks who inspired fans to take headers off the stage all night. This show featured original guitarist Hillel Slovak, who died seven months later.
King Sunny Ade (June 5, 1989)
The Nigerian juju legend roused the crowd to a hypnotic, dynamic melange of African grooves and dancing. After a 90-minute set — and a 15-minute ovation from the sold-out crowd — Ade came back out for another exultant 45-minute set. Headliner Jimmy Cliff, a reggae icon in his own right, more than held his own — but this was clearly Ade’s day in the sun. (Click here for a full review.)
Pearl Jam (April 22, 1992)
Eight months after the release of Ten, and four months before the release of the video for Jeremy, Pearl Jam delivered a volcanic set that featured Eddie Vedder swinging from the tentpole at the center of the stage.
After the jump: Radiohead, Wilco, the Flaming Lips (above) and more...
Radiohead (September 22, 1993)
Opening for Belly — man, what a crazy time the ’90s were! — the future Most Important Band In The World won over the crowd with an uplifting mix of songs from their debut, Pablo Honey. They’ve played Tampa Bay only twice since. (Click here for a full review.)
Marilyn Manson (Nov. 13, 1996)
Before the show, police planned to record the shock rocker’s performance at Jannus Landing, to make sure his show didn’t violate any obscenity laws. However, that night, St. Petersburg exploded into race-related riots — a reprise of the violence that erupted less than a month earlier, when a white officer shot an African-American teenager at a traffic stop. Understandably, the cops ditched the Manson show ... but you wouldn’t know it from Manson himself, who later told Rolling Stone he had been arrested for indecent exposure and performing a sex act on a dude. This was news to St. Petersburg police, who had to explain to callers from around the country that the incident never happened. (Click here for a full review.)
Eminem (April 25, 1999)
Em’s debut single My Name Is was on its way to becoming a hit, but The Slim Shady LP had been on the streets for only two months when he hit Jannus. A year later, the rapper would become the most controversial star in music.
Wilco (August 31, 1999)
Wilco hasn’t played Tampa Bay since 2005, but in the mid- and late-’90s, they played a few fondly remembered shows at Jannus Landing, during and after which they jammed with local musicians like Will Quinlan, Robert Vessenmeyer and Ronny Elliott. (Click here for a full review.)
Lucinda Williams (Oct. 30, 2001)
Around the height of her popularity, Williams turned in a spellbinding performance on a cool, gorgeous evening, cranking out heartfelt songs from her epic Car Wheels on a Gravel Road and its follow-up, Essence. The fans were as rapt as an audience at church. (Click here for a full review.)
Flaming Lips (April 14, 2007)
Dancing aliens. Flashlight-shaking Santas. Fog, lasers, balloons and confetti. In their first Tampa Bay concert in 13 years, Oklahoma City’s Flaming Lips galvanized the sold-out crowd with a multisensory carnival of outer-space love and euphoric glee. (Click here for a full review.)
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Contributing: Eric Deggans, Julie Garisto, Wade Tatangelo, tbt* files. Photo by Luis Santana, tbt*.